Social media is a great tool to connect with others while sharing ideas and experiences, but it can also come with consequences. As social media marketers, our creative team has seen both the best and worst of it and we use our experience to help educate others about the long-term impact of their online activity. Each year, HRMG Communications Director Marco Carbajal serves as a speaker at both the Ready for College and Career (R4C2) and Discover Your Direction youth conferences at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, urging young people to think about how social media can affect their lives and careers offline. While this is helpful for those entering the workforce, adults can stand to learn a lesson or two about the consequences of social media.
Know When to Post
According to a study in 2015, adults are just as likely to be guilty of distracted driving as teens. The report showed persons aged 19-59 admitted to talking on the phone while driving at a higher rate than 16-18 year olds. In a gut wrenching long form ad for AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, an ordinary day in the life of six different people is changed in an instant when a mother distracted by social media makes a tragic mistake. Texting, talking, snapping, emailing, or posting keeps your attention away from the road in front of you and can have dire consequences, so think twice before your hurt yourself or someone else.
It Can and Will Be Held Against You
Many people use social media as a sounding board to express their many opinions. We get it. Social media is supposed to engage people in a larger dialogue. However, your personal opinions can come with serious consequences. Schools, employers, clients, even insurance companies can find and track your social media activities. Poor behavior, crude jokes, or racist tweets can all be used to deny you employment, benefits, or other opportunities. Free speech is often cited as an excuse to post every unfiltered thought online, but the reality is that there are limits and consequences for each one. Social media culture can be especially unforgiving, so think twice before you post, as it will be held against you.
Everything Lasts Forever
You’re probably thinking this may not apply if your page is private. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for one of your friends or followers to share a post or photo from your profile and the rest is history. Search engines, screenshots, and photo-sharing sites can all turn a moment of unfiltered thought into a nightmare that could affect your relationships, job status, or worse. Always be aware that what you post, like, comment, share—even what groups you are a member of can be captured, indexed and saved for posterity, so be sure to think twice before posting that disgruntled comment about your coworker.