The Good, The Bad & The Ugly About Social Media


I joined Facebook about six (6) years ago.  I was definitely not an early adopter and in fact, I was quite skeptical of the whole idea.  I really joined at the behest of two close high school friends who sort of threatened that if I didn’t create my profile, they would!  So, I dutifully obeyed and got on the bandwagon. 

What I didn’t account for when I joined was the old friends that I would reconnect with, especially from high school.  I was already in touch with a few, like the two who had ordered that I join the 21st century, but now I have so made so many reconnections, it has really been a lovely outcome. 

Some say that they have no interest in getting in touch with old friends, that if they were not close in high school, why bother now but I don’t agree with that.  People are constantly changing and growing and you might be surprised at the common interests and views you have now with people who seemed very different from you in the past.  Also, you may not have had the opportunity to get to know people well, because of circumstance or perception.  A good example that I can share is of one friend with whom I really did not connect with in high school for no other reason than we seemed to run in different circles.  We connected on FB and now we try to see each other whenever we are in the same city.  She is a delight to spend time with and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting, I should say, connecting with her. 

With all of that said, I am still pretty guarded with what I share via social media.  I know that may seem ironic since I am writing this blog and we at Shades of Influence are, in a way, sharing some of our lives with you but there are some definite things to do and not to do when you are on any social media platform. 

Consider that social media is like picking up a megaphone and announcing yourself to the world.  You need to be mindful of what you say and how you say it.  You also need to be cognizant that you are sharing your life with all of your contacts, whether you have 50 or 500 people connected to you via FB, Instagram, Twitter etc.  I have a contact who complains ALL the time via their posts about seemingly everything.  It is exhausting and disengaging at the best of times. 

Then there are the folks who share way too much about their personal lives – when they are depressed or they have been hurt by someone, they fire off some scathing missive that is often quite transparent, even if they say they were not trying to single anyone out.  Right, sure you weren’t. 

How about those people who are too opinionated, judgmental or tactless?  They can be too much, sometimes, as well. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you can’t be yourself on social media or that you have to be bland or meaningless.  I am just saying that you have to be careful and mindful about the brand you are creating for yourself.  The reality is that many look at social media profiles to learn more about you, including potential employers and if you think you are going to get a job after you posted about hating some sector of the community because of some stereotype that you believe is true, chances are that you are hugely mistaken.

So reconnect with your old friends, make sure you are balanced and mindful about what you post and keep reading what we have to say at Shades of Influence!