Great article from the Boston Globe. (see link below) The "fly on the wall" metaphor has taken on new meaning with the accessibility of complete and total strangers to anything you put out in the nether world of social media. And some of these total strangers are potential employers, college admissions officers, potential internship places, and the list goes on. This was an astounding statistic quoted in this article:"Nearly 80% of employers research job applicants and 70% have rejected candidates because of their online profile." Let the parent lectures begin!!!
As I mentioned a few blogs ago, your teens allow complete strangers to follow them on their favorite app du jour! If you want to test that out, come up with a phony name and ask to become one of your teen's instagram followers. I'm guessing you'll get your "in" in a second or two! If your teen is starting to think about a job or internship they need to beware. Or how about looking to become a camp counselor? Perhaps that camp director is social media savvy, and goes on your teen's instagram or twitter account (again, you know how selective they are about friending people) or on tumblr, and If your teen has been posting obscenity laden quips, drunken exploits or sexy pics, you better tell them that might not look so good to a camp director, who is looking for a wholesome camp counselor. Or, how about that highly competitive internship, looking for Mr or Ms responsible? I don't think they want to read that "man I got wasted and ....."
Perhaps your teen is waiting to hear from colleges. This is a tough college market. And sometimes that decision might come down to what admission officers have found during their social media sleuthing!
This is definitely not something that is on your teen's radar. Someone has to put it there, and it is you!!! Though this article focuses on college graduates, it definitely applies to, summer jobs, college admissions, it's all the same deal. As Crosby Stills Nash and Young sing...."Teach, your children well."
You might have them read this article, and say: You know honey,I get that posting outrageous stuff on your facebook, inststagram, etc is fun, and reading all your friends crazy stuff is also fun, but the reality is that it makes your life an open book to college admissions people, potential jobs and internship employers. I wouldn't want something silly like the stuff you put out there in internet world to get in the way of doing what you want. I think it's time to do some "housecleaning." As you go through all your postings, think like a potential boss, or admission counselor, and ask the question: "What impression am I getting about this student, employee from their sites?" You woudn't want them to say:"wow this kid seems to party alot, that would probably affect their ability to work, or they use alot of foul language and sexually explicit language, they don't show much respect for woman or men, I wouldn't want them interacting with my staff." Help your teens to ask the right questions and send them on their way with a Mr Clean power eraser!