AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – People often share social media posts as part of their daily routines. But many times those individuals do not realize how damaging the messages can be to themselves or someone else in the future. So, we looked into how two recent viral posts impacted those individuals.
Before you share a post, do you typically think about where it might go? Well, we looked at how the quickness of your hands can have long term affects on your chosen college or workplace.
NewsChannel 6 spoke with Goodwill Industries Vice President of Career Development Leah Pontani about how students who share negative posts might be impacted.
“Colleges, especially the ones that are more competitive in nature, are absolutely looking at the profile of student,” Pontani said adding that social media can impact up to 50% of your college acceptance decision.
The Insta profile evanshigh shaderoom is filled with messages and posts detailing incriminating and provocative stories about students, using their real names. Whether the details are true or false is unknown, but the footprint left on the gram can hurt these high school kids from seeing a future in college.
Pontani added, “Are you constantly posting negative things? Are you posting things that maybe the school does not want to be associated with on one thing or the other politically or other things that are going on?”
This week a Fox Creek High School junior and her family learned a blackface photo with a racist word went viral. NewsChannel 6 spoke with that student’s father and he told us the entire ordeal has been a “difficult thing for the family.” He said the original photo from four years ago was shared on social media by his daughter simply doing makeup videos and face masks with her friends when she was in 7th grade. But he said someone apparently saved it to a camera roll and modified it.
He also shared while nearly coming to tears this:
“I looked my daughter in the eye and told her we were going to turn over as much information as we have to law enforcement.”
“Is there any possibility that you have done this now or in the past?”
“She said daddy I promise.”
“In that situation, I do believe my daughter.”
While the father stresses that his daughter is a kind, caring person who likes to keep to herself or a small group of friends, he’s hoping these unidentified mean people online do not impact her future.
Pontani said there is a way to attempt to get ahead of a bad social media situation.
“If something is not approved by you or something is malicious in nature, you should go ahead and report that on the social media post so that post can be flagged and removed.”
The same holds true for adults looking for jobs or working for companies.
This week, USC Aiken’s baseball coach found himself going viral after a post commenting on Clemson Football Team’s Black Lives Matter statement. He later posted that his words were taken out of context and apologized.
“If you’re not familiar with your company’s social media policy and you violate it, you could be putting your current job in jeopardy,” Pontani said.
We also reached out to Augusta University for more advice about how students who do engage in negative social media posting should conduct themselves if they have a future plans to attend college.
AU Division of Enrollment & Student Affairs issued the following statement in response:
While the Office of Academic Admissions at Augusta University does not review a student’s social media presence in our admissions process, it is very common for schools to do so. Therefore, we regularly encourage students to think about how their digital footprint might affect their application to the selective programs and possibly careers they aspire to join. Just a few of AU’s values are compassion, inclusivity, and integrity, so we are always excited to see these values expressed in the lives of our current and prospective students.
Completely eliminating your social footprint may not be such a good idea because colleges and employers will look for you somewhere. Just be wise.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps