Very few people these days are not on some form of social media either as a really active user, an occasional user or an observer – you know someone who just scrolls down to see what is going on in the world or for their friends and family. Some people use it as a way to promote products and services. Some people use it as a way to promote social change but even then, there are consequences. Just look at this clip and you will see what I mean.
Now many people I know these days, are fed up with social media. There is a lot of rubbish on it, especially the inane comments people make to something really serious. For example, someone may put up in a local page “Did anyone else hear that bang?” and then stupid replies come back that have absolutely no relevance to the question asked, “like my husband just farted!!” Now I know that is a bit crass, but this is what I talk about when I say people make these throw away comments. Something you might make in a group of friends but now has to be written and has now relevance or place on Facebook.
Like you probably, I frequently get friend requests on personal Facebook, but for me, I need to know someone well and want to share some of the things that happen in my life and in my family. However, it appears that some people want to build up a huge data base of friends but in the real world, how many friends can you actually maintain as friends? Well it turns out that research has broken it down and the number is 150. This predication “has been based on an equation that related to social group size of monkeys and apes to brain size’ according to Professor Robin Dunbar. Listen to Kim Hills interview with Professor Dunbar.
While Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms do have their place, they can also do a lot of harm. Now most people use it in a genuine way to communicate with people however there are some who don’t – they use it for illicit purposes or to create drama as a way to spice up a very mundane life. Few people even think about what may happen when they put up a post. They unconsciously write a response.
However whichever way you look at it on the positive side, it is a great way to communicate with people. It enables you to get to a lot of people in a very short time and people can choose or not to look at what you post. I use it to promote the Clinical Update workshops and Care Training Online.
While it is a great tool, you do need to decide who you want to communicate with because whatever you put up on a Social Media site is there forever. Even if you delete a post, it is still there and can be found and used by someone who may not necessarily have well intentioned motives.
So be very selective on what you put up and never put anything up as a way of venting your frustration. While you may be angry at a person or situation, don’t put it up – you never know who may see it and what the repercussion may be!
Also never post anything which you think might be funny, smart or clever to you – you know a throw away comment I mentioned before. You may live to regret your behaviour because there is a cost shame. Your actions, be it on social media, or within friendships, or in public life, there is a price to pay. Listen to Monica Lewinsky on the price she paid for her behaviour at the age of 23. The more public it is, the bigger the price but there is always a price. Follow how this happened on this clip.
So, here are some tips or don’ts if you like
- Never write anything about anyone that you wouldn’t say to their face. The receiver of the written word will always put their interpretation on what is written. The message you intended may not be the message received.
- Never upload anything about your employer. Why? Because many employers search Social Media to see what type of person you are. If you put negative posts about your current employer, do you think a prospective employer would consider employing you? I doubt it. What if your current employer sees it? At the worst it could result in disciplinary action. You never know how people are going to see or react to a post
- Never put up anything that could put your job at risk or have a negative impact on your current job. Just see what happens when online shame goes too far.
- Never upload any photos or comments about your residents. I know a lot of great things happen in facilities these days, but you are actually breaching privacy by posting photos of your residents – no matter how positive the post may be. Some people do not want to have their photo on the web for everyone to see. While you may consider it a positive statement or marketing tool, permission does need to be gained first and then be careful because families may not like it.
- Never upload anything about your colleagues unless you have permission and then be careful. While I don’t mind people seeing me on social media many of my friends are adamant, they don’t want to be. You have to respect this.
- Be careful about posting snapshots of you on holiday. It is not unusual for an unscrupulous person to find out where you live or know you and break and enter you home stealing from you. While it is great to share your stories with people and it is fun, just be careful as it may come back to bite you.
Finally, Social Media is a wonderful tool but be careful what you post. Check in to see if you are violating someone rights by posting it? Have you breached Privacy Law? Will what you post potentially affect future work prospects for work? Is what you post good for all? Is what you post the truth? Think before you post. Does it really need to go on for the world to see or do you really need to make that comment. Remember more is not best. You can only keep up with a maximum of 150 friends and of course close friends are a lot less. Treasure your true friends. Invest time in them one to one, not as a faceless person, and they will invest time in you. It only takes 6 weeks for a friendship to lose traction. If you don’t keep in touch, you will be forgotten. It is a simple as that.
So, let’s use social media for good. Remember not all on social media is the truth and can do more harm than good. Just take a look at this. So think before you post. What impact will it have on other people and their lives. No satisfaction can be gained by destroying a person’s life. It is as simple as that.