UW-Marinette representative explains social media etiquette


Staff Writer

GOODMAN, Wis. – It may be common sense to use proper etiquette when posting on social media sites, but sometimes people of all ages need a reminder of what to post and what not to post.

Kim Gruszynski, student affairs coordinator and recruiter for northern Wisconsin for the University of Wisconsin-Marinette, talked about the do’s, don’ts and why it matters at an event held at the Goodman Library.

She said employers and colleges are looking at pictures and posts on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.

“What you do online – make friends, update status, make comments, shopping – stays online,” said Gruszynski. “It becomes your virtual tattoo.”

Some statistics Gruszynski quoted included the following:

– Of the 91 percent of hiring representatives who checked social media, 69 percent rejected someone based on what they found out online.

– Of the 26 percent of college admissions officers who checked social media, 35 percent found information that made a negative impression.

Gruszynski said those who are using social media sites need to care more about what they are putting out there and really be smart about it.

She said what is posted online can make a difference on whether or not a potential student is accepted to a college or given scholarships, and if jobseekers gain entrance into the workforce.

Gruszynski noted colleges and employers want people to be on Facebook, but are finding that many potential students and employees do not check their email, but will check their Facebook messages.

“People think what they post is not going to go anywhere and it does,” said Gruszynski.

In some areas, students had been suspended and or expelled for inappropriate Facebook posts and tweets. Some posts have also led to the firing of employees.

Gruszynski added that Facebook remains the most popular site for photos and videos, but some of today’s youth are using other social media sites, too.

Gruszynski said everyone should Google themselves every few months, log out of Facebook and look at their own search results, think before posting, remove compromising photos, avid being too specific about where you’re at on posts and use the privacy setting applications.

She added that statistics show 57 percent of people Google themselves, 46 percent Google past friends, 38 percent Google current friends, and 16 percent Google their significant other.

Gruszynski said the following should not be posted: illegal activities, bullying or threats, trashing of professors and/or employers, objectionable content from work or school computers, confidential information, overly specific check-ins (telling people where you are located), and unprofessional photos.

“What do employers want to see?” said Gruszynski. “Creativity, well-roundedness and chastity.”

Gruszynski said posts of family events, traveling and hobbies are encouraged.

“The number one thing is lying on Facebook and not posting partying pictures. They want to see good qualities,” said Gruszynski. “Remember what you post on the internet is permanent. Create a positive social media profile.”

Gruszynski added that everyone should let their friends know what they do and do not want posted and to think before clicking on a photo or video.

“It can be fun, but it can also be about losing control of your responsibility of protecting reputations,” Gruszynski said.

Gruszynski hopes to give similar presentations about the do’s and don’ts of social media sites to area students this upcoming school year.

Lisa M. Reed’s e-mail address is lreed@ironmountaindailynews.com.