Students recognize impacts of social media posts

Students recognize impacts of social media posts

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Social media opens many doors of communication and ties among families, friends and associates. Some of the items that appear in our social media news feeds can be abused by those who don't realize the impact of their posts.

"I think the thing that social media gives us that we haven't had previously, is the ability for even the most trivial trend to catch on and go viral through all of media across the internet," said Dr. David R. Davies, Interim Director for the School of Mass Communication at USM. "[In regards to] The Kylie Jenner challenge, people will take part in almost any social media trend just for the experience of being a part of it."

While intended for simple pastimes and entertainment purposes, social media posts can damage your reputation and chances for future employment if viewed in a negative manor. Trending challenges such as the "Kylie Jenner challenge" that encourages participants to use various methods to plump their lips may seem innocent, but other challenges such as the short lived "fire challenge" of 2014 can end in injury.

"I think it's just another example of how trends on social media go," said Day Rankin, USM senior. "A couple weeks ago it was something else, now it's this."

"I noticed that when I go on [social media], and I see some of the things that the young people put on there, you know, it's out of hand; it's not being used appropriately," said USM senior William Richardson.

While there is no harm in having fun, it is wise to remember the impact social media can have on the future.

"Social Media is definitely something that's keeping a lot of people from jobs now," Rankin said. "I know employers definitely track your social media, so, though it might be funny, it might be something that's harming another individual."

Spring cleaning doesn't just apply to your home and wardrobe. It is easy to post something that seemed innocent at one time, and later have regrets about its presence on your page. That's when the delete option comes in handy.

"I advise students to conduct a social media inventory; Google themselves, find out exactly how they're representing themselves, on social media," Davies said. "Delete posts, delete tweets, delete Instagrams that would reflect negatively on your job prospects. And really and truly, exercise infinite caution on what you put on the internet."