Will Social Media Make or Break You

Social media has become such a powerful medium to share information quickly and vastly that it can greatly impact your professional and personal reputation in an instant.

Your actions on social media are a reflection of your personal brand. It’s important to consider the implications of what you are posting because as soon as you hit enter you can’t take it back.  Sharing pictures of memorable events is very common but they are each worth a thousand words as they say. Consider how they impact the image that you are portraying to friends and family and maybe more importantly to potential employers and associates. Pictures should not include alcoholic beverages and should depict events that you would be proud to show anyone (even your mother).

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The same is true of everything that you write on social media. The rule of thumb should always be to read it twice and edit before hitting post.  Think of what others who may not be aware of the circumstances surrounding your post may think and remember that they can not see the expression on your face or hear the intonation of your voice as they are reading your words. According to a Career Builder 2017 survey, 70% of employers are screening candidates through social media before deciding to hire them. Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates at All-Time High, Finds Latest CareerBuilder Study. They are looking for information that supports the claims made on the applicants resume, their professionalism, what others are saying about them as well as any red flags. If their social media accounts create an image of a person who does not demonstrate the company’s values, they won’t move forward with that person.

Whether its pictures of a crazy weekend with drunken friends, personal opinions about others or political rants no matter how regretful you are about having made the post, they can’t be deleted. These types of posts can ruin your reputation and potentially your career. There have been many instances where people have lost their jobs because of a picture or a statement that they posted. Most recently, Roseanne Barr not only lost her job but also the jobs of all the cast and crew on the Roseanne sitcom because of the racist tweet that she made about someone. Within hours of her post, ABC had cancelled her show and her reputation for being impetuous and provocative among other things was sealed.

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Resources:

How Social Media Affects Your Personal Brand, Gisel Malek

Social media: It Will Make or Break You, Aaron Fields

Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates at All-Time High, Finds Latest CareerBuilder Study, Cision PR Newswire

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Social Media Making Us Less Social?

With all of the tools that we have to connect with friends and family today, is our society becoming less social?

When I took the bus to go to school many years ago, I often struck up a conversation with the person next to me and shared thoughts and experiences. I talked to the people around me when I got to school and at the end of the day, I made plans with my friends or spent hours talking on the phone with some of them. Today, when I get up in the morning to get ready for work, I shower, get dressed and then check Facebook to see what any of my friends have posted while my coffee is brewing. While I wait for my bus and during my ride, like everyone else, I stare at my phone. I learn about what is going on in the lives of my connections and give my opinion on some of it. But is that being social?

 

When I go to the coffee shop during my break, many people are sitting together but they are scrolling through posts or thumb typing to someone else. Is this the new art of conversation? Could we be missing out on something if it is? Person takes a picture of their brunch on their smartphone“87 percent of millennials admitted to missing out on a conversation because they were distracted by their phone. Meanwhile, 54 percent said they experience a fear of missing out if not checking social networks.” Social Media Making Mellenials Less Social: Study, Uptin Saiidi, CNBC.

 

 

The definition of being social according to the Cambridge dictionary is “relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people.” Social media doesn’t help with that at all unless it is being used to plan for those activities or invite others. In doing research for this blog post, I found several articles that stated that while the use of social media is increasing, most extroverts do not go out with others (socialize) less because of it. However, it also doesn’t help those less comfortable in groups to improve those skills. Anxiety is one of the most reported psychological disabilities in young adults today and the numbers are increasing. “Social media may allow those with social anxiety to facilitate avoidant coping strategies and increase social isolation.”  http://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2018/02/07/are-we-really-socializing/comment-page-1/ It’s so important to be pushed out of your comfort zone and realize that you can still make your point and be listened to.

I think that social media is a great tool  for keeping up to date with friends and whatever else is most important to us but it can never replace the value of face-to-face interactions. Learning to be able to think on your feet, look at people directly and calmly make a point is not easy. It’s a skill learned through practicing and while social media may be a great tool for so many things, it may also cost us in the art of socializing. Hopefully a happy medium can be found!

