Written by: Avery Sanford
With social media at our fingertips, it’s become overly easy to overshare our lives with no edit or real thought.
Social media for society today has become a way to express ourselves and receive validation in doing so. But with the excess need to post everything on social platforms for all to see, there’s little to no room for error. Once something is out on the internet it will always be there.
So, does posting our lives for all to see and be a part of help or harm us?
Celebrities and those of high status are great examples of how social media harms reputations and personal images. Within the past year, Donald Trump was kicked off of Twitter for his tweets that pointed towards the encouragement of violence. The social platform said in a statement their reasoning for suspending his account was “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”. Although the former President’s words online have not been taken kindly during his time in office, his status remains the same in regards to his assets and power as an executive.
Still maintaining his high-profile, Trump’s brand image of himself as being negative and inciting violence will forever hold a place to the public’s eye, even without his prior actions during his term in office. This acts as an example that once something is out there, it remains to your name, your image.
But when does it help?
Social media is an active tool that has allowed for the world’s population to network with others without the need for in-person contact. Connecting with others and building relationships are now able to be done through simple photos, comments and likes. Utilizing social platforms like LinkedIn to share our interests and build mutually beneficial relationships to further our careers is a prime example of how social media benefits our reputations. Posting and reacting to content on sites as such relays our interests in serving the community, being active in social issues and wanting to make a positive change in society. Justin Bieber took matters into his own hands when re recognized his mental health was overtaking how he presented himself to the public through screens. The pop star decided to use his place on social media to encourage others to join the conversation regarding mental health and donate to the well-being of those around us. His reputation increased positively in the public eye.
Often individuals use the benefit of hiding behind a screen to post whatever they may please. But when this content remains online forever attached to their name, when does it become a tool too easy to mess up? Are we too caught up in expressing ourselves to gain that sense of validation to understand our rash words and images stay with us?