As we discussed in class today, everyone has multiple personalities that use for different situations. We have a personality for our friends, family, classmates, Facebook, Twitter etc. We also talked about how most of us specifically censor our online personalities. Although I don’t think potential employers should look at your social media accounts as part of their ‘background check,’ I’ve come to accept that it could happen, and yet, the more I use social media, the more I see myself censoring my profiles less than I did before…
I was that person freshman year of high school that didn’t have a Facebook. That was when I remember the whole social media thing really starting. Yes, there was Myspace and AIM before Facebook but I was never allowed to have those and to be honest, I barely knew they existed. So when everyone started getting Facebooks in 9th grade, I didn’t even bother to ask my mom since I knew she’d say no. I had some friends who went behind their parents’ backs to make accounts and I saw how much they got in trouble, so I figured the whole thing wasn’t worth my time. I didn’t make my first social media account until the very end of 10th grade, and I am so glad I waited. If I made it earlier I’d probably still be Facebook friends with way more people from high school that I really don’t care about than I am now, and I’d probably have way more embarrassing photos online as well.
When I first got my Facebook, I kept it SUPER private and I would only make generic statuses or share generic links because I didn’t want all of my Facebook friends seeing my true personality. I wanted to “fit in” and I didn’t want to get unfriended due to my beliefs or opinions. Originally, that’s why I made a Tumblr account-so I could post more personal things and express my feelings without people I know seeing it. That of course didn’t last since people I knew found me on Tumblr.
Things changed when once I came to college. Not all at once, but overtime I began to realize that if I want to be more vocal about things on Facebook, or if I want to rant on Tumblr, I can…and I shouldn’t worry about if there’s going to be any backlash, because if I’m sharing a viewpoint that I actually believe in, then I’m staying more true to myself. Nonetheless, I try to have some common sense when posting on social media. I think about the consequences of my posts, and if I think I handle the worst of the consequences, then why not? If an employer doesn’t like my viewpoints then maybe I don’t want to work for them anyways. If that person from high school is tired of seeing me share about certain things, then they can unfriend me.
All of that being said, personally, I feel I also have the advantage of not being interested in heavily partying or getting super drunk or doing things that might look “immoral” to future employers, relatives, co-workers etc, so maybe that’s why I don’t feel the need to completely censor my social media accounts. In addition to that, I also try to follow one simple rule: Don’t post about things you wouldn’t be able to also tell people in person. That doesn’t mean that I should post super personal things, but it means that if I can’t own it, then maybe I shouldn’t post it. (I tend to be more extroverted online then in real person) Whether that be my love for cute dog pictures, my spiritual beliefs, or my participation in different fandoms. I want to be in control over what I am saying about myself online and not be subservient to society’s unwritten rules.