Monday, January 25, 2016

The Art of Mindful Social Media Posting

 As social media grows and the ways in which we can share information and communicate with the world changes, it is very important to be mindful of not only what information you’re providing, but also how that information is perceived. Years ago, I worked in a small office where we did team interviews before allowing a new therapist to come into the office. The very 1st thing that one of my colleagues did was go to Google and search for any and all information on all candidates.  He then promptly threw away any resumes belonging people who had what he called "questionable posts or tweets".  I asked him if he did this very often, his reply was  that he googled me "monthly to maintain the integrity of the office".  Never had I been happier that I had a very low social media presence.  The downside of course, is now that social media is the new word-of-mouth, newspaper, news outlet, virtual resume, and all around back story, many people including myself have to build their online presence.

When utilizing social media and deciding to post, snap, chat, tweet and video is very important to know your audience, but also to know your potential audience.   What do I mean by potential audience? A potential audience is considered to be; a future employer, your children when they grow up, family members suddenly decide to get a computer or a smart phone and Google you to connect online.  I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is sometimes better to be mindful of what we say and how we say it to avoid future conflict that might be more costly than getting something off our chest. Think of a time that you said something out of anger, or posted something in anger because of a thought, or feeling you had only to find out that you were mistaken & could not take your words back. Did you ruin a friendship, or business opportunity?
Photo by Ryan Glanzer
Here are a few ways that you can be mindful about how you share on social media:

  • Decide whether you’re venting or sharing- Often times we want others to learn from our experiences. When we share information instead of venting frustration the message can be better received by others.
  • Decide whether you would say what you are writing directly to the person/ business you’re writing about- if not maybe you should leave that particular comment out.
  • Decide whether you are violating the privacy of the person you are writing about-  If you are concerned about them finding the post, then the answer is yes and you may want to reconsider posting it. 
  • Decide if there a way you can get your message across without sharing personal details-  If so, it may be in your best interest to do so. 
  • How would your children feel about the information you are posting if they were reading it as adults-  The best way to do this is to pretend your parents wrote the post about you.  If you have any questions, then there is probably room for revision. 
  • Can anything in this post be taken out of context in a way that you hadn’t intended?  And could that misinterpretation cause harm to you or your family.-  If so be sure to edit your post or add more information.  It is better to reduce the risk of being misrepresented in a way that causes conflict that isn’t there in the first place. 
  • Read every post at least twice and once more for good measure.

The preceding guidelines may help you to avoid conflict both in your personal and professional life. Today’s employers are enacting strict guidelines about what employees can and cannot post to their social media. When reading the fine print, you will see that any unbecoming behavior not in line with your organization’s mission or goals can be cause for termination. No one wants to jeopardize their employment because they were really upset and irrational for 30 seconds.

There are many healthy alternatives to venting your frustration openly on social media. One of the best ways to address work and personal conflict is through counseling. Counseling provides a safe nonjudgmental platform for you to share your feelings, frustrations, and work issues and provides you with the knowledge that your information will remain confidential.  

To learn more about Counseling services,  visit Concierge Counseling at Facebook or follow us at twitter @PSYCHConcierge.  Please feel free to contact us about our counseling services.  


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