Don’t Judge a Book by Its Twitter

Twitter and social media don't always paint a fair picture of a person

Peter Quinn

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Even though we’ve heard “Think twice before you tweet” a billion times since middle school, we’ve never heard “think before you judge someone based on their tweets,” and maybe this is a problem.

With Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, it is now routine for jobs or colleges to take a look at your online life to aid their decision making. Certainly, if you’re posting negative things about a school or job, or posting about illegal or questionable activities, there might be a valid reason for them not to accept or hire you.

However, I feel like there is too much emphasis placed on this one aspect. If a job looks back on an old social media account from high school and denies you because of that alone, that feels ill-informed. In most cases like that, the person has changed and thinks differently than they did in high school.

Looking back on people’s tweets or posts and passing final judgment on the person is equivalent like taking something they said out of context and then using it against them. Someone may say something illogical online and, years later, look back on it as someone else. Maturity happens.

There are numerous amounts of other ways to base whether you want to accept or hire somebody than their social media; who the person is in real life should determine most of the decisions.

I have also seen this whole “colleges will look at social media” used as a scare tactic to prevent people from saying what the want to say. In today’s world, it is hard for anyone to voice their opinion. No matter how you say it, someone will find it offensive or wrong. Whether that be a university or another internet user, it removes the ability to share your thoughts or opinions.

Ultimately, colleges and employers need to reconsider how much emphasis they put on social media, both for social media users’ sake, and for theirs.