We’ve talked about the minefields of children and teens misusing digital devices and online media, and every day there seems to be a new reminder that even if we try to diligently monitor usage and warn of dangers, the danger is still there.
But what about your usage?
You might not be worried about abduction or “stranger danger,” but what about your reputation? Or your job?
Being active on any social media platform makes it easy for data to be mined, used without your permission, and even taken out of context. It happens to names in the news; just this week, Trevor Noah was named the new host of The Daily Show. Within a 24 hour time span, there were oodles of reports that his tweets were anti-Semitic and sexist, and speculation was rampant that Comedy Central chose John Stewart’s replacement poorly.
It happens to people who aren’t household names, too. Justine Sacco is a prime example: a public relations executive who used Twitter to make (at best) insensitive jokes that were seen (at worst) as racist observations, Sacco was hounded, harassed, threatened, and lost her job.
Best practices for social media apply to adults just as much as they apply to kids. Before being active on any platform, it’s vital to know what boundaries you won’t cross; will you post about your day in the classroom? How about a picture of your class? Are you violating anyone else’s privacy by sharing something from work? How would your boss—or a parent of a student—react if they read a risqué post or something fueled by anger?
It’s fine line, this tightrope we continually walk between the personal and professional. And social media has added a wicked wind to that tightrope act, preserving our words for generations to see if they know the right search terms to query.
What are your thoughts on the repercussions of using social media as an adult, a parent, or a professional? Tell us your story, and let’s talk about how we can all enjoy the community of connection while protecting our reputations.