Social media has taken the world by storm, changing the way we represent ourselves and interact with others.
It has a tight grip on everyday reality, blurring the lines between what was previously well-defined as the public and private spheres. Unsurprisingly, social media has added to the complexity of managing the division between work life and home life.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to add their work colleagues on social media, and I’m not just referring to LinkedIn. I’m specifically referring to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Regular users of social media recognise a large proportion of content is NSFW (not safe for work) but what they may fail to realise is some posts and content are also NSFYC, or what I call “not safe for your career”.
“Once something is posted online it’s immortalised – meaning, more often than not it’s there to stay…”
Once content is posted online it’s said to be immortalised – meaning, more often than not it’s there to stay, with potentially alarming personal and professional implications depending on the nature of the content.
While you may consider it unreasonable to avoid certain social platforms altogether, there are ways to protect your image online, starting with your privacy settings.
Social platforms have purpose-built settings to protect your privacy to varying degrees, allowing you to hide your activity from prying eyes that could tarnish your professional standing and reputation.
The classic example: boasting to your digital social network of friends, colleagues and your boss about your weekend shenanigans, or worse yet, a “mental health” day or your social movements at a recent work event or conference that may contravene workplace policies.
What seems like an innocent post at the time could damage your relationships and professional image, with implications for your career growth. A future perspective employer could even use it to gauge your character in assessing your candidacy for a role.
In the interests of circumventing social disaster, here’s a quick how-to guide to navigating social privacy on the, arguably, most popular social network, Facebook.
Creating a “restricted” list on Facebook.
Use the Restricted feature so select people on your friends list will only have access to your public posts, and not your private posts.
- Login to Facebook via your web browser.
- On the left side menu click “Friend List”.
- From the list select “Restricted”.
- Click “Add Friends to List”.
- Now simply add those people you don’t wish to see your private posts.
- Once finished, click “Finished”.
This simple action can help you to protect your most valuable asset, your personal image!
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