Do your posts, tweets and pics on social media define who you are?
Who would have thought 20 years ago there would come a time and place where you could write whatever was on your mind, attach photos to give you a visual of the moment and record a video to take you along on the journey? Who would have thought employers, clients, family and friends would have this information at their fingertips and use it to disqualify you for a job, take your thoughts personal, judge your content or find out about the death of a loved one? Who knew? I’ll tell you who knew; Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook; Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams founders of Twitter; Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger founders of Instagram. All of these brilliant minds knew there would be a time when we could be social without ever leaving home.
The advantage of being able to post your intimate thoughts and share pics for your family and friends to enjoy as much as you do, is that we’re able to share all this with the masses from multiple devices with the click of a button. However, the challenge becomes we are living our lives in public without being seen in person. Writing words for others to read is like listening to jazz. You can put your own story to the music just as you can put your own tone to someone’s words. When you post about your challenging day at work, your employer might assume you are complaining about your job. When you tweet about your friend’s behavior when hanging out, it’s now personal and your long-term friendship just ended…online. When you and your boo take a pic at that event and the pic is seen by the other boo, the fight goes down in public. And when you find out your favorite uncle passed away on social media because no one had your new number, that’s a problem!
On the flip side, social media is informational and inspirational. We can connect with our favorite celebrities and high school sweethearts. We can get recipes and fashion trends; we are current on events, shows, concerts and community affairs all through social media. The great thing is we all have the option of how we want social media to work for us. So don’t judge those who use it differently than you.
So to the employer who read your post about your bad day at work, we ALL have them and there’s only a few ways in this world to express yourself and one way is to write it down. Everybody can’t handle the verbal face-to-face. To those who end friendships and relationships online, really weren’t friends and mates from the beginning. Genuine friendships and relationships are built online and they don’t end online. Pictures say a thousand words and they don’t lie! Always act like a lady or gentlemen in public because the paparazzi is everywhere.
In other words, it’s ok to use social media as a venue to express yourself or tell your story because sometimes you need to get it off of you and into the atmosphere. If you choose to pick it up, then don’t judge me for putting it out there, blame yourself for picking it up! And before you judge others remember, just because you don’t post it doesn’t mean you aren’t living it! Some people want you to know, what you see is what you get.
While social media as we know it today has its advantages and disadvantages, one thing for sure, it is here to stay! But it does not define us it only allows us the freedom to express our thoughts, feelings, concerns, opinions and suggestions in a world where it is sometimes prohibited to say it out loud! Just because you can’t say what you want to say in certain places amongst certain people, doesn’t mean you can’t say it at all!
The Church Lady
Written by: Kay K. Bellamy