Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Being appropriate with social media

When I was at college studying IT far too many years ago (fourteen perhaps?) one of the things we learned about was "netiquette", or basically the practice of being polite whilst on the Internet and using email.

This has evolved as social media has taken off and we are ever more connected to the world (and more importantly, our contacts) 24/7.

However, this can cause issues.  I personally feel for those people in their teenage years who may make one or two mistakes in their time, acting silly or making bad judgement choices.  We are all human and none of us are perfect.  However, the new generation is under more and more scrutiny, everyone has a camera attached to their phone (and everyone has a phone in their pocket) so anything occurring can be photographed and shared with groups of people within seconds of it happening.  This is a great freedom but also means that people need to be careful how they behave and with who.

For example, I have my blog, my twitter account, my LinkedIn account, my Facebook, and several email addresses - professional, personal and mainly spam ones.  And I have to make decisions on what gets posted to which account, as what may be suitable material to appear on one I may not want to show on another.  Some people have more than one twitter account, one for work and one for personal use - I've not taken that option (yet) but as a result I am aware of what is going up on my twitter feed and try to ensure that it remains acceptable.

Also taking seemingly safe options such as "liking" something on Facebook - I may like the thing I've clicked on, but if friends of mine (who may also be work colleagues) see me liking something that they find offensive, does that cause an issue?

Possibly.  Do be aware that everyone has slightly different senses of humour and can take offense at different things, and something that you find absolutely fine can be anathema to another.

Very important for anyone in work is to be aware of your organisations social media policy and guidance (if available).  I've certainly read my organisations details several times and do strive to ensure that I stay on the right side of the guidance.

To hear from someone who is far more of an expert on these things than myself, check out Paul Wilkinson's website, - Paul is a specialist in social media and is a fantastic speaker about the subject too.

I'll finish off just to give an update about the G4C event I've been arranging - the event we've been doing on Employability is taking place tomorrow at Sheffield Hallam University.  Everything is looking extremely good for the event and I'm very much looking forward to it.  We have now sold out of tickets for the ticket which is great (although I feel bad for anyone who wants to attend but now can't) so fingers crossed for a great evening and everything running smoothly!  We are filming the event and hopefully we'll get the video up at the weekend.

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