Students are being cautioned against posting inappropriate comments and pictures online, as these postings could affect their future job prospects.
Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ), Cordel Green, issued the warning while speaking to students and teachers of the St. Andrew Technical High School in Kingston on Friday (February 1) in the school’s auditorium.
“The photographs, the comments that you make now will determine whether you get jobs in the future. You have some children now who think that it is funny to go on Facebook and say disrespectful things about their colleagues in school and disrespectful things about their teachers,” he told the large gathering.
Mr. Green, who spoke on the topic: ‘Managing Your Digital Self’, said that companies are now searching online to get the history of potential employees.
“So, your online profile helps them determine whether they are going to employ you. So all I am saying to you is that at this age, when you are thinking about what you will put out in the public domain, be very very careful. You have to manage your digital self,” he stated.
In emphasising his point, Mr. Green showed the students the Facebook page of Olympic champion, Usain Bolt, which had 8.9 million “friends” across the world.
“If he puts something inappropriate on his Facebook page, it goes instantly to 8.9 million people, who will send it on to their friends and their friends. Within 24 hours, it can destroy his integrity and his character, so manage your digital self,” he said.
Mr. Green also told the students to be cautious about what they place on Twitter and gave several examples of tweets where people were revealing their location to “followers,” who are mostly strangers.
He also warned the students not to trust persons, who might wish to take pictures of them that are improper. These pictures, he said, might be taken with promises that they will be kept secret, but somehow “they end up being circulated to all and sundry.”
“You wouldn’t know how many young women in this country today are going through serious psychological discord because of private moments they have had with whom they think is a trusted boyfriend,” he noted.
“We all have a digital self and right now, a lot of people are learning about that the hard way,” he added.
The event was the first in a series of school meetings organized by the BCJ, as part of its Media Literacy Project, which seeks to empower Jamaican children to make use of media for personal and national development.