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By Perry Binder

As a college professor, a lot of my time is spent with students in the age range of 18-22 - individuals who grew up with e-mail, spell check, IM's, and blogs. The recent graduates entering your company are just as smart as those who graduated in the "old days." However, their modes of communication are vastly different.

If you've never been on MySpace or Facebook, the leading social networking sites and you have an HR function to your job, you need to become familar with these sites. My message to HR is that you can discover scary pictures or postings from the person you just interviewed in a suit and tie yesterday! Here are two actual examples, which I've watered down for the PG-13 crowd:

"What up pimpin?! Looks like somebody skipped school today...where were u huh? What did I tell u...stop smokin that...u wanna finish the rest? It ain't gonna get u no where!! LOL I love messin wit u!"

"F#@* yeah! Guitar hero + half ounce + water bong = good times."

Whether you outsource this search function or do it yourself, anyone can access information on MySpace. Facebook is supposed to be more private than MySpace because one has to be a part of a specific network for access. For example, a student at a university can join the college's network. But that also means that alums can join - if you interview at your alma mater, think of the information you may obtain on new hires.

I stress to my students that there are consequence to their web activity. HR is starting to wake up to this reality.

Perry Binder is an Assistant Professor of Legal studies at The Robinson College of Business of Georgia State University.

Perry Binder is a legal studies professor at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business.
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