With social media growing at the fastest rate it ever has in history, we all know how powerful it can become for us all daily. From being able to communicate with pretty much anyone in the world at any place in the world, to even being able to get grocery shopping done from your couch and laptop, the internet has changed the game for society as a whole.
But, we must always remember how important it is to watch what you post online.
About a week or two ago, I shared with you all a post on The Subtle Art of Avoiding Toxic People While Online. I received some very good feedback on the topic at hand, in which I am happy that I was able to help some of you out a little while being virtually active with one another daily on each social media networking site. Today’s topic is very similar but the roles have switched. Inspired by Horkey HandBook’s newest post Is Your Social Media Persona Costing You Clients, I wanted to touch basis on how you and your own posts could negatively affect your presence while being online with social media sites.
It should go without saying that what you post online, stays online. Most believe that if they go back and delete certain posts or comments on social media that it just eliminates what they have said for good and forever, BUT that is never the case. Anything that is published can and will always be found on the internet in some way, shape or form. It doesn’t matter if you try to wipe everything clean from the inside out, in some way it will and can be found again. This is especially important f you are seeking employment of any type, especially public relations positions, social media positions, virtual assistant positions and prefect much anything where you are in fact using the internet to work or sell a product. Your social media accounts could in fact cost you that dream job you always wanted if you are not careful.
For us artists, this is extremely important when trying to attract new clientele to create for, and also when we are trying to keep consistent clientele as well. Potential clients often use our own social media pages as references when deciding on who they want to work with when building their brand. So if you have a lot of negative posts all over your pages, you may want to go in and do a post cleaning sweep and get rid of them from being seen by the public eye. A negative online presence will in fact scare away potential profits because lets face it, who really wants to work with someone who is always negative or always spreading negativity online. Your negative presence online can and will in fact hurt your client’s businesses and services if they end up referencing you over to other business owners they may know who need new design work done.
- Google Your Name: Most would be surprised at what they may find online when searching their own name. I remember doing this during the Myspace era years ago and found 15 different Myspace pages that I had not created myself using my pictures, name, graphics and some had even added my real friends from reality seriously posing as myself. I was never able to get them taken down, even though I had expressed to the owners of Myspace that these were not in fact me by reporting the pages and even emailing the owners myself. You, yourself may be surprised at how far back one name google search can go. This is a prime example that the cyber world is forever, nothing is erased once posted.
- Limit Posting Your Fun Times Online: You don’t have to post every picture you take or every video you record while having fun with your friends or family. New social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat have made this hard though. They tempt you to share everything with the world in hopes of getting the most likes or views for your posts, in which often times the negative and degrading posts do end up with the most interactions, but don’t fall for the hype. One million likes on that one picture of you bending over to show your curves, or that picture of you holding 200 one dollar bills to your ear will not pay your bills, nor will it bring in the right clientele for your business. It is not worth it. In fact, there have been court cases where certain posts on the growing site Snapchat have landed some in jail for years simply because everyone believes that after a day or so these videos just disappear forever, when in fact they do not. Snapchat actually owns every video you post through their site. That is right. Even though you have your own page on it, they own everything you have decided to post on it through Snapchat. This means that all of your past videos have been stored on a separate server by the site so they never go away in reality, just virtually. Those sexy pictures you took in your new bathing suit, or just from you simply bending over to show off your curves, can in fact cost you in the long run. Too much sexual content will easily and quickly drive sales away, right along with bringing the wrong impression of yourself to others following you and watching what you’ve posted.
- Using Social Media As a Big Diary: This is one thing I found myself struggling with when I first came across the social media site Twitter. It was so easy for me to tweet how I felt about certain things with no filter or censors within 140 characters or less that I sometimes forgot that everything does not need to be shared with the world to see. Some even go so far as to treat their pages like virtual diaries which is terrible for anyone who is a business owner. This has come back to bite me in life and will probably come back around again in the future. Yes, I know that is bad to say but I can only take accountability for my own actions and try to stop anyone else from making the same mistakes I have made in the past. My advice to anyone with this problem of airing dirty laundry as a release for the world to see and be entertained off of, would be to literally stop doing it, get up and go purchase or even create your very own hand held, physical diary to write in everyday. You could use every urge you have of posting your business online as a journal time everyday. Small pocket journals or diaries are great for this as they can be portable for when you are away from home.
- Don’t Get In Arguments Online: Being in the middle of constant arguments online could heavily affect your business. This could show employers or potential clients that you are not easy to get along with, you have a bad attitude, or you are a trouble maker for others. Now this does not mean that you allow others to run over you while online, by all means you do have the right to defend yourself if needed or if attacked virtually but the best way to do this is by simply ignoring them. I know this hard for some especially if you are vocal about topics that most don’t agree with, or if you have a lot of pride when dealing with certain situations. But most of the time ignoring is the best solution. Most online arguments begin from people whom you do not know personally or have never met physically. Why? Because they do not know you personally and have never met you physically. For some reason, the computer screen and the keyboard brings out a lot of courage for some that would not dream of approaching others the way they do in person so don’t take it personal, and don’t give them the negative attention they are looking for. Just simply block and ignore to keep your page clean and positive.
- Adopt a Think Before You Post Mindset: Sometimes, we can prevent unnecessary problems and disruptions in life by simply thinking before speaking. Before hitting that “post” button after writing a whole paragraph about something that has upset you while online, just think if I was standing front of a potential employer, is this something they would approve of me saying in person? Will this be something acceptable for me to discuss in front of family members? Is this appropriate for my own children to read or view while online? These are questions that I always ask myself before making any posts for the public eye to see.
Click to Tweet: What you post online, is really what you are thinking in real life, so your posts are a symbol of your true thoughts. via @deluxds #DE
If something is bothering you that much that you are tempted to post something about it, just get in contact with the person whom is causing you harm, or try to fix whatever problem you may have with something that is bothering you in reality instead of virtually. Most of the time, you complaining or expressing your anger or dislike of something or someone through the computer will not fix anything. Posting won’t fix the problem. Being negative online towards others won’t fix the problem, it just makes you look bitter and angry all the time. I know some say well this is just Twitter, this is just Instagram, this is just Snapchat, this is just Facebook, but if it was just a social media site, businesses would not use it to profile you upfront. What you post online, is really what you are thinking in real life, so your posts are a symbol of your true thoughts. What you post DOES matter and does make a difference in not only your life but everyone’s lives who are around you and associate themselves with you as well.
Lets all change for the better and make the internet a happier place to be apart of from this point forward. Happy Blogging everyone and thanks for reading!