It’s a common knowledge that the Internet is full of fake news, fake pictures and fake profiles. However, in some cases, it is not the lie that can spoil everything but a truth that have been exposed to public when it should have been untold or unshown. If you still think that the information you share with other people through social media is private, bad news – not only can it be used by online hackers and thieves, but also too much information can damage your reputation and kill the chances of winning a scholarship or landing a job, if your HR doesn’t like what he or she sees about you on the Web.
The important thing to remember is that whatever you do online, people will perceive it like your personal statement and will judge you accordingly. Even if you post a silly picture with the intention to ridicule its content and demonstrate your exquisite sense of humor or advanced sarcasm level, it is more likely that people will see just a silly picture, which will not make a very nice impression on whoever sees it. So, pay attention to your profile picture. This is a piece of information that is usually visible to all users, irrespective of whether they are in your friends list or not. Keep it professional: we are talking about no photos of kittens and things like that. Also, do not forget about your email. It should be firstname.lastname@example.org, not im.a.rockstar@ or whydoyouneedmyemail@, just to name a few silly instances I have come across.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find information on anyone these days. You can be sure that people from college admission committee, HRs, etc. all use Google, YouTube, and any other social media to check whether the information you mentioned in your CV is valid or whether you haven’t hidden something they need to know.
If you do not want to fall on your face, try to think of Web like a public place. Usually, people try to behave decently not to disgrace themselves in front of other people. How is the Internet different? Well, it gives you a feeling that you have control over who can see the data that you share, but it is an illusion. So, before posting anything, think of this – will you want your family or any other people whose judgment you value see it? If the answer is “No,” it is better to keep that piece of information to yourself. In any other respect, the Internet follows the same rules used everywhere else in the world. Just be polite and treat people with respect.