Letter to the Editor: Students shoud be leery of posting online

April 20, 2016

Nearly 65 percent of American citizens utilize some form of social networking. However, amidst the countless cat videos, family photos, news, and other common postings, are comments and images fueled by negligence, anger, frustration, and insobriety.

Although many people view social media as a method of venting their emotions or showing off among their peers, what many fail to realize is that this form of public expression can hold repercussions. In the 2006 Supreme Court case Garcetti v. Ceballos, it was decided that speech made as a public employee — rather than as a private citizen — has no First Amendment protection allowing employers to follow through with disciplinary action based on the content found on social media. Too often there are posts of incessant complaining, rumors, and gossip about a boss or company, as well as posts riddled with offensive content such as profanity, drug references, and sexual content, that are sure to signal red flags to potential or current employers.

As an upcoming college graduate and millennial engulfed in the technology era, I can attest that social media is a growing problem. Even among my own peers I commonly see posts that are hazardous to their professional growth. It is important to recognize the consequences that these seemingly harmless comments can cause. For our generation to be successful as we begin to search for lifelong careers, we need to enhance our mindfulness of our actions in order to promote ourselves in a positive light.

Amber Cywinski

Social Work, Psychology BS