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Online Forever

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The past can return and haunt you. In today's age of social networking and electronic communication, that statement seems truer than ever. A comment on a forum here or a blog post there, or even photos of some raucous party can all return and undermine education and career prospects.

An increasing number of universities and employers use the Internet to vet possible candidates. After all, institutions and companies spend so much money on lessons, training, and facilities, the more they know about the person, the more accurate their decision. If what pops up on sites and blogs doesn't pass muster, let's say lots of photos and comments about drunken weekends and hangovers, then it's into the circular filing cabinet your application goes.

Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. How do you think these ideas are connected: "career" and "the Internet?" Please explain.

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. How can the past come back and haunt you?
               a. people can find pictures of you
               b. employers and others can read your blog posts
               c. information on the Internet is there forever
               d. all of the above
  2. What would be the best title for this article? Why do you think so?
               a. "Future Employers Use the Internet"
               b. "Don't Drink and Post on the Internet"
               c. "Universities and Employers Spy on Your Past"
               d. "Dos and Don'ts of Social Networking and Electronic Communication"

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. How often do you post information, such as blog or forum entries, on the Internet?
  2. What do you think about employers and schools using this information? Please explain.
  3. After reading this article, will you make any adjustments to your online habits? Why/not?

Download the lesson:


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