A Word on Transparency and Professionalism

 

 

The word ‘transparency’ is thrown a lot in the social media world, a tantalizing buzzword meant to embrace authenticity, or put simply ‘realness’. In terms of brands, companies, and influential professionals, this means being accessible to others by what you share on your media platforms of choice. Put simply, transparency could be characterized as being truthful and genuine to the outside world, or appearing to have nothing to hide.

And transparency is a beautiful thing.

Until it isn’t.

In a 2013 report from Fox Business, it was estimated that Americans in particular spend approximately 16 minutes of every hour on a social media site (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  The more readily available social media has become, the faster we embrace it, spending more and more time sharing our lives with the outside world. And this is a great thing in principle, giving us an inside look into some of our favorite celebrities on their own terms separate from the invasive lens of the paparazzi. At a glance, social media enables even the most distant figures of our world accessibility like never before. For example, did you know you could tweet at the pope, the president, and Oprah with just the touch of a button?

There is a Downside

I’m not sure whether our ability to share has prompted us to share more, our defenses have been lowered by promises of confidentiality, or whether younger adopters of social media have less inhibitions, but transparency has shown a darker side to those we share the Internet with.  Where before, it was common for users to adopt a ‘if you wouldn’t want your mom to see it, don’t share it’ policy, many users now share images that could greatly negatively impact their future careers; drinking pictures from high school and/or college, explicit photos and video, and even viciously hateful remarks about others via Facebook, Twitter, and the newly adopted Snapchat apps.

About Snapchat…

You may or may not have heard of the app recently applauded as ‘the new instagram’, but if you are a parent, you probably should. The app’s primary function is to send and receive videos and photos, which self-destruct after 10 seconds. As you might imagine, like with the ‘confidentiality’ claims of Facebook, this isn’t entirely true; with the right smartphone, its possible to take a screenshot of a compromising image and publish it to another social media website, often with dire consequences.

Going Forward

If you choose to be transparent on social media, make sure you make smart decisions about what you post, where you post it, and what the implications might be. If you are seeking a job, or maintaining a professional presence, it may be wise to avoid posting compromising photos involving alcohol, illegal activities, or that portray you in a way that could be easily misconstrued. It’s also important to note that ‘protecting’ your tweets on Twitter, creating a ‘limited’ profile on Facebook, and even trusting in Snapchat’s ‘vanishing’ images will not prevent someone from finding images that could put you in a compromising position. The safest way to use social media is by always putting your best face forward and presenting content about yourself and others in the best light possible.

In fact, maybe even show your mom before you post it, because chances are she’ll eventually see it regardless of what privacy settings you have.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Sources:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/04/26/social-media-addiction-study/

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/tech/mobile/snapchat

http://gawker.com/5967303/snapchat-sluts-shows-why-snapchat-isnt-the-consequence+free-sexting-app-wed-all-hoped-for

Snapchat and Vine; The Basics

There has been a lot of discourse on social apps like Vine and Snapchat, and what they they mean for social media, social networking, and content sharing. Here’s the basics you need to know:

Both apps boast very engaging content opportunities; Snapchat allows for temporary snapshots in time without the consequence of suspect images or video resurfacing across the internet in unflattering ways (long story short, less ‘Weinergates“). Similarly, Vine allows for short video that is highly shareable, engaging, and allows for a high level of creativity. One succeeds because it is temporary, the other because it is a permanent moment encapsulated in short video.

Snapchat operates detached from social networks, and offers an addictive way to interact with others similar to conversations; a back and forth exchange which is unrecorded, and fleeting.

Vine operates currently as a content creator which can be shared on Twitters in place of (or to compliment) content.

Because they are so different in application, I think both have drastically different futures. With Snapchat, there is a shareable component in that snaps can be downloaded before being sent , allowing people to use them as they would a vine (but without the seamless integration). I feel that Snapchat has the potential to outlive the social networks in the sense that ‘compromising images’ can now be shared more fearlessly than before on this platform.

