If you post it, everyone will see: the dangers of a social media connected lifestyle

Gotta love good old social media. It never lets us down when wanting to know the latest gossip, trends or what recent photos/videos have been posted.

Love it or hate it, social media isn’t going anywhere. However, what most young people don’t realize is that posting our every thought can come back to haunt us in the end.

Everyone who is familiar with the Elmwood area has been to, or has heard of, Pano’s Restaurant. It’s a great place to eat, drink and be merry. Recently, this doesn’t seem to be the case.  A Pano’s employee named Jessica Pozantides decided to share her thoughts on a Facebook status about what she thought about the U.S Marines:

“I refuse to treat people with respect that went to the marines because they didn’t want to go to college and were to lazy to get a job!” she wrote. “You did nothing inspirational!”

Not only was she grammatically incorrect, but her harsh statements also cost her the job.

After Pozantides made this status, Pano’s Restaurant began receiving threating phone calls and bad reviews from customers. My personal outlook on this scenario is that the freedom of speech about controversial topics will only take you so far.

As Americans, we have the right to voice our opinions on many social media outlets. However, I am a strong believer there is a time, place and manner for everything, especially in terms of offending others in such a socially connected city like Buffalo.  It serves her right to lose her job. People tend to forget that saying whatever you want on social media makes it easier for others to form their own perception about you, without even having to meet you.

Every time I log onto my Facebook I constantly see statuses on my news feed that make me wonder, do people ever think before they speak? Females complaining about their cheating boyfriends, broken hearts or even updating us all on their sex life. As far as the males of my newsfeed goes, I mostly see them complaining about sports or bragging about how drunk they were over the weekend. That’s awesome. Nobody cares that you passed out on your front lawn in your boxers, good luck getting a job in the future.

Not to say that I am an innocent bystander that has never posted anything inappropriate. In fact, when I was in high school I got into serious trouble with my school for having pictures of myself underage drinking.  Not only did I learn my lesson but it also made me more aware of the consequences that can come with the freedom of social media.

Over this past winter semester, I took an online Public Relations course with Professor Seth Oyer. Professor Oyer never met any of us in the course but he did look us all up on Facebook and suggested we clean up our act.  After receiving this email, I immediately went through my Facebook and deleted any old pictures or statues that could make me look bad to a future employer.

The word about the Pano’s employee spread to my current employer, Kostas Restaurant, and the owner urged us all to take Kostas off of our Facebook pages. Not that it was a big deal for me to do so, however, it is sad to think that a business owner was in jeopardy due the stupidity of an employee. I love where I work, my co-workers and bosses; I would never want to make them look bad.

What worries me the most are the younger generations that will come into the working class, such as my sister Adrianna who is a junior in high school. She has told me stories about people from her high school posting statuses and photos on social media bullying other students. It seems as if rejection amongst peers is no longer face-to-face.

Teenagers aren’t at the mentality level where they think about the later consequences in life, whether they just might be unaware or wanting to fit in, the issue of social media is still at hand. You’d think that with how technologically savvy today’s teens and young adults are that they’d be a little more aware of the permanent traces they are leaving behind.

Guess not.

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