Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Social media is a great resource – it’s a way to connect with friends, learn the latest updates on topics, and find out what’s trending across the globe.  There’s almost an endless amount of opportunities that the various social media outlets provide.   Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, you essentially have the world at your fingertips!

Social media is also a great way to further create your personal brand.  What you post on Facebook, tweet out, pin on Pinterest, or add to Instagram is one of many ways of providing insight to the world about who you are and where your interests lie. 

Posting about sports teams you are passionate about, hobbies that you enjoy, quotes you find inspiring, and school or work topics of interest all can show the world who you are and what you are all about in positive ways. 

However, if you post statements or on topics that could be seen as controversial or place a negative light on you, it could cause some to question your character, integrity and overall who you are.  For example, posting wild party pictures, profanity, or statements that portray a less than desirable work ethic (“I’ve been fired again – it’s so unfair!”) can do just that.

In short, there’s a lot of power that lies within social media but that power can go both ways.  It can be a way to create a strong personal brand or create a path that is sprinkled with questionable activities that chip away at your reputation.  While it’s easy to post on social media sites without a second thought, always remember that it can have an impact, one way or another, on you down the line.

Here’s a few recommendations and reminders when it comes to social media:

  • If you put something on social media, consider it there forever.  Even if you delete it.  Someone may have reposted it, retweeted it, or seen it before you deleted it.  A good strategy to employ:  Pause before you post, especially if you are in the midst of a hot button conversation or in an emotional state.
  • If you post something, remember: It can be seen by anyone.  And everyone.  It’s possible that your professors may see it, your parents, your professional network, or your potential employers.  Today, tomorrow, or sometime down the line.  Before you post, ask yourself, “Does this post negatively affect my personal brand in any way?”
  • Use social media to your advantage.  Through your social media activity, show that you are ambitious, career-oriented, and have a strong work ethic.  All of these types of posts seen by a professor or potential employer will boost your reputation in their mind.

Social media is an amazing tool but it also can be a double-edged sword.  Before you post something to the world, make sure you are okay with the world, including everyone in your network, seeing it.  Its power can go both ways – use it to your advantage and you are golden!

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15 thoughts on “Social Media: Friend or Foe?

  1. I agree with this post so much; I personally love social media! I think it gets such a bad reputation in the press as people only seem to equate it to being false over on instagram, but as you say it is a powerful tool, one that aids discussion with people who otherwise might never have made contact wiht you or your brand. It is certainly important to be mindful that your boss might see anything you put into the world! great post 🙂

  2. Such a brilliant blog Lisa! Thanks for sharing such great tips about managing social media! I do however think it’s healthy to set limits on the time that we’re spending on social media to make sure it’s not taking over our lives.

    1. Thank you Emily! I completely agree – face to face contact is ideal and should definitely not be replaced solely by social media. Each serves a unique purposes – everything in moderation. 🙂

  3. Yes I completely agree! Very helpful post- pause before you post. Definitely something I try to live by.

    1. You are exactly right! Right or wrong, I’ve even heard some companies ask for your passwords to your social media so even if you keep things “private” it may not be private.

  4. Great post! I see it as both- an amazing way to meet new people and stay connected, and also a danger to people’s mental health. It definitely needs to be used with caution.

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