The Permanency of Posts on Social Media Platforms


Art by Braden LaClair

The impression you leave on the internet follows you forever. This art depicts that it’s your decision on how you’d like to leave your mark on the internet, and once you choose, there’s no going back.

Kaitlyn Kittredge, Co Editor-in-Chief

What you post is tied to you forever. 

With the new normality of posting our lives on social media, it can be easy to forget that all posts, comments and “likes” are kept on record. With a touch of a button, you can ruin your chances at attending a university, lose your job and ruin close relationships. 

Even people who don’t know you, likely know who you are on social media. To a stranger, your profile represents you entirely. Therefore, your posts are assumed to be associated with your character. 

So, what shouldn’t you post? The simple answer is if you have to ask someone if it’s okay to post – you probably shouldn’t post it. It’s important to ask yourself questions like, does this post represent me well, does this post potentially harm or insult an individual, and could this post be harmful to my future?

What may seem like an innocent photo of you and your friends at a party, could become evidence of you and your friends underage drinking. And what may seem like a funny joke on your story, could become evidence of you cyberbullying another individual. The dangerous thing about social media is that things spread – and they spread fast. What you may think has been deleted is likely sitting in several others’ camera rolls. Once you hit post, there is no going back. 

“As a Christian and club president of Young Life on campus, it’s very important that what I post on Instagram aligns with what I represent. I want people to see that the way my life is perceived on social media is consistent with who I am in real life. Posting something that goes against the expectation of being a leader could harm both me and my club’s reputation,” said senior Lilyan Schindler. 

Social media can always come back to haunt you. When applying for a job, some employers may perform a background check on you, typically including observation of your social media pages. And I assure you, the last thing you want is an offensive, illegal, or explicit post from years ago to come up when they search your name. Just because it happened long ago, does not mean it has disappeared. 

“Because I am looking to attend a private Christian university, I make sure to only post things that represent my character. I wouldn’t want a college to get a false perception of who I am from something I post on my account,” said Schindler. 

I want people to see that the way my life is perceived on social media is consistent with who I am in real life. Posting something that goes against the expectation of being a leader could harm both me and my club’s reputation

— Lilyan Schindler

Now, this does not mean to never post on social media. One of the best features of social media is that it gives everyone a platform to be heard. For many, social media is an opportunity to bring attention to important issues, advocate for change, grow a business, and spread kindness to the public. 

Social media is an outlet for you to showcase what you care about, who you hang out with, and what you wish to accomplish in the future. 

“Posting what you think is going to help you or help others is the way to go. Do what makes you happy and what you want to do. Try not to let other people influence what you post or what you want to say, because it is your voice. But, also still be aware of what you’re posting. It is public. Even if your account is private, be aware of what you’re sharing,” said senior Carter Van Zanten. 

Van Zanten has used his social media platform specifically to share his own journey and advocate for issues he cares about. 

“I like to use social media for activism and as a platform to help make the world a better place. I also use it to share my own journey, as I hope it will help other people. Especially with government stuff now, I think it’s really important to promote and use the voices we have here to raise attention and awareness to other parts of the world about what’s going on,” said Van Zanten. 

Several students also utilize social media to promote their clubs, small businesses, and nonprofits. In this way, social media is an excellent tool to boost the growth of organizations.

“Having a Young Life account on Instagram has helped students become notified of upcoming events and lunch clubs. It has promoted and grown our club immensely. I also like that it makes everyone feel more connected and that they are always welcome,” said Schindler. 

Social media is ultimately what you make of it. Posts are too permanent to be overlooked, so be smart. Think of who you want to be, and be that person – not only in real life, but on the screen.