Social Media: A Little Professional Restraint Please
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fairly prolific social media user. I cannot remember a day (certainly in the past few years) when I have not posted, commented, liked or shared something via social media. I’m guessing you are probably the same.
For me, social media is so much more than an environment where I can stay connected with my friends and family. It’s my place of employment. Social media feeds my kids and keeps a roof over my head. It is for this reason, I consider every single action I make via social media before I hit the “post”, “tweet”, “like” or “share” button”.
You might think your social media life and your professional life are entirely separate entities – you’d be wrong.
In an age when the lines between personal and corporate brands are more than blurred (they are completely entwined), it’s more important than ever to have a little self-restraint. Your social media activity is a reflection of your entire persona and, in many cases, the organization you work for. People will judge you on your social media output. If you wouldn’t be comfortable saying something in front of your mother, your colleagues, your manager or your customers – why would you say it via social media?
An ill-considered post via a social network can wide ranging implications that go far beyond your friends and family (or fans and followers as they are now called). Just ask the British politician, Emily Thornberry, if she regrets her recent ill-considered tweet from the streets of Rochester and then consider what you might do or say on social media that could damage your reputation and perhaps ruin your professional life.
If you are in any way connected to a client, a colleague or a manager via social media (and remember on social media the rules of six degrees of separation are somewhat supercharged), your posts can very easily find an unintended audience.
I’m not suggesting for a minute you censor your posts. We are all individuals with individual passions and tastes and most people will respect this. While there is still a place on social media for those dinner party no-go areas (religion, politics and sport), as a rule, I like to keep things positive and leave any negativity offline.
Photo credit: Soumyadeep Paul
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