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Online postings are for all to see, even employers

In the age of information and technology, people can find nearly anything about an individual. For students, student athletes and graduates, information posted on Internet communities such as MySpace and Facebook can be the deciding factor on how they are judged in the future.

The Oracle ran a report Thursday titled “Athletes’ online pics causing concern,” which addressed the dangers of athletes posting compromising pictures on the Internet. Two athletes were named in the article, but many others were seen in pictures partying or posing in lurid manners. Posting images such as these on the Internet for all to see will not only affect chances of getting a job, but also presents an illustration of unprofessional behavior and brings safety issues into question.

According to an article in Tuesday’s Tampa Tribune, employers are free to search these profiles. “The law sets few limits on bosses glancing at an applicant’s personal Web site if they find it because the site is considered a form of self-disclosure and thus in the public domain,” the article stated.

While the standard image of a college student in this generation is party first and go to class second, the ultimate goal when attending a university is to graduate and move into the job market. Posting slideshows of debauchery brings no merit to the ultimate goal of completing a degree. In an era where top party school is a common and often anticipated remark, keeping one’s eyes on the prize should never leave students’ minds.

College students will drink. College students will party, and there are advertisements aplenty – even in the Oracle – promoting that lifestyle. But it is up to the students to decide how they will present themselves.

With little effort, strangers can scan through people’s personal information to see what hobbies they have, what kind of music they listen to and what their general interests are. Is this the kind of information they want displayed for the world to see? It gives strangers open access into the inner workings of an individual – voyeurism at its finest.

So while it might sound cool at the time to plug in the digital camera and create that new Facebook album, take into consideration that posting picture of a keg stand might not present the best image. You never know who is watching.