'I'm Shmacked': Are Students Seen Partying Online Hurting Job Prospects?

PHOTO: Jeffrey Ray, known to his friends as "Yofray," has been touring the nations campuses shooting wild college parties and unruly tailgates a Youtube series he dubbed "Im Shmacked."
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"J," age 21, had a blast during that epic night in college when he hosted a video showing him and his friends partying hard and smoking marijuana. It was posted on YouTube, something he laughed off at first. Later he said he had some regrets.

"I do care about my future," he said. "College isn't forever... [but] I never knew it would be so huge. I never thought it would catch on like that."

He is now a senior at Temple University and left wondering if that online video would ruin his career before it began.

The guy who filmed it all is a college-aged student too and "J's" longtime friend, Jeffrey Ray. Known to his friends as "Yofray," Ray has been touring the nation's campuses shooting wild college parties and unruly tailgates and then putting them on YouTube. It's a series he dubbed "I'm Shmacked," and his videos get hundreds of thousands of hits. Collectively, the series has had more than 7 million views on YouTube.

"Everyone loves them," Ray said. "From adults looking in it just looks like a bunch of riff-raff."

Ray, who has filmed at several big campuses including West Virginia University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, claims he has had students tell him that because of his videos, they work harder to get good grades in high school to get accepted to the schools he features.

"I'm Shmacked" has grown so much it has established a brand, selling T-shirts and merchandise, with hopes to turn it all into a movie and possibly a book.

This college-gone-wild brand of sorts is exploding at a time when too much digital candor has proven to backfire -- and backfire often.

There have been the high-profile cases of General David Petraeus and Rep. Anthony Weiner. There was also a case last month of a 19-year-old woman who admitted on YouTube to robbing a bank, flashing cash in front of the camera as she spoke. Police caught up with her and arrested her shortly after. She is currently awaiting trial and has not entered a plea.

As young people are putting more of their lives online, companies and other potential employers are looking for it.

A recent CareerBuilder.com survey found that two out of five companies -- 37 percent -- comb through potential employees' social networks to see what they have been up to when they apply for a job.

READ: 7 Tips to Prevent Social Media From Ruining Your Career

Mark Bourne, the vice president and co-founder of Know It All Intelligence Group in Bensalem, Pa., which runs background checks on job applicants for other companies, said that the digital dirt they dig up could cost applicants the job. He said students especially, even high school students looking to get into college, need to be aware of how they present themselves online.

"[Employers] are looking to see how the applicant portrays themselves online, whether they are professional online, whether or not they are going to be a good fit for the company, and along the way, if there happens to be dirt, and then they will want to know," Bourne said.

He said he believes that many students don't understand the risks involved in posting videos of themselves partying on YouTube or posting photos of themselves drinking or doing drugs on Facebook.

"They haven't seen the repercussions yet of the missed job position or the missed entry into a college because of what they post online," Bourne said.

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