Does Social Media make us better people?

images Does Social Media make us better people?Oh My Gosh… What an amazing response I have had from my network of family and friends about my first ever blog posted a couple of weeks ago. So many kind words – words of encouragement, love, praise and well wishes – yet it’s left me with conflicting emotions.

Immediate and lingering is an overwhelming sense of gratitude however there is also a sense of feeling exposed in that special way only the online world can, with outsiders, looking in, at you.

It is no breaking news we are more connected than ever before and that social media has changed the world around us as we know it.

It influences our daily lives; the way we communicate with others, get news, spend our free time, and even how we learn. And that’s amazing. I remember when mobile phones could only ring and you had to take your photos to a camera shop to be developed before sharing them with others.  But…

Is social media making us better people? or is it making us more narcissistic in blurring the lines between professional life and personal life? When I choose to post and share anything online – photos, my blog, my opinions, my comments, issues I lend my support to, and so on, I am leaving a digital footprint, I am giving my network and networks of my networks access into various degrees of my life. Yet how much power and control do I retain over my footprint? Am I handing it over to the online world with a false sense of security leaving the door open for others to scrutinise and pass judgement? Yes, is that answer.

 

Perhaps I ask these questions because I am of that generation who grew up with a finger dial phone, a Commodore 64 computer with games that took hours to download and an extremely noisy dial up internet connection that needed wires. When I look at my kids who are digital natives, I do worry and am weary about what their online world will look like and what trace their digital footprints will leave.

I recently came across a radio program talking about a company called the Social Index, a consulting firm helping businesses analyse a person’s digital footprint to further determine their suitability for a company’s culture and values.

My first thought: ‘Holy Crap’. All I could visualize was some recruiter somewhere ‘sussing me out’ online, judging me, and making decisions about my employment potential. Then I thought about those dodgy photos like the beer goggles one or my various support for a polarizing social issues, and the reality for women like me who may not be digital natives, yet looking for a new career in the online realm.

So with further digging, purely out of fascination and slight panic, I came across an interesting and insightful article: ‘How recruiters are learning about you on social media’ which I shared on Sydney Mum Facebook page and the good news is: it’s not all bad! With help and learning what to look for I can create an ‘Employment Ready’ social media profile; a profile in the online world that can increase my chances of landing the ‘dream’ job I want without fear of feeling exposed.

Wander if I should do one for my kids? images Does Social Media make us better people?

 

Author: Emma McEnery

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