Social media is an amazing modern marvel. Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook are available to anyone who has access to the internet. Faster than it would take you to blink, you can send your thoughts through the internet. In very little time you can connect with friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers all over the globe. Unfortunately it is also easier than ever to make a social media faux pas. That faux pas may blast your chances of professional advancement out of the water.
Talking badly about the Boss, Company, or Other Co-workers.
If you ever have the urge to post negative comments about your boss, the company your work for, or your co-workers, you should refrain. It may give you a momentary thrill when you see the post go live, but that momentary glee might be tempered by the boss seeing your post. If anyone connected to the company you work for see the post, it could lead to repercussions in the work place. You may not be fired, but the higher-ups may see you as immature or untrustworthy. With one thoughtless post, you could cripple your ability to advance in the company.
We all have our button issues that get us riled up. Posting controversial comments—especially if your coworkers or boss will not agree with them—could isolate you from your fellow employees. The comment could also incite your co-workers to judge you not by your work ethic or career successes, but by a controversial comment that has little relevance to whether or not you deserve to be promoted.
Remember that any difference that you allow your boss or co-workers to see should be carefully cultivated to help your career. Before you post a comment about politics, religion, or other hot button topics, you might want to make sure that it won’t affect your standing in the work place. While you shouldn’t let your boss or co-workers rule your life, you should at least be aware that they might be judging you based on more than your work performance.
Posting Inappropriate Pictures
Inappropriate pictures are a tad worse than inappropriate comments. Pictures linger in the brain long after you see them. They can depict you situations that might be normal to your after work crowd. Those same situations could be deemed as inappropriate by co-workers or bosses. If a picture depicts you in an inappropriate outfit, not in an outfit, or doing something that your boss or co-workers might find questionable, you should think before posting. You might want to ask your friends and family to let you vet any pictures of you that they post online. You don’t want to be blindsided by a picture that you didn’t even post.
Social Media Addiction
A social media addiction could lead to you posting or scrolling through your social media sites at inappropriate times. If you find yourself on Facebook or Twitter when you should be working, it could lead to trouble. Depending on how long you spend online when you should be working, you could be reprimanded or fired.
If you can’t control your urge to go on Twitter or Facebook when at work, you need to at least be smart about it. Never post a comment while at work. Remember that the Social Media sites keep track of exactly when you posted the comment or picture online. You don’t want your boss to discover that you were posting messages on your Facebook wall instead of writing that quarterly report.
How to Use Social Media and Prevent it From Effecting Your Career
While it is important to control your social media account, you should be able to use them without effecting your job. Here are some ways to prevent catastrophe while using your social media sites.
- Try not to friend people on social media sites that you work with and don’t trust.
- Make the people that you trust or do not work with your close friends on Facebook. Before posting a controversial comment you can make sure that it will only be seen by your close friends.
- Delete any spur of the moment inappropriate comments on your social media sites.
- If you have a social media addiction, you might want to try to spend some time away from the media sites.
- Set your account settings to private. This will ensure that people cannot see your posts unless you have accepted their friend request.
Social media sites are a blessing and a curse. If used incorrectly your social media accounts could cause professional repercussions. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your social media altogether. Social media, when used correctly, can build relationships that will help you make the most use of your marketing degree. You just need to proactively protect your work reputation inside and outside the workplace.