Most ppl are savvy enough to realise that you don’t put self-incriminating stuff on social media, but there’s still a lot of dross. Pics of people in their newest party dress. Tweets which are no more than niavely spreading some company’s marketing message for free. And just dross – dross that only your BFF will love, cos its either so meaningless beyond a tiny circle, or its just twaddle.
For better or worse, when its social media, you will be leaving an impression beyond your BFF. So you’ve got to turn that into an advantage rather than a threat. We’re not 16 any more and we are looking to establish our careers.
Not that you have to turn yourself into some self-marketing cypher. There’s also a lot of that around, particularly on Twitter. Everything’s great! I’m great! Got my cape and pyjamas on and I’m conquering the universe today!
When I read stuff like that I usually unfollow the culprit (after discreetly vomiting). Everything is complex, and acknowledging complexity is part of having gravitas.
I’m not saying you can’t have personality in social media. In fact, you should have. Who you are, what you’re about, your special interests. That’s how you get a following. I’m also not saying you have to be formal. Humour and informality work really well, particularly on Twitter.
Being professional on social media is about being a public personality. Thinking through the ramifications of the fact that you can’t control who reads your stuff. At the same time, not trying to hide behind ‘private’ settings. This is your life, guys. Don’t run away from it, develop it.
[A post for Networked Media at RMIT University; my image]