Twitter Photos

I’m going to resume my blog with a sermonette. For the most part, this blog is devoted to providing you with tips on how to find—and succeed at—the career of your choice. Today, however, I’m going to give some advice about avoiding inappropriate behavior that could prevent you from getting work. The timing of this message is intentional: colleges and universities across the country will be starting a new semester soon, which means that millions of young people will be leaving home and starting (or returning to) a position of independence and (to some extent) control over their own lives.

Last month a local television station reported about a Twitter page that shows photos of drunk people passed out in public. . .and the individuals are all identified as students from my university, North Carolina State University. The report goes on to say that similar Twitter feeds are cropping up depicting students in a similar condition from numerous colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

While the owner of the Twitter account devoted to NCSU students sees the photos as amusing, I would find it hard to believe that the students whose pictures he uploads—not only without their consent, but without their knowledge—are amused. And if they are, they shouldn’t be. With all the available facial recognition software and potential for tagging, both of which can lead to easy identification, it isn’t difficult for an employer doing a preliminary Internet search on an applicant’s name to end up seeing a photo of that applicant half-dressed and crouched over a public toilet (or worse). The morning-after hangover is nothing compared to learning that you didn’t get that job you wanted because your photo got tagged on social media!

As individuals, we have so little control over what appears on the Web. Putting yourself in a situation where someone can take advantage of your poor judgment with regard to drinking can have a lasting effect on your ability to move forward with your life. Besides the fact that such situations could result in permanent damage to your health or punishment from your school, they can also keep you from being accepted into graduate school or cause a prospective employer to think twice about take a chance on you.

Regardless of your age, think carefully and drink responsibly. And please don’t end up pictured in a humiliating state on someone’s social media account!