By: Matt Rowles
MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. have all become staples of online users of almost any age. They have given people the ability to be their own writers and publishers, with a seemingly endless audience. They have enabled us to create vast network of friends, colleagues and potential employers. They open doors and create connections that would have never been possible in the past. They are a great resource for the job seeker and the employed professional alike. However, for every great aspect that social media has provided us, it can be equally damaging!
I know it may seem odd that your beloved Facebook or MySpace could ever do you wrong, but it is true. Don’t believe me? Here are thirteen people that probably wish they would have used Facebook differently. The fact of the matter is, you need to be very careful what, when, where and why you are posting on these sites. Like I had mentioned previously, you are now your own publisher to an infinite audience. What you write has consequences!
Now, I am not suggesting that you immediately delete your social media accounts or become a technological recluse. These tools can be very helpful and I recommend that you use them to their full potential. But, just remember, these sites are increasing in popularity. With more users, they are starting to replace the traditional first impression and it is very hard to limit who is able to view this information. Your profile picture, your status updates, your friend’s posts, etc. are all tell-tale signs of who you are personally and potentially who you would be professionally. Make sure that you are portraying yourself in the same light you would want to if meeting in person. Keep things tasteful. Delete inappropriate posts from your site (don’t worry if this offends friends, I’m sure they will get over it).
In the end, remember that social media sites are a great resource and an excellent way to stay in touch with friends, colleagues and potential employers. But, your intended audience is not always your only audience.