I must admit, I am pretty visible online. I actually really love social media, beyond its tendencies for users to be vapid and self-absorbed, because I think it provides a great platform to truly express who we are. I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Soundcloud, WordPress, Squarespace, and probably a few more things. Typing all of that out, it seems like a crazy amount of online profiling, but each has its own unique community and purpose.
For example, I use Facebook for different reasons than Tumblr. Facebook is more about life updates and sharing photos with friends and family, where Tumblr is strictly an online community for me. I’m also more likely to be more open about what I post on tumblr, because family doesn’t follow me, whereas on Facebook, I self-censor what I post to make sure it’s appropriate. Same with LinkedIn; that is a professional networking website, therefore a completely different representation of myself. Twitter is a mix of everything because I am very open and personable on Twitter but I recognize that my profile is public, so future employers can read what I post. I try to make sure my online personality is visible with a semi-professional twist.
I just googled myself and the first several links were to the social networking sites above. But if someone really wanted to find out information about me, they could probably easily found out where I graduated high school, my GPA, published writing and other information. I’m not really scared by that information because I have chosen to put so much of it online. I’m also going into a field that publishes writing, so that’s not a new concept for me. I also think it’s important to build a social profile so others can learn about you, and I don’t see that in a negative light.
Most of the information I found was put online by myself. I guess it would be different if I was more popular and other people were putting information up about me, that could get weird. I’m also going into a field that works with digital media, journalism and radio podcasting, so a lot of my work is based online, meaning I’m less scared this information. So far there’s nothing bad about me and hopefully I can keep it like that!
I guess I would be afraid if employers found my Tumblr page because I’m a super big idiot on that page and wouldn’t be representative of my professional life, oops!