Do you segment your social media or do you practice true work-life integration?
Back in the day, when social media was the new kid of the block there was a clear focus of separating our personal from our business personas. There was a very clear line that no one wanted to cross. My family and personal stuff goes here and my work related stuff goes over there.
Well that line no longer exists. If you are still trying to separate the two I am here to tell you to rethink your stance. Instead think of it as a work-life integration.
Seriously, I want you to think about things this way. At work, you are a professional who meets people from all walks of life. When you meet them what are some of the most common things you ask:
Where are you from? Are you married? Do you have kids? Are they in school? What college did you attend? All of these aren’t work related questions they are personal in nature. You are truly integrating your work and your life.
What is one of the next things you do? You share hobby’s or things that you may have in common, running, movies, sports teams, your love of travel etc. Again, all of these things are personal, not work related but they help you to relate to the person that you are talking with. Work-life integration at its finest.
Now I get you don’t necessarily want to bring people into your bedroom and I of course would say that’s a wise idea. That being said your personal life is a part of you, so why hide it?
Whether we want to believe it or not, our work and life is integrated and there is no real way to separate them because you are one person. The same person who deals with both your work and your life.
Ok, so some of you are arguing that you don’t want your boss looking at your extracurricular activities and judging you as an employee. I totally get that, but we are referring to your social media persona here.
So, I’m going to counter your argument with this…what makes you think that what you do on your “personal profile” is not able to be seen or found by your boss if they really wanted to find you?
Social media is just that a social platform meaning you friend one person and that person doesn’t have security set on their account then your responses or discussions with that person can be seen by someone else. That someone else could be your boss.
Think about all the various news stories of someone making a comment on social media and that coming to light and ultimately costing that person their job? It is real and shows that nothing you do on your personal or professional page is truly private.
I am not telling you this to scare you but to instead get you to put your thinking into perspective. I recommend you approach every comment, every message you post on social media to be one that can be seen by any and everyone. As they say, don’t do or say anything on social media that you don’t want others to see. Assume your mom or boss are looking over your shoulder as you type because the truth is they can be.
Instead of approaching this in fear, I encourage you to instead look at it as an opportunity. Who do you want to be? What do you want to be known for? How do you want people to see you? Begin sharing content related to that, begin letting people know what you stand for. Begin to control the narrative.
Now, let me say this is not condoning or suggesting that you be fake on social media. What I am suggesting is that you tell the story you want to be told. Share the content that you want people to know about who you are and what you stand for.
If you are proud of your successes share them, if you are sad about your pet’s illness, share it. If you had an exciting weekend with your family or at work share it. This helps those around you see the full picture of who you are as both a professional and an human being and we all know business is a lot about the know, like and trust factor.
Now that being said I would be remiss if I didn't state that you should always be cognizant of the platform in which you are sharing this information. Don't go onto LinkedIn and start sharing a ton of pet photos because it is not appropriate for that platform. Instead use your twitter, Instagram or Facebook account to do this. Remember your audience and act accordingly.
Social media is great for both personal and professional development, you just have to realize the power of work-life integration…as they say with great power comes great responsibility. Are you using your responsibility wisely?