Social media is a great tool, one that I love dearly. Who doesn’t, right?
It’s great to be able to catch up with old high school friends on Facebook. It’s great to see the constant flow of information on Twitter. It’s even great to see all of the amazing pictures people share on Pinterest.
While there’s a good side to social media, there’s also a dark side many people get caught up in.
The Dark Side of Social Media
By using social media in the wrong way, you can begin to destroy your influence. Amazingly, many people forget that social media is a very public form of communication.
Your employers can see what you post on social media. Your employees can see what you post on social media. Your friends and family can see what you post on social media.
What you post on Facebook, Twitter and other mediums quickly becomes available for public consumption. Even if you have your profile set to private.
The news has picked up on quite a few stories regarding work and social media.
People fired before they’ve started a job because of a post they’ve made on Facebook. A waitress was fired for making a disparaging remark on Facebook about a diner who left a bad tip. A college lecturer was canned after posting a video on YouTube berating a Chick-Fil-A employee.
Your actions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ are being watched. And they can lead to destroying your career and influence.
To avoid the dark side of social media, avoid these types of posts:
—Criticizing your boss or place of employment
—Posting videos or status updates about illegal activities you participated in
—Sharing pictures of an out-of-control party you attended
—Creating posts to instigate conflicts
Issues happen when you claim to be one thing and show a different side of yourself on social media. Organizations realize you may not be as forthcoming in an interview or in the workplace as your are on social media.
Be careful what you post.
The Light Side of Social Media
While there are dark sides to social media, there are also some extreme benefits you can get from it. We’ll call this the light side of social media.
This is why I really love social media. There’s so much good that can come from it.
You can be on the light side of social media by:
—Sharing the highs (and lows) of your life
—Connecting and engaging with people you’d like to meet
—Providing helpful content to those you’re friends with
—Creating a video showing a useful skill and how others can do it
Social media is neither good nor bad. It’s how you use it.
Will you use social media to destroy your influence or will you use social media to build up your influence?
The choice is up to you.