So you want to join the ranks of your friends and family on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter? Perhaps you already have a profile. These sites can be fun and will help you stay in touch with friends and family but keep in mind that anything you post online is not private, especially if you are using a site free of charge. Anyone can copy a message, photo or posting and reproduce it in another place and oftentimes without your knowledge. Be very careful of the type of information you post to these sites. The rule of thumb is: If you have reservations about posting something, don’t post it.
Even if you already have a profile, there are precautions to consider that could protect you. It may be difficult to envision a social networking site affecting your ability to enter the college of your choice or land that dream job later in life. The reality is inappropriate postings such as engaging in risky behavior (i.e., drinking, inappropriate photos) could put your reputation at risk.