However I do not think Vine cannot function as a standalone. Unlike Instagram, which is available on both Android and iOS, and is inherently ‘more shareable’ Vine relies more heavily on being peppered across Twitter, but is only available for iOS. Now owned by Twitter, Vine does have the ability to be used to its highest potential, but if Twitter ever died out, so would Vine. As far as I know, vines cannot be shared on Facebook, but I doubt this capability would ever impact its success.

Questions? Email me 🙂

3 Compelling Reasons You Shouldn’t ‘Protect’ Your Tweets

Hey all! This is a quick one, because I want to make sure you all undo this fatal mistake NOW!

So I’ve begun noticing more and more 20-somethings have opted to ‘protect’ their Twitter. Some have claimed this will afford them the privacy to tweet what they only want certain people to see without allowing potential employers to see. Others have said they don’t want their mom reading Twitter, and have chosen to protect their Twitter for the same misguided reasons they (still) haven’t added their parents on Facebook. I have some hard news for you: ‘protecting’ tweets doesn’t actually guarantee your tweets are safe from the eyes of employers, and if your tweets are so vicious you wouldn’t want your mom to read them….maybe you shouldn’t tweet them. Here are some pretty compelling reasons your Twitter doesn’t need any protection:

  1. You didn’t sign up for ‘social’ media to be a loner. If you want to send tweets that only your friends can see, you should just stick to Facebook. Twitter is intrinsically designed for collaboration, conversation, and interaction is its core purpose. If you aren’t willing to contribute your insights to all of Twitter, then spare yourself the trouble of making an account.
  2. It’s not really ‘protecting’ you. In the same way that companies can get information from Facebook, its only a matter of time before they can access your Twitter too. If your tweets aren’t mature enough to survive in the wild, don’t tweet them at all. Tweeting “I hate Nicki Minaj” or “Ughh unemployed!” might be best said aloud in the comfort of your own home by yourself. That’s how you ‘protect’ a tweet.
  3. It prevents you from interacting with cool people. If you hide all your tweets, it hinders cool people from reaching out to you. Example: You tweet “I love @3lau!” unfortunately for you, @3lau isn’t going hear you, and if say he happened to be playing a show near you and having a twitter contest for tickets, you’re going to totally miss it. Bummer. Many celebrities manage their own Twitter handles, and interact with their fanbase often. If you’re protected, you’re disallowing them to reach out to you. How do I know? I tweet at celebrities…and I’ve gotten replied to. A lot. And my tweets are unprotected.

3 Things You Need To Stop Doing On LinkedIn

Here are three things, seriously just three easy things you need to stop doing immediately on LinkedIn. Why am I cutting right to the chase? Because I think that right after you read this, you should make sure you aren’t doing any of these major no-nos.

  1. Be anonymous. If you are a job-seeker and are afraid of people ‘knowing who you are’ on LinkedIn STOP IT. The whole point of making your profile and firing off copies of your resume is so that employers can go look at your face, read up on what you’ve done, and even see what your past boss had to say about you. Yes, sure, they could call up “Benny Bossman” but wouldn’t you prefer to save them the trouble? And yes, sure, you might want ‘your privacy’ on the internet…but if you want to remain anonymous, don’t use LinkedIn.
  2. Update your status erroneously. There is a time and a place for letting your friends that you are off eating a sandwich, and that place is not LinkedIn. Instead, post articles you  feel are interesting or post blogs that you have written (I do that currently). I would try to avoid political statements, but if there is a genuinely compelling political article from a ‘legit’ source (by which I mean Politico, CNN, or any major news source,…not a GodHatesObama.net or RomneySucks.com).
  3. Start any cover letter with ‘To whom it may concern”. If you are using something as forward-thinking and modern as LinkedIn for your job search, avoid looking archaic and bland…actually look up the Talent Director/ Recruiter’s name. The more you appear to care, the better the end result.

I hope this reaches you well, and good luck!

So You (Still) Think You Can Blog?

Image courtesy of The Beantown Bloggery.

A while back I gave you some tips on blogging; stay fresh, stay fabulous, etc. Well as it turns out, there are a bunch more tips I can give to help bloggers out that I hadn’t thought of! A huge part of blogging is reaching out to your readership and providing them with valuable information they will actually read and care about. As a reader of blogs, I’ve found a few hiccups among many blogs I’ve begun reading. Allow me to explicate:

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