Community Voices Speak Up: A letter by Shasta Spencer, Youth Prevention Intern

My  name is Shasta Spencer and I became part of Community Recovery Resources and Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County  in August of 2013. I am a senior in high school and it is a requirement to find a senior internship. CoRR had come to my high school and showed a film about addiction. After seeing that film and with the passion that I have for psychology I decided to ask for an internship. I am now currently a prevention intern for CoRR. CoRR is an excellent organization that tries to help and prevent individuals from addiction. It is a privilege to be part of this organization.

In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month I’ve decided to write a letter about how pictures on social media of teens using alcohol and other drugs can put them at risk of getting jobs.

On a day to day basis, I am apart of almost every social media website. The pictures that are posted, and the comments that are made by teens are astonishing.

In my small town of Grass Valley, every day I see teens posting pictures of them using alcohol or other drugs.

Think before you post.

Anything that you post or write on the internet, stays there forever. No matter how many times you delete, or edit it. It’s as if your submitting an essay for a final draft, there is no turning back.

Many companies examine social media profiles of people they intend to employ, to get a better judgment on who they are actually hiring. According to BloomerbergBusinessweek, 2,184 hiring managers about one-fifth had said that a candidates profile had given them an advantage at landing the job. More often than not; however, social media profiles backfire. About 43% of managers had said that they had found content that directed them towards not hiring that applicant. 9 percentage points had gone up in the last year for managers not hiring because of inappropriate conduct.

Usually when teenagers hit the age of 16, they get their license, become more independent, and are in desire of a job. Jobs provide teenagers with opportunity for work experience and some extra cash.

Many teens figure that posting these pictures will do no harm, or they may believe that there’s no way a manager can accesses their profile because of “privacy settings.” Some don’t think twice before posting this content and aren’t even aware of the consequences these pictures can do.

In Nevada County I see about a picture a day on Social Media websites of drug and alcohol content from my peers. On weekends I see multiple pictures.

These occurrences are often and I feel it may risk my fellow peers chances in getting a job.

I feel it is necessary to educate teens in my community how posting content like that can risk their chances in getting a job, and not only that but how drinking and using drugs at this age is an unhealthy choice to begin with.

Think before you post.

Shasta Spencer
Prevention Intern
Community Recovery Resources
Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County
530-718-0332