Managing your e-presence

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, CLDC

The advancement of the social media gives us many ways to express ourselves.    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, to name a few, are sites that we can use to share our news, connect with others, like your friend’s stuff, friend others, or share a photo or two.

The freedom to post a comment and let it all hang out there can easily happen with a click of a mouse.  With just one click, I can poke someone and they can poke me back.  I can like this or like that or choose to unlike.   It is so easy to fall into the trap of just doing it without thinking about the outcome or consequences.

I’m amazed by some of the pictures posted on some people’s profiles.     I sometimes wonder if they realize that those photos will be out there forever and other people might stumble upon them.    While we believe in freedom of speech, we need to be aware that sometimes certain things can be misinterpreted by others.   Just like an e-mail that can be interpreted in many ways by different people,  our post, comments, photos can be interpreted by people who see them.

Nowadays companies use the Internet to gather more intelligence about a potential candidate.    A simple search via Google can bring us loads of information about a potential candidate.  This information can then be used to determine the suitability of the person as a member of the company.

One could argue that what’s posted on those sites should stay on the site, but the reality is people have been fired for things they post on Facebook.    People were fired for posting the following:

  • Caught surfing Facebook while “home sick” from work
  • Posting inappropriate pictures
  • Juror dismissed after posting a message before the jury arrive at a decision
  • Insulting their company and safety standard
  • Posting derogatory video
  • Making racist remarks
  • Blasting their boss

What is the point of my post?  My point is that when we post something, we need to think about whether we will be okay if people proliferate it—that we will not be embarrassed about it.   We need to be self-aware and think about the consequences of a basic post.   Once it is out on the Internet, it can be replicated all over the place.    Even if you delete it there will always be copies out there.   So be conscious that a basic comment could come back and haunt you.  Worse yet, it could prevent you from securing a promotion or opportunity that you really wanted.

A piece of advice next time you’re sitting in front of your iPad or laptop, think before you click.  Don’t be trigger happy.

 

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