March is upon us, which means one thing for college students: a week off in a (typically) tropical place. Homework is the last thing on your mind and your priorities have become debating how late to sleep in and when to have your boozy brunch. Remember that although you’re on vacation, not everyone is! Social media doesn’t sleep, and neither should your common sense. While it’s okay to share tidbits of your vacation, remember the following rules:
- Review which of your accounts is private and public. You may not want certain pictures or status updates available to everyone. Check through your accounts to see what information is being shared with everyone. A great tool to use is PrivacyFix.
- If some of your accounts have multiple settings (like Facebook), you may want to consider having different permissions set for your friends and groups like your friends and coworkers. Make sure that the right people have access to the right information.
- Share what’s going on! Whether you’re going to Mexico, Florida, your hometown, or SxSW in Austin, it’s okay to share what’s going on. Vacations and traveling is okay! Don’t be afraid to post what’s going on and share that with others.
- Share pictures. Hey, it’s okay to have a good time with your friends. Just make sure pictures/videos/status updates are appropriate!
- If you won’t have much access to the Internet, set up an automated response to your email. If you’re looking for a job/internship and are expecting to hear back during that week, make sure employers know you’re not completely neglecting them. Remember, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean everyone is.
- Remember to also take a break from social media and disconnect. It’s a vacation! Remember to disconnect for awhile.
- As much fun as it was to be surrounded by shirtless guys on the beach last night while drinking straight from the bottle, it won’t be as fun when future employers (or parents) see it. Many people are still looking for jobs or internships, and seeing pictures like these aren’t the most attractive in a new employee. Remember that you’re growing your professional brand online, so think twice when you post things online.
- Don’t tweet things that you think are funny at 2am, especially if you have a public Twitter. Inside jokes between you and your friends are great, but remember that not everyone will think so. Think before you tweet! Andrew Bauer ’13 reminds us that “the Library of Congress is archiving your tweets…for the future to remember us.” You may want to keep that in mind every time you pick up your phone.
- Apps like Instagram have the ability to send pictures to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media accounts. Be mindful of where your pictures are going and who has access to those accounts. Don’t put sensitive content on platforms that many people have access to.
- “If you wouldn’t yell it at a mall, don’t post it on a social network.” – Kyle Elliott G ’13
Most importantly, have fun! Spring Break is a time to relax and enjoy yourself, so remember to do just that.
What are your tips for social media use during Spring Break? We’d love to hear what you have to say – share in the comments!