Facebook:

Twitter:

  • #Sociable
  • #Conversation

 

Resources:

  • Is social media ruining your social life? – Medical News Today by Ana Sandoiu
  • Social Media: Are we really socializing? Psych424, Penn State
  • Is social media making you unsociable? by Sam Adams
  • Social media making mellennials less social: Study, by Uptin Saiidi, CNBC

Blog 2: Job Seeking In The Digital Era

A couple years ago I was laid off from a company where I had worked for over 15 years. I started looking for work and quickly realized that things were very different from a decade and a half ago. Everything is done online now, from writing your resume to searching for new opportunities.

While the last time I did this, I went to an agency in my best suit with my resume in hand, this time, I found an agency (several actually) online and visited their jobs pages with my feet up on the couch. Searching form the comfort of my living room is much less daunting than going to an office and waiting your turn among others who are probably in the same boat as you. You’re in privacy of your own home feeling a lot more relaxed.

The game has changed though, the online world is different. You still need a strong resume but you can get a lot of help refreshing your existing one with different online applications including LinkedIn. Additionally, since the majority of companies are now reviewing the social media accounts of prospects before hiring them,  what you post has become very important. Your profile must demonstrate your ability to do the job that you are going after. I don’t just mean that your online resume needs to have digital marketing written down if that’s the direction you are going in, your online activity also needs to support that. Any comments that you made when you were feeling particularly confident may put you in the lead … or not. Rosemary Haefner, the chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder said: “Tools such as Facebook and Twitter enable employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter.”

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While networking was also important 15 years ago, I think that it’s a much stronger tool now because with social media, you can not only find old contacts, you can reach out to those near and far within seconds! You can also connect with people at the companies you would like to work for with LinkedIn by selecting specific filters within your search request. With social media, our reach is so much further, why not take advantage of it?

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It’s a competitive world out there! It’s not just about having a well written resume and strong references anymore. It’s important to be aware of the tools at our disposal to be successful.

Twitter: #Job Seeking in the digital era

Facebook: Newest job seeking tools https://bit.ly/2xiB8u9

Sources:

 

 

The Need To Post

As I login to one of the many social media applications that have become so popular, I wonder why people seem to have such a need to post. We become a society that must share everything from how someone in another car just cut us off on the way to work to the map of the 5 km run that I completed this morning. Before social media applications like Facebook did we call our friends to share all of this or is there now a need for validation that is associated with posting the smallest details  of our day? ” In a single minute, we send out 277,000 tweets; share 2,460,000 pieces of content on Facebook; post 216,000 new photos on Instagram; and upload 72 hours of new video on YouTube.” The Psychology Behind Why We Share on Social Media by   | 

It seems that the norm has become to post the majority of our thoughts on social media. For many this means the list the details of the workout you just completed and pictures of you in front of the mirror not noticing that you are taking your picture. “We’re living in an era where humans are putting forth these edited and inflated versions of their lives, this ‘idealized self,’ and then they are, quite literally, falling in love with themselves.” Elias Aboujaoude M.D. clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford University. Has the onset of social media made us so self absorbed or have we always been this way?

But that’s the protagonist in me. We also post to social media to build and maintain our social relationships. People have become so busy with work, family and taking courses on the side that sharing a comment or picture for friends to see is often the easiest way to stay in touch. I also love being reminded of different occasions through picture memories that pop-up on Facebook. My parents used to pull out picture albums or host slide shows for family and friends now, we share memories with the help of social media.

Social media is also a great tool for finding others with similar interests. Whether it’s a group of quilters or physicists studying dark matter by posting their thoughts on their favorite subject and completing online searches, they will find each other. One of the most important reasons people share on social media according to the New York Times Consumer Insight Group, is to inform other people about their interests and subjects that they find important. https://www.avidian.com/blog/social-media-and-psychology-why-do-people-share.

I think that each of us who post and share do it for each of these reasons. While we may want to self-validate by posting a great picture of an important event, we also want to maintain our relationships with others and share the events and thoughts that are important to us. Do you agree? I’d love to know what you think!