Social media is a communications channel and a means to build relationships. Gone are the days when there was a solid line dividing your personal and professional life. Social media blurred the line, and now it’s fairly common for family, friends, co-workers, subordinates, and superiors to coexist in one’s social media world. But is this smart?
Revealing too Much
One of the hardest things about social media is figuring out how much personal information to share. Your social media identity is an extension of your off-line brand, so if you over-share, you run the risk of being perceived as irritating and unappealing. You can also compromise your safety by telling your circle that you’re out of town, and therefore, that your home is empty. You may also be caught in a little white lie if, for example, you called in sick to work, and the next day your boss sees photos from the beach excursion you enjoyed instead.
Yes, you can delete a status update or post, but with the huge popularity of social media, search engines catalog everything almost instantly. If you post something and want to take it back even 30 seconds later because you’re worried about your professional reputation, it may just come back to haunt you. Think twice before you post.
Complaining About Your Job
Even if you’re careful about who you friend on Facebook, or you think you’ve mastered the art of blocking certain status updates from particular friends and lists, it’s just not smart to complain on social media about your job. Twitter is public and Facebook changes privacy setting so often that you risk the information getting to the exact person that you don’t want to see it.
You Could Get Fired
Consider what happened to a waitress in North Carolina who complained about a tip she received. Despite the fact that she thought her updates were private, her boss saw the post and fired her. Most people are At Will employees who can be fired at any time for any reason, so don’t provide any ammunition.
Image Credit: Microsoft