November 29, 2022

Maintaining the authenticity of social media

By Amanda Lam (@amandaaalam)

Social media has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It started off in middle school when I joined MySpace behind my parent’s backs and then in 2009 when I made my Facebook profile. It’s funny because when I joined the world of social media, I didn’t see it as a way to network or keep up with my family members. I certainly did not know that social media would be a career path that I would one day want to follow. Less than 10 years ago, social media manager jobs didn’t even exist!

Nowadays, almost every business has an online presence! A family friend of mine lives in Australia and relies on his website and social media pages for sales. He isn’t too great with technology so got in touch with a digital marketing company to help him out. He often says “thank goodness I found a Digital Agency near me to sort things out!”. It really is incredible how businesses can use social media to their advantage! Consistently posting relevant and engaging content is quite important in social media business marketing strategy. Digital marketing agencies and other online marketing service providers make use of social media scheduling software and tools to effortlessly plan and post on their client’s pages.

Being a Millennial

I love being a millennial because we are the generation that gets to grow up with social media. We are the generation that has a leg up in the working world when it comes to social media. In just a few years, this won’t be the case anymore, because social media will be completely ingrained in our lives and our society.

In class this week, we discussed social media ethics and authenticity. This conversation really got me thinking about how much social media has changed since I joined and how different the next generation’s experience with social media will be.

Social Media Etiquette is Important!

Today, social media etiquette has become rather normalized in schools, especially in higher education. As students, we are told to maintain a clean social media profile because future employers will check. We also hear horror stories of people getting fired from their jobs because of their careless social media mistakes. However, we still see our friends posting photos of questionable activities from their weekend on Instagram and tasteless tweets on Twitter.

In my opinion, personal social media use and professional profiles have a very blurred line. As we all know, anything that is on the worldwide web is pretty easily accessible. You can designate your personal content for Facebook and Instagram, and use Twitter and LinkedIn for professional purposes, but everything published online is out there for all to see.

Finding Your Voice

I think that most people understand that “you are what you tweet,” but it concerns me because I feel that students and young professionals are censoring themselves online too often. Obviously, there are many things that you simply shouldn’t post online, but it’s gotten to the point where I personally don’t post about my opinions for the fear of it being used against me in the future. I rarely repost political or overly opinionated content anymore, and sometimes I don’t even favorite a tweet because I know that these actions are visible to the public.

“In my honest opinion”

Although social media etiquette is crucial, it is also important to not silence ourselves. Social media is unique because it gives you a platform to share your life, and also your opinion. Our voices are what make our social profiles authentic and valuable.

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4 thoughts on “Maintaining the authenticity of social media

  1. It can be such a challenge for people to share opinions on issues that they feel strongly about while trying to avoid the social media war zone on politics and controversial issues. No matter which side you take, someone is going to be offended or upset and make assumptions about you based on your views. I think people should stand up for what they believe but must do so in a way that doesn’t alienate others with differing opinions.

    I also agree with your point that we tend to designate LinkedIn and sometimes Twitter as our professional social media profiles and then are careless with what we post to Facebook and Instagram. Potential employers are not just looking for how we present ourselves professionally but also to our friends and the public. All in all, great post!

  2. Thanks for sharing this article, Amanda. I find it very relatable in my current struggles with social media. As I inch my way toward the finish line of the end of junior year, I am constantly reminded to maintain a professional and clean social media profile to get a job out of college and utilize my skill set. However, I have been so caught up lately with my social media and influencers to expand my network that I can’t find my friends—my network of people that I used to only interact with.

    I used to use social media to talk to my friends and engage with people online. To a great extent, I still do. I rarely use Twitter for personal use now do not deny that I censor everything that I publish. I was extremely uncomfortable and shocked from some of the content that surfaced on my Facebook feed during the election. Honestly, it scared me into rarely posting anything that includes my opinion at all.

    I hope that the use of social media for business purposes doesn’t take over the entire usage of social media and that we all are able to find a balance during the coming changes in the industry.

  3. Amanda,
    This is a great blog post with a list of solid points on what to watch out for when using social media. The line that really stood out to me was “you are what you tweet.” Like you, when I first started using social media I had no idea of the power and influence it would hold in the future. I have posted some questionable content to all of my platforms, but in my defense, I wasn’t thinking about my future career. Should users have to go back on their timelines and delete every post that wasn’t well-thought out? I think that once someone gets to a certain age they should start thinking before they tweet but it is okay to have fun with each platform with little backlash.

    -Jenny Kinsman

  4. I love this post Amanda! With the way social media runs our lives, it is so important to make sure we watch what we post. Almost all my teachers always warn me that we have to be careful what we post because our future bosses will be able to see everything we post. It is very easy to get fired from a job because of our social media content. And very understandable as well. I think that it is a great idea to go back through your past and make a clear slate so in the future, you are keeping everyone in mind who is looking through your posts.

    – Sarah Johnson

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