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Graduated & Starting a Career?: Time to Clean Up Your Social Footprint

Shocked employer -- who's Facebook profile is he looking at?!
Don’t shock your future employer!

The following was written by JT Ripton, a writer who has contributed to,,, and other sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @JTRipton.

So you’ve graduated college and are getting ready to head out into the world. Sure, your university days might have been a little wild, but now, with the ink still drying on your bachelor’s, you are ready to enter the workforce as a mature and responsible adult.

Not so fast. In today’s digital, interconnected world, there is one last exam that you need to pass before you can get that dream job: cleaning up your social media profile. These days, everyone to whom you send a résumé is going to be checking your accounts; and, unless you really want them to see you doing keg-stands, you’re going to need to control your image. Here are some tips to get you started.

Continue reading “Graduated & Starting a Career?: Time to Clean Up Your Social Footprint”

Was the Facebook Mood Manipulation Experiment Worth It?

Receiving some bad news

In terms of recent news that generated outrage, few stories in the past month can compete with the Facebook “Mood Manipulation” Experiment. If the story escaped your notice, here’s the basics: A study conducted by Facebook’s data team filtered 689,003 users’ News Feeds for positive or negative keywords. The test was to see what impact this had on the users’ subsequent posts. Needless to say, users with only positive Feeds were more likely to say something positive. Negative Feeds led to more negative posts.

Continue reading “Was the Facebook Mood Manipulation Experiment Worth It?”

The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Making Your New Year’s Resolutions

iStock_000011106099SmallThe good news is that people your age are over twice as likely to keep their new year’s resolutions than people your parents’ age. The bad news is that the majority of college students will still fall short. So what makes these resolutions seem so easy on January 1st and so hard on January 2nd?

Here are the five biggest mistakes you can make when setting a resolution:

1. You have a goal but not a plan.

“I want to lose weight.”

This might be the most frequent resolution, and I’m willing to bet it’s the most likely to fail as well. The problem is that losing weight is a great objective, but it’s not very meaningful as a resolution if you’re not focusing on how you can lose weight. Continue reading “The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Making Your New Year’s Resolutions”

Why Facebook Might Add a ‘Sympathize’ Button (But Probably Won’t)

via Memebase
via Memebase

You don’t really “Like” everything your friends post on Facebook. Whether it’s a commemoration of a recently deceased pet, a “_____ is now single” relationship update, or something that enrages your inner activist, there’s plenty of potential interaction on social networks that isn’t built into the native application.

You might have heard the rumor that Facebook may be adding a “sympathize” button for these sorts of situations. I’m here to tell you that, while weirder things have certainly happened, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this new feature anytime soon. Why? Continue reading “Why Facebook Might Add a ‘Sympathize’ Button (But Probably Won’t)”

10 Things College Students Should Never Share on Facebook

Facebook has always had a weird relationship with colleges. It was created by a college student and originally exclusively used by other college students.  And even though a billion people are on the network, there’s a general sense that it’s mostly young people who’re using social media.

Continue reading “10 Things College Students Should Never Share on Facebook”

What Does the Freakout About Instagram’s Terms Say About Social Networks?

This article was originally published before Instagram responded to the outrage with this message. Instagram has removed the confusing clause and apologized for the misunderstanding. Therefore some of the content of this post is no longer timely, but I believe the over-arching point about what people will accept from a social network is still worth discussing.


Thank goodness there’s somebody out there pawing through massive license agreements and thank goodness the Internet allows for people to share the important parts.

Instagram just made everybody very, very unhappy by tweaking their terms of service. Here’s the changes Instagram highlighted, in my words, not theirs:

  • You still own your photos.
  • Instagram now syncs more effectively with Facebook.
  • The new rules help protect you.

Continue reading “What Does the Freakout About Instagram’s Terms Say About Social Networks?”

Could Facebook Affect How You Vote?

Message saying "I voted... did you?"

Anybody who logged onto Facebook on election day got hit with a crazy number of “go vote!” messages. Most were from your friends, many were from the companies you’ve Liked. (We tried to make ours go down easier by pairing it with a picture of an adorable puppy.) But there were also some messages from Facebook itself. They were either just general messages to go vote or a list of your friends who’ve already voted (who then told Facebook that they voted, of course).

Continue reading “Could Facebook Affect How You Vote?”

Dear Businesses, Don’t Lie With Social Media. It Ends Badly. For You.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone be so impassioned about kinda-OK chicken sandwiches as I have over the past week. If you haven’t heard… first of all, good for you. How do you manage to avoid all these blog fodder stories? Second, here’s the summary of the major points:

Continue reading “Dear Businesses, Don’t Lie With Social Media. It Ends Badly. For You.”

Facebook’s Timeline, Mass Effect 3, and Changing Your Past


Apparently, people hate the ending to Mass Effect 3. I mean really, really hate it. Compare the critics’ reaction (who typically write reviews after only a few days of playing) to the masses’ (who can submit a review whenever they want). Metacritic reports an average critic rating of 93/100 on Xbox 360, 92/100 on PS3, and 89/100 on PC. Metacritic users’ respective ratings are 4.9/10, 3.8/10, and 3.8/10. People were so outraged at the ending that they flocked to The Consumerist’s Worst Company in America poll, voting en masse for producer Electronic Arts. EA won the poll, beating out runner-up Bank of America.

Continue reading “Facebook’s Timeline, Mass Effect 3, and Changing Your Past”

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