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18th January by Josh Janssen
The Internet makes it easy for us to share our thoughts to the world. What we think of a TV show, a tip about a local restaurant, or an album of photographs from last weekend. We have transitioned from a time where this information was heavily controlled by ourselves (the keeper of our own personal brand), to being available to friends, family and acquaintances through just the click of a few buttons.
Despite what some people think, you are in control of what is out there on the web. The worrying part is that a lot of people are making poor choices about what they share online. Who can blame them? The majority of Facebookers have no media training and they don’t have a public relations advisor telling them what to say and what to keep offline.
That’s right, with the emergence of social media, we are now all broadcasters. Whether you like it or not, your next friend, partner or employer will have an abundance of information on what type of person you are; they will form an opinion on what type of person you are.
We are all on social media for different reasons. Accordingly, everyone will have different personal rules surrounding what they share on their profiles. Some of my rules are included in this post. Some rules could include: Keep it PG, only post what you would be happy for your grandma to see, don’t post angry statuses.
I love passionate people. Someone who has a strong opinion, stands for something and shows genuine emotion. There is, however, a thin line between being passionate and being a whinging idiot. As sorry as you might feel for yourself, don’t post it publicly on Facebook. Negativity doesn’t go down well. There are people out there that care about you and what you have to say, but unfortunately, they’re not all on your Facebook page. If something is wrong, if you need to vent, talk to someone privately. Sharing personal problems to the world will actually create more anxiety.
‘so angry right now’, ‘can’t believe you have done this to me…’, ‘you can’t trust anyone’, ‘this is why I don’t bother’. These are the types of unclear statuses that I hate. If you want to tell someone something, don’t post it as a public status update. This is the equivalent of yelling out abstract comments at the supermarket. It makes everyone around you uncomfortable. As I have said before; take it offline, just not at the supermarket.
You can resolve the problem of posting inappropriate statuses by restricting when you post. Don’t post anything when you’re angry, drunk or upset. This will save you from embarrassment and make you a top Facebook friend! In saying that, there are people I have on my Facebook purely for the ‘train wreck factor’. It’s very entertaining watching them self destruct through posts, but then again, I like watching ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ for the same entertainment. (hope you’re okay Kim)
Restrict how many posts you share on social media. There is such a thing as over saturation. People obviously are connected to you because they are interested in what you have to say, but be mindful that most people don’t care that much. This is a general life lesson, rather than a social media rule.
As Dale Carnegie says in his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’
I asked PR Expert, Trevor Young, What he thinks are the biggest mistakes individuals are making online (try not to make them):
“It might be to the outside world but we all have friends who, errr, probably haven’t got your best interests at heart (or are stupid) in which case they share your stuff in the public domain. What’s that saying? Trying to get something off the internet is like trying to get pee out of a pool. Thus, use common sense – social media entrepreneur Peter Shankman refuses to take his smartphone with him when he’s going out for a big night (sensible, but maybe a tad unrealistic for some!) – a good friend of mine has instructed her friends not to tag her in FB photos. Her request put a few noses out of joint but again, sound advice.”
“I’ve read somewhere, it may have been in Mari Smith’s excellent book ‘The New Relationship Marketing’, about online life being (a) professional, (b) personal and (c) private.”
“In other words, work out what’s off-limits, and keep it that way.”
From the PR expert, Trevor Young.