In Spend A Day In Someone's Shoes with Social Media from Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator, Lisa Nielsen talks about social media and asks,
“What is your profile saying about you? Who do you want the world to see?”
I think it is important for my students to look at their friends on social media and describe them. Maybe put them in categories such as positive, negative, complains a lot, inappropriate, funny etc. This will let them see what kinds of groups they are hanging around with.
It seems like so many people I know are connecting through social media and I learn so much about them from this. I don’t know whether all that I’m learning is true or not but I can make logical assumptions from the information I’ve seen.
I have one friend who is very depressed and shares when she is depressed with everyone. She seems to need everyone encouraging her to help her make it through the day.
I have several friends who love to travel and I look forward to seeing their travel pictures that they share. Of course, I love to travel too so either the pictures bring back happy memories or I see places that I want to see.
I have friends who love to hike and they share many of their hiking and nature pictures on social media. These are always fun to look at.
I have many friends who love their families and like to share a lot of family activities that they do together. This tells me that family is important to them.
There are some friends who love to share jokes or amusing stories. I look forward to these posts because they make me smile. When people are very positive and uplifting, I’m glad to have them as my friends on social media.
I have some friends who just like to complain. They complain about things that happen in their daily life or events that are happening in the world. They seem to love to complain. These people are not close friends to me and if they get too negative, I usually disconnect from our friendship. I don’t like to voluntarily bring negativity into my life.
After noticing this about my friends, I took a look at myself. I try to be positive every morning and others notice this because they have commented about it when I see them that they look forward to this. Apparently they like it because it has made a positive impact on them. I try not to talk negative about anyone or anything because I was brought up that “if I have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all.”
Now if I do have a problem with a company or complaint, I don’t have a problem sharing it in hopes that the company will see it and resolve the problem. I also don’t make a habit of this so if I do post something like this, my friends know that I’m pretty upset.
I like to share educational posts that I write or find because many of the people I connect with are educators. Some non-educators appreciate the links to these posts also. Some people see me as a resource for information.
I like to share some funny posts that I get because I think everyone likes to smile. I won’t share anything that is rude, obscene or uses profanity but usually generally funny.
I try to remember that I don’t really know who my audience is. Yes, I have friends who are connected but I don’t know who they might show my posts to so I don’t write anything that would make me feel embarrassed if my parents or my employers saw them. This usually is a good rule of thumb to follow and students should start with this rule too.
Now that many colleges and employers are looking at social media, it is important to put our best face forward. This should start as soon as a person begins to interact on social media.
How do you think your profile reflects yourself? How do you teach your students to look at this and put their best face forward?