Before you click post.
Image by That Gypsy Angelina

Have you been on social media today? I’d be shocked if you said no; no matter how early in the morning it is. Social media is becoming part of our daily routine just as we brush our teeth and put shoes on before we leave the house. Accessing social media is an automatic behaviour in our day to day lives but our interaction on social media doesn’t have to be automatic.

Sometimes you may find yourself mundanely scrolling, double-tapping or pressing the like features; but to write a comment or a post is not an automatic mundane behaviour.

As we are viewing other accounts, we have most likely come across an account that over shares or possibly swears or may even post too many selfies. Sometimes we are inspired by their actions and influenced to repeat what we see. But you may not have that luxury and could still be looking for your dream job.

You have control over your public identity but who is it that you are influencing?

Should we draw a line? Why? Where?

Private mode online doesn’t necessarily save you from your offline behaviour.

What's private online
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Numerous factors should be considered when posting anything online. Though you may have private accounts; social media is still a public platform that portrays your profile and public perception of who you are as a person beyond your connections.

For example; your friend, colleague or family member may have a social media account and have tagged you in an image. Though your settings are set to private, you like this image and have approved the tag. Your friend’s account may or may not be private. However, you have permitted her friends, even as your account is private, to view that image and click it. This will link up your account to the image. The spread of this image goes further again if there is more than one friend tagged in this image. Before you know it, private isn’t so private anymore.

Shaping your future right now

Employment and social media statistics
Image from the research by YouGov

Did you know your future employment may be determined by what you posted online yesterday or last week? A study by YouGov shares real data about how your potential employer is judging what you are posting on social media.

If you are employed or want to be employed, you need to consider your employment contract. Generally, most contracts will or should contain a social media policy of what is expected during your employment. You represent the business more than you realise.

Some employers will check your social media and will sometimes make a discerning decision about your employment based on your latest posts.

Sign contracts
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Be aware of what you share

Another factor to be aware of is when you ‘share’ something you didn’t write or create.

Copyright laws
Photo by Nikhil Mitra on Unsplash

Copyright laws; nearly everyone knows they exist, yet they still repost, screenshot and even print other people’s hard work and livelihood without credits or payments. Before I go any further let me clarify a common error.

Posting an image from Pinterest and stating ‘Image found from Pinterest’ is still a breach and could cost you your job, your finances and your brand image. You need to seek the creator’s permission if it isn’t a copyright free stock image.

If you think you won’t get caught let me just tell you how easy it is to catch you. I can upload an image to google image search and it finds data and recognition to reverse search where else my image has been used. Are you hearing sirens yet?

It’s Good Guidance

Employee contracts and copyright laws are not to dictate your life; they are there to protect your livelihood and the livelihood of others. That’s right, that fine print you skimmed over, signed or pressed ‘accept’ for was for your safety.

Following a code of ethics placed by your workplace (or potential workplace) and by respecting copyright laws is just some ways you can improve your employability and future.

If you’d like to brush up on your copyrights and the rights of others you can download a copy from the Australian Copyright Council. If you are still establishing your career path here is a tip below, you need to know before you post.

Are there any other tactics you apply or plan to apply when posting on social media?

You can download a free social media checklist here or develop your personal branding for social media for under $10 here.

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