Being Really You and Really Professional on Social Media
Is there a difference between what you’d post for your colleagues versus what you’d post for your group of close friends? Is censoring yourself on social media difficult for you to do? Do you try to filter yourself at all?
These are all questions that Alice E. Marwick discusses in her Chronicle article, “In Defense of Getting Personal on Twitter.” Marwick is a professor of communication and media studies who wrote her dissertation—and later, a book—on what posting on social media can mean for one’s personal and professional life. As professionals, one must always be concerned with how one’s “personal brand” is coming across on the ever pervasive media landscape. But Marwick argues that bolstering one’s personal brand on social media is unrealistic, often irrelevant, and can come across gauche. That is, social media is a deeply personal way we express and present ourselves, and filtering that through certain standards of professional behavior so as not to offend or embarrass ourselves takes the personal element away from social media. Marwick found that many folks she knew in the tech scene felt anxious about how they were coming across online and were constantly looking to clean up their profiles the best they could – but is the anxiety worth it?
Should we be reasonably aware of how we project ourselves online and always keep our professional “brand” in mind? Or should you post what you want, free of filters and consideration of future employers?
Read more from Alice Marwick and comment below with your own thoughts – we’d love to hear from you!