Tweet, post, share – wisely!
Social media is a platform for self-expression and interaction with anyone and everyone, no matter the time or your location.
Such great reach and freedom can be used to spread positive and negative messages. The question I ask of you today is: how do you use the social media?
Let’s think about Facebook. I realised, as a young nineteen year old, that I didn’t use Facebook for professional purposes. Finding potential business partners, or searching for an old friend who could be useful in my line of work, seemed strange as Facebook, to me, was a platform for expression and fun.
The reality is: one in every 20 people my age are successfully running small businesses and using Facebook to promote their businesses.
I also felt that using Facebook was a means of having a ‘free venting platform’ and it does not matter what you say or how you say it. Well……. let’s just say I really believed that until I attended a very insightful presentation with Emma Sadleir
Emma Sadleir is a media law consultant and her speciality is social media law. She brought my attention to how, just by posting something negative on social media, you could change everything about the way others view you – especially in your professional life. The indiscriminate use of social media can have dire repercussions: you can be employed today and jobless tomorrow!
During her presentation she gave examples of negative posts we might be tempted to share with our Facebook friends after a bad day in the office: “Mr Tingles is the most horrible manager, his actions make this business untrustworthy.” A potential investor, who happens to be on Facebook, might read the post and decide that this company will not be good for investment due to what was said about the manager. He decides to withdraw his deal and the company suffers financially.
On the other hand, if the post is read by anyone in the company, the manager would be well within his/her rights to fire the employee for defaming his/her character.
‘1 in every 13 people on earth are on Facebook’
Sadlier spoke about how the undiscerning use of social media can affect your employment chances. Human Resource Managers search for people on the internet during the employment recruitment process. It can be argued that you cannot judge a person’s work ethic based on their Facebook or twitter feeds. However, what you say and do on social media could have consequences for a prospective employer – even years later.
Imagine if Jesus was on twitter – he probably would have been discerning in his choice of words before tweeting! How discerning are we?
The scriptures say ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. Think about this: How would my neighbour feel when they see what I have said about them on social media?
Once we get into the habit of asking ourselves questions before sending public messages we become more discerning users of social media.
It is important to take note of what we say online. It is not a private platform – even though we are tenmpted to think it is. It can literally make or break your career. Therefore: be wise, use social media with a discrening heart and always remember it’s a public platform. Tweet, retweet, post, share, and comment but do so very wisely.
*Nokukhanya is an intern at the Jesuit Institute.