Professionalism on Social Media
Social media can be a source for news and entertainment, but it's also how we stay in touch with our personal and professional networks. For your students, it's likely an essential part of their everyday life.
As an educator, you can play an important role in helping your students understand how to keep their digital footprint from becoming something they may regret later. Some things to keep in mind:
- What's posted on the internet never truly disappears – even on platforms where "disappearing" content is the selling point.
- Future employers, co-workers, and friends will have access to the information they've posted online and may form an opinion of them based on their digital footprint.
- Many organizations look through a potential hire's social media during the hiring process, and for many, one negative post could be the difference between getting a job and being removed from consideration.
Most organizations – take The Coca-Cola Company for example – have social media policies that employees are required to follow. Some examples of these policies are:
- You are responsible for your actions. Anything you post that can potentially tarnish the company's image will ultimately be your responsibility.
- Be conscious when mixing your business and personal lives. The company respects the free speech rights of all of its associates, but you must remember that customers, colleagues, and supervisors often have access to the online content you post.
- When in doubt, do not post. Associates are personally responsible for their words and actions, wherever they are.
Promoting a mindful approach to social media and helping students understand how the content they post may affect others' views of them is an important step in ensuring your students go on to be responsible digital citizens. The internet and social media give your students access to the world, and your influence and guidance can help them understand the responsibility that comes along with it.
Follow the links below for more helpful information on social media and professionalism: