Social media-we hear this phrase often in school, work, and pop culture. What exactly does it mean? Most people immediately think of the usual suspects Facebook and Twitter, but this is hardly the full definition of the term “social media.” Social media can be used for good, for bad, for fun, and for business. As college students and growing adults in the work world, when and how can we properly use social media?
We all know the drill. You’re sitting in class or you’re sitting at work and suddenly the lecture or meeting becomes extremely boring so you go ahead and decide to check Twitter, or maybe even tweet about how boring that class or meeting is. Perhaps it’s a Monday morning and you’re sifting through your photos from the weekend, and decide to go ahead and post them- as flattering or as unflattering as they may be.
While all these things are certainly tasks to keep us busy and things to keep others entertained with, checking, posting, liking, swiping, pinning, or you name it may not always be the smartest or most career-savvy move. Since we are college students, hoping to move into the working world after graduation, it is important to remember that we should use our best judgment.
Think about it this way: if you were a boss or supervisor coming around checking on your employees and you see one of them sitting in their office being unproductive and checking their newsfeed, what would you think of this employee? You would see that they are not valuing their time at work and that they are re-directing their energy elsewhere. In another example, what if you and your boss were Facebook friends and s/he happened to see those not so flattering pictures of you and your friends out the weekend before? That’s probably not the image your boss would want representing the company you work for.
I myself use social media everyday and I know first hand it certainly is not easy to always be consciously thinking “Is this appropriate to share? Do I really care who sees it?” The good news is that in the work world, there for sure is one source of social media that is completely acceptable to be used during and outside of work:
LinkedIn! LinkedIn is the professional social media site of the business world, it si Facebook with a suit. It is a networking site that allows you to upload your resume, connect with other professionals, and discover the latest news and professional ventures! LinkedIn is definitely something that employers love to see being constantly updated, and being used to help promote your career!
So, in this crazy busy world where everyone wants to know where you are and how you feel about that donut you just bought from the coffee shop down the street, just remember that there is a time and place for everything. Maybe someone is looking to hire at that coffee shop and is interested in you!
On the flipside of the computer screen,