This week at our weekly intern lunch & learn we discussed social media and personal branding. These are two things I have always taken very seriously.
Everyone knows there are some things that the public should not be involved in. I have always had the mentality that your own personal brand can, of course, be represented by your social media activity. For anyone reading this it is important to know that filtering what you post anywhere online is important. As I stated above, there are things that are meant to be posted online and there are things that simply do not belong there.
Social Media has made a huge impact on our society and especially the current generation. I, myself, admit that I constantly check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing, but I believe there is certain content posted on some peoples' social media sites that does not belong. This certain inappropriate content is what gives not only social media a bad name but gives the source of the inappropriate content a bad name also. This is where personal brands are affected in a negative way. People’s reputations can totally be altered by what they post on social media. I have personally seen it myself, because all it takes is one post on social media and it can change the whole outlook on your character. I have seen things posted on social media by a certain person and have changed my perspective on that person. It is just human nature to judge by what you see, particularly if that person chooses to do that.
One thing I have noticed throughout all of high school and three years of college is that there aren’t classes you can take or be required to take that will teach you about your image or the brand you create for yourself on social media. The reason we go to school is to obtain an education and to utilize that education to eventually reach that lifelong goal of finding a job you will enjoy. Some goals are cut short because in the past, or even present, inappropriate material was publicized online. This inappropriate material can affect people’s personal brand and image for the rest of their lives. This is exactly why I think it is important for schools to implement classes or sessions to teach people of all ages how important it is to consider the material they are posting online. Everyone has had the talk on how important it is to be careful about what you expose online. But, it is difficult to learn this from one explanation. This should be applied on a regular basis.
Social media is an everyday resource for many people. So why shouldn’t we be taught how important it is to protect your brand and image on a daily basis? Education is one thing but the way you represent yourself is another.
I wish you all the best,
Matthew D. Haddad