Watch Out For Your Anti-Social MediaPosted: 25th of May 2015 by
Social media is a great tool which you can use to connect with your friends, or even build a personal brand (see tomorrow’s blog!). However, it can also be a real problem if you don’t manage it properly. Whatever social media network you use, it is important to keep control of what you post – especially when you are looking for, or just starting, work, a new course, or an apprenticeship.
In the past you may have been pretty carefree when it came to what you posted to social media, whether it was pictures of you at a party, or even just comments you have made. However, you should be aware that potential employers, colleges, and other institutions do check what you put out there for the world to see.
Therefore it is always worth, firstly, making sure your posts are only available to be read by those who you trust and want to see them. With Facebook, for example, this can mean setting up your account up so that only friends and family can see what you post. This quick and easy action can cut down a lot of the trouble right away, but it is not really enough to make sure you are totally in the clear.
What if, for example, someone was to take a screen-shot of that picture that you thought only your closest friends could see? Maybe you fell out with someone and forgot to delete them from your friends list – what sort of damage could they do to your reputation simply by trawling through your social media posts?
Of course, not all social media is private, and it can be accessed by anyone – such as with Twitter. With the ease of posting using your mobile, it is tempting to keep putting out tweets throughout the day, but you really should stop before hitting that ‘Tweet’ button. What does your message say about you? Does it show that you are a popular life-and-soul-of-the-party person, or does it say that you maybe lose control when you drink too much and are therefore a little bit unreliable?
You need to think about how you could be perceived, and as a rule, if you wouldn’t want your boss, parents, teacher, or other authority figure to see it, you shouldn’t post it. Of course, we have all heard tales of criminals being tracked down after posting something to social media, but your posts needn’t be of a criminal nature to have a negative effect on your life or career.
Social media is still a relatively new phenomenon, and there are still many people who are coming to terms with how it works. But even if social media is like second nature to you, it can still be dangerous. In fact, if you get too at ease online, you can quickly find yourself posting something you may later regret! This problem is, of course, heightened by things like drinking too much alcohol!
Social media is all about perception, and so it is important to realise that you may accidentally give off the wrong impression – especially if the reader doesn’t quite understand your sense of humour, or see that you are being sarcastic.
All-in-all, you should enjoy using social media – but don’t let it ruin your opportunities! Watch what you say online, or it might just come back to bite you!
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