Anyone who has been using social media for a little while will probably know what I’m talking about here. Isn’t it interesting how social media – well really, if you look back before that chat rooms and the internet – has changed the way we relate to people? But what’s most interesting is that we keep in touch and we get in touch with people we may not have seen in years – in a way we might not have before. While the letter is a beautiful thing, how many people sit down to write long letters to friends? How many people would get in touch with each person from their graduate department and send a letter? Social media makes keeping in touch streamlined – something that is a commodity in our American culture.
I’ve found Facebook to be a very interesting (in a cool way) phenomenon. People I didn’t speak much too in junior high school and high school are now those with whom I regularly keep in touch. People with whom I didn’t have an opportunity to get to know in grad school are now good friends. I’ve met people I wouldn’t otherwise have met. It’s really a neat social tool.
The downside of social media is sometimes you realize that people you thought you knew are not people you thought they were. Your statuses go out to everyone who you allow to see them. That means that depending upon your privacy settings, everyone’s going to read about your crappy day, your rant about school, your comment about your boss – including your boss, adviser, and everyone on your friends list. That is fine, but sometimes, prospective employers – your current employer – and even your school may happen across this. If they do, you may be putting your career at risk.
People tend to either love or hate social media. I tend to totter on it. I like connecting with people. I don’t like spending way too much time on social media. What are your thoughts?