Using social media for personal reasons is wonderful as long as we understand that complete strangers may have access to the information and pictures we are posting.
As part of a class project in my Communication Digital Media class, I worked with another student to search for everything we could find about each other in the virtual universe.
Social media and Google are often the first tools I use when searching for more information about someone. Even potential employers are snooping around applicants’ social media accounts.
The idea of what could be out there is often enough to caution me every time I want to post something that may not carry the same meaning with someone else. I will be sharing some of my partners’ observations and some of my own personal ideas about how and why I have used social media.
I am still working on mastering everything Facebook has to offer. Privacy is important to me and I have made use of the existing privacy settings available to Facebook users. As a professional person I have needed to maintain a clear line between my personal space with friends and family and my public space with acquaintances, clients and the general public.
My class partner observed that I have been regularly updating information on LinkedIn and staying up to date with my profile content.
I had previously been using LinkedIn as an online resume. Recently I have transitioned into using it as another way to share information about causes that I care about. After “liking” a post by CUPanion, someone from the company contacted me to see if I had any questions about their products or would like to receive more information. I was really surprised by this direct contact and impressed that they were watching their social media account so closely.
My class partner discovered that I have been blogging for a while and have been sharing content about a variety of topics. This is also where she discovered information about my published book with a link directing her to Amazon for more information.
My personal blog has been a place where I share information about organizations I belong to, stories about interesting people I have met, and causes that I strongly believe in. This website also provides a balanced place for professionals, friends and acquaintances to stay up to date on what I am working on and also what we may have in common. I also use my website as a virtual portfolio for potential job interviews and career opportunities.
Keeping it all Balanced
Having so many social media options available can be overwhelming. I have chosen to use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and stay up to date with area organizations and events. I use Twitter to stay in informed about my business interests, networking with fellow authors, and learning about international causes. LinkedIn has been a very useful business tool enabling me to meet new people and research area business leaders. Creating my website with WordPress has been a dream because of its user friendly interface. And I love how well it works with Google Analytics.
A few of the opportunities social media provides that I appreciate most include: being able to share data, connect with interesting groups, and conduct business.