We have moved into a very communicative age. You can talk on so many different platforms with a click of a button.
How politics changed with the advent of social media
The United States and my home state of Wisconsin has had one of the most volatile election periods in recent history. Social media certainly had an effect on the conversation and most likely on the level of confrontation.
I can’t tell you how many people I have heard say that they have been perplexed or upset by things that they read on social media. Some people have “unfriended” or stopped following people that otherwise they would have stayed connected with if it weren’t for the political conversations and the level of meanness shared. Others have left social media or never even joined it because either friends were leaving messages or comments that hurt them or they didn’t trust themselves to not be mean or say snarky things that people could take wrong.
What’s your social media agenda?
Potentially, if you are trying to make an impact with social media for your cause or political party, social media is a powerful tool. However, its power is a two-edged sword. You may be able to spread a message far and wide very rapidly but it also leaves a trail.
What you say and do online impacts your job search
Experts and even educators have been preachy to youth to be careful what you post online for years. Whenever I bring up social media when I teach classes, there is a baseline for understanding the impact of improper photos from parties.
We now are seeing more and more information about the impact of cyber-bullying on people. You may not be reaching this level of social media content where you are deliberately trying to hurt someone else but you have no idea how someone perceives what you say. Many people will never tell you that your words hurt them but they did.
As you determine whether and how to use social media, understand that your political or religious stand will clash with someone. If you come on too strong, you could jeopardize the relationship with a network contact or a potential employer. I love social media and I love the impact it can have but I know that I have withheld comments and not shared things because I want my connections to be willing to talk with me.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion, I just don’t want to lose connections because of my opinions. You may want to think about the end result and decide how strong you want to come out for your cause if that isn’t your only agenda or if your agenda is to grow business or job search networks.