By Momina Khan | April 13, 2017
I used to think it was mind-boggling and equally sad that guys have the audacity to ask girls out on a date via text messages, or that we share pictures on Facebook rather than a photo album. But then I think there was a generation very recent whom must have felt some grief when pictures were printed rather than portraits painted, where Morse code and letters interrupted a good old spontaneous visit over clotted cream and Japanese imported tea.
Each day our technology and with it, our traditions, socioeconomics, and philosophies shift. The memes that depict children of this generation not knowing what a fax machine is like a Shakespearean comedy: both tragic and hilarious because the delivery is so dramatic, however, once the moral sinks in you realize there is a moral. That being, we live online more than on Earth. That while we may always have a device in our hands, we actually live inside it.
ALL of us. There is no age discrimination to turning a device on and climbing inside. Indisputably, it may be harder for my 64-year-old father with his wide fingers to grasp the intricacies, but the web truly is a world-wide endeavor.
From live tweeting to Facebook feeds and the promoted business campaigns. From Snapchats and their endless beautifying and distorting filters. From the outdated Myspace that is still trying, to LinkedIn, Yahoo Forums (those need to stop) to the retired Vines, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube. You’re starting to catch on. While social media at its core is to encourage those who live in the cyberspace to cohabitate amongst other people, it’s also a way for everyone to say anything they want to. To express their opinion no matter how senseless or profound.
Now wait a minute, you may be thinking, “Aren’t you just using this blog as a social media platform to express your opinion on the pros and cons of oversharing while lounging in a bed of nostalgia?”
No. Social Media for all its connectivity can also cause insurmountable cliffs, burn bridges or chasms that are hard to rectify. It’s a very prime example of cause and effect. One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was from my mom (at the moment, of course, I resented it): Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you have to say it.
The same logic applies to social media.
You Think… What you put online can haunt or help you. Just because you think it’s deleted doesn’t mean it evaporates in the great mysterious cloud. It doesn’t mean it’s deleted from someone’s memory or that it’s deleted the cost of impetuous posts. It takes one set of eyes to cause irreversible detriment. But, it being social media, it’s often more than one pair of eyes thanks to screenshots, shares, likes, and etcetera. Social media has quickly and completely disproved the playground taunt, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.”
Tell that to everyone who has undergone pay cuts or lost their reputation through 140 characters or less. Sometimes the most anticipated things that go viral on social media are the scandalous stories such as people getting fired for misusing their company’s social media account or posting inflammatory comments that do not align with the mission statement.
Several things to think before you post: Is it true? Is it kind? Will it help? Will it hurt? Or will it haunt me? Can I withstand the onslaught of contradictory opinions?
You see, George Orwell is 100% correct. Big Brother exists. It’s your current employer. It’s your future boss. It’s your coworkers. It’s your clients. It’s your family, friends, foes, neighbors you’ve never met. It’s people who have access to your thoughts because you share them.
TIMEOUT! But isn’t Social Media the best outlet to practice our freedom of speech? False. Let’s just say you can’t have your cake and eat ALL of it too. What you say, the pictures you post, the statements you try to make aren’t always made in the most mature manner (mature = professional too) thus it negatively impacts your reputation.
Therefore You Share… Dress for the job you want? Post for the position you have, want or, as my title indicates, the preacher with whom you worship (it’s like a confessional without the anonymity!).
TIMEOUT! Didn’t Mark Zuckerberg create Facebook out of fun just for fun? False. That was then this is now. It’s like this, as a copywriter my personal Facebook posts should be held to the same standards of my job description. Would anyone hire me or trust my judgment if I couldn’t tell the difference between the infamous they’re, there or their?
After reading this, what’s the point of joining the online cult if everyone is going to pick it all apart (like they don’t already? Have you not noticed the new Facebook like reactions? Or the YouTube comments?).
Post for the person you want to be, not just whom you are in the heat of the moment. Post with integrity, not with volatile intent.
Post for the generation you want to impact. Post knowing that sometimes things have consequences… and rewards. A good post, a good share, a good thumbs up at the right time can lead to transformative things.
See, it was a good post showing up on my Facebook feed that led me to get hired at Worx Graphic Design.
You can do good with social media. YOU can do good.
(This blog is considered good post worthy and may be shared on your wall. –Blog Author)