#Riverton. Since that fateful day when once again flames engulfed the Riverton Dump the usually robust Jamaican social media space was once again a buzz with over 17,000 tweets going out between March 10th and April 5th 2015 (stats courtesy of Topsy Analytics). Thousands of tweets and posts displaying an array of the emotions of the public spewed forth condemning all and sundry and the Twitter-verse was in a tizzy. Then came the announcement of Obama’s visit and BOOM! the local internet scene exploded.
From hilarious videos, to online “polls” and memes the Jamaican social public let loose. But as I scrolled through my timeline and I tittered along to some of the more funny posts about the visit and the preparation activities I could not ignore the darker under belly of some of the posts that got me thinking, do these people think before they post?
I get it. Social media exists for you to get your thoughts and feelings out to the world and we are a generation that more freely filter our pictures than our words but we must also remember that we do not live in a vacuum. Here are some truths you should consider before you post:
There is no such thing as “personal” in social media.
Yes, I said it. I’ve heard a lot of people fall back on the perfunctory “But this is my personal account” but I am sad to inform you that there really is no such thing as private when in a public domain. Your posts can and will be used against you if needs be. Take that as you will. Better safe than sorry I’d like to think.
- Information spreads
No matter how private that tweet or locked up that Facebook account is your last post can spread and spread fast. The back lash can be equally as harsh with worst case scenarios being a serious blow to your reputation or even your job. Though someone losing their job locally due to a poor online decision has yet to publicly surface we can look to cases like Justine Sacco (google her case) for how one innocent update can ruin a life in an instant.
Want an example closer to home? Analyze the case of Chronixx and the post seen all around the world. Though he has a right to an opinion and may have a very potent point, the way he went about it and the words used were just, well….tactless. What the real meaning behind his words are, we may never fully understand (i have heard varying view points on what people THINK he was saying) but the sad fact is he can never take it back (whether he wants to or not) and this IS impacting his reputation and the respect people have for him as you read this.
- You are your reputation
In your head you’ve probably just said “Pssh, who am I? Who cares what I say?” The answer to that is simply that quite a few people do. Regardless of who you are and what you do every public utterance is a reflection of who you are and can impact everything from your employability or even your relationship building as an entrepreneur (more on these in another post). Updates are forever and simply going back and deleting a post here or there may be too late. Are your future ambitions worth a couple likes or retweets? Maybe not.
By all means though if this adds to the image you want to build for yourself then go for it. Just remember your reputation precedes you in every way.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love a funny meme here and social media is a great tool to get all your kicks if used well. Just don’t get so caught up in your timeline that you forget the real world.
Practice #SmartSocialMedia why don’t you?
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