NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 4, 2012) – “You can tweet me @….” This phrase ends most conversations these days. Twitter names are given out as frequently as phone numbers and e-mail addresses, if not more. Twitter has taken over as a means of communication and is ranked the No. 1 social media outlet in the world, with more than 400 million tweets posted a day.
But are we aware of what’s happening when we use it and the consequences of its use?
That was the issue Dr. Walter Kimbrough, the new Dillard University president, brought to the attention of the student body in a recent Convocation when he cautioned that, “Twitter is a tool not a toy.”
Kimbrough noted that DU students must be cautious about its use as aspiring future workers in corporate America because ALL messages are saved and because of the wide reach these messages have, with their possible effect on the Dillard brand and reputation.
In the message of Twitter being an effective way to destroy you professionally, there is truth.
Employers do background checks, and not just criminal ones anymore. Social media websites are checked more often than not before employment.
Even the Library of Congress has gotten involved in twitter-mania. According to USA Today, the Library of Congress and Twitter have an agreement to archive every public tweet ever sent over the web.
That’s about 400 million tweets daily. This means every time a person hits that blue button to post their random thoughts onto their twitter timeline, it is saved in an archive forever.
The wild and crazy days of one’s youth used to be relegated to photos and stories told to acquaintances. Today’s young adults have to remember that Facebook, Twitter and other online software are capturing our actions and thoughts for future generations. Can you imagine: In future generations, people will be able to visit the Library of Congress and see how their great-grandmother really was back in the day.
Do you think you want to run for a political office? Check your timeline. Anything you have ever said that may be the slightest bit offensive could be taken out of context and brought up in any election.
Regarding future employment, Kimbrough said Twitter is used primarily to announce your brand to the world. The way you portray yourself online is how people will view you and may impact employer’s views in the future.
Why is what we tweet so important? The things we post on Twitter are merely thoughts that come to our mind that no one is around to listen to. They are the things that we are exposed to everyday. These tweets are feelings that we care to share with those who follow us. How are our feelings and beliefs detrimental to the university?
Understanding the need to keep Dillard’s positive image, the idea of keeping negative tweets about the school to a minimum makes sense.
The president noted, that when he was in college he would say some of the same things that he has read students saying. However, the lack of social networking back then kept him from announcing it to the world.
Kimbrough said anytime a student says anything negative about Dillard’s students or faculty, it is destroying the school’s level of family.
We are not suggesting censorship or reducing your number of tweets. It is a friendly reminder that maybe we should become more conscious of what we put online for the world to see.
A simple keystroke and Twitter search from your future employer could determine whether you make $60,000 a year or make burgers. The choice is yours. Happy tweeting!