Being the millennial that I am, I’ve always found social media fascinating and vital to clients and organizations I’m involved with. So far my favorite class at NYU is even my Social Media: Objectives, Strategies and Tactics course.
And then my professor for the course told us she wanted us to set up our own online footprint, as she would be Google-stalking us for our midterm.
And then I didn’t find the ever-evolving world of social media so fascinating anymore. Did I really want my professor and fellow students seeing my tweets? My Facebook Profile pictures? My Google Plus Bragging Rights?
As a Peer Adviser at Seton Hall University, we were constantly told to keep our Facebooks clean, and it was never an issue for me. I remember thinking well duh, why would I put anything I don’t want seen on the internet?
But for some reason, Twitter didn’t get that same attention. The thought of all these East Coast professors and students seeing my every unedited Texan thought scared me.
A few weeks went by and I did as I was told, making my social media footprint congruent across all mediums, changing every privacy setting imaginable to “friends only” and sometimes “only these friends.”
I even created a second Twitter handle which I planned on using strictly for professional purposes.
Last week in class one brave soul finally asked the question I’d been internally wrestling with: “What if I don’t want everyone to see my tweets? Should I make two Twitter accounts?”
The professor’s answer was simple: “Keep your personal Twitter, just set it to private. All anyone will see is your about me sentence, which is the important part. As long as they see you have one and are active, that’s what matters.”
I actually voiced an “Oh! Duhhhh!”
I confessed to the class what I had done, creating the second account, and a quick Google search of my name proved my efforts to be in vain; the personal Twitter still shows up first. We all decided to go with the professor’s plan (she is a successful professional after all).
The point of all this is that social media, while it seems easy to use and implement for a company, is really more permanent than we think we realize. The Twitter handle I created sophomore year in college to use for rants, will never go away. Because of the activity built up around it for so long, it will always appear first on Google, no matter how many other accounts I create.
We have to be conscious of the fact that we can’t hide behind our usernames.
This blog is me finally fully embracing that fact, and no longer being afraid of what is published on this site. If I can contribute to a nationally broadcasted podcast, I can share some thoughts on a blog.
Our forefathers went through the same dilemmas:
A computer? I’ll have to be responsible for something called the internet wherever dial up is accessible?
A cell phone? I’ll have to be available 24/7?
What’s a telephone?
A car? I’ll be expected to travel faster to meetings?
Smoke signals? I’ll have to maintain relationships with other cavemen?
What about y’all? How comfortable are you sharing your thoughts through social media?