Protecting Your Social Media Presence By Not Being Stupid

Who remembers the name Anthony Weiner? In 2011 he was an up and coming democratic senator from New York who had given a wild and woolly speech at a fundraiser for President Obama and he was being touted by national news sources as the next big political star. He was married to a woman who was Hillary Clinton’s second in command when she was secretary of state, they were young and relatively photogenic, and he was on top of the world.

Day 23 - Addicted
nataliej via Compfight

A few months later he was notorious for being stupid by being found putting nude photos of himself out to young women (insert your own joke here) and hitting on them on Twitter and a few other online places, and of course someone knew who he was and outed him. Career gone, late night jokes aplenty, with a pregnant wife who, luckily, was able to hold onto her job because it turns out she’s good at it. And he couldn’t stop himself, getting into more trouble while trying to run for mayor of New York City.

There are many people who are scared of being on social media because they’re afraid that people are going to find out things about them that they’d rather not be known. It’s true, social media can be a frightening place when it comes to your privacy. It doesn’t even have to be you violating your own privacy; get caught doing something a bit off color somewhere and you can bet someone took a picture of it, will probably upload it, and will tag your name to it, even if you had no idea it happened.

Having said that last part, it should become clear that without being on social media you have no control whatsoever, and thus it becomes imperative to have a social media presence.

First, it’s not as bad as it might seem. Most people, if they’re your friends, will respect your privacy.

Second, you will get to work on controlling how people see you by putting up and then putting out only what you’re not scared to share. If you’re in business it’s a great way to help advertise what you do and keep abreast of what’s going on in your industry.

Third, if something shows up that you’d rather not have out there, you can always contact that person to ask them to remove it, and if they don’t then you have an opportunity to spin it your way into something positive; that is, unless it was also on the nightly news.

In today’s world, treating social media like an ostrich with its head in the ground (by the way, that’s not true, but it’s a great metaphor) can only hurt you if you allow someone else to define who you are without giving yourself a fighting chance. You don’t want to put out anything that will show you in a bad light, but if you do, at least you can fix it if you’re a part of it all.
 

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8 comments on “Protecting Your Social Media Presence By Not Being Stupid

  • No, you won’t find me putting nude photos of mine out and trying to hit strange women. Nor will you find me putting out anything that will show me in bad light because, ahem, there is nothing to!
    Rummuser recently posted…Catching Flies.My Profile

    Reply
    • That works for me Rummuser. lol But so many people end up doing something that someone else captures on video or in a picture that came unexpectedly, so it seemed prudent to warn people about their public behavior. For instance, just yesterday an Oklahoma university fraternity was disbanded after a video showed up with them singing a racist song, and two students were expelled today. Stupid never knows when it’s going to make an appearance and ruin a life.

      Reply
    • Well Pete… the thing is you’ve had some folks who used to comment on your blog and didn’t like some of the images there, mainly women. They’re obviously not the audience you’re hoping to attract anyway but they are also consumers.

      As a “for instance”, have you noticed that on Wassup you’ve only had 3 women comment in 2015, all on the same post? You might think it’s 4, but on one of the posts the commenter has a female name (on a non-joke post), but I know that one’s fake lol.

      I’m just saying that your wife might be a bit more knowledgeable than you’re giving her credit for… 🙂 You don’t have to justify it for me though; I’m not a woman, so what you’re putting there doesn’t bother, or concern me, in the least.

      Reply
  • Holly Jahangiri says:

    You open with a really good point: Who remembers Anthony Weiner? (If it weren’t for the unfortunate coincidence between his name and his transgression, the answer, by now, would be – nobody. And even now, who cares? He’s no longer the scandal du jour.)

    Unless you’re a truly hateful, awful, determined repeat offender, the public’s memory does seem to be blessedly short. And what we think must surely be known to everyone isn’t. I even know people who never use social media at all. They get by just fine. And they do not know what I’m talking about if I say, “What color was the dress?” (Well, they’re likely to get it right as a wild guess – but 50% of them are probably referring back to Monica’s dress. Okay, we do have long memories for young women’s transgressions, don’t we? Even if the real fault lay with the man.) But life goes on. We’re all a little stupid, sometimes. I think that’s meant to be a reminder that we all live in glass houses surrounded by mounds of rocks.
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Writing Prompts: Making Them Your OwnMy Profile

    Reply
    • Actually Holly, nationwide Weiner just went away. Here, he decided to run for mayor of New York and… well, that didn’t work so well either. So, he wasn’t quite as quickly forgotten in New York. lol

      You know what though? Yes, overall people have short memories; not me. I still remember some relatively big name people from 2008 who said some horrible things about Obama when he was running for president, stuff I considered racist, and I’ve never forgotten, nor forgiven, any of them. I tend to remember stuff like that for a long, long time. Maybe I’m not the norm, but I’m the type who would never give those folks any more business, and if asked about them I’d tell people why.

      And I know I can’t be the only one…

      Reply
  • Actually the only one that ever complained about those images was Google, which I thought was very hypocritical considering some of the ads they display.

    Sure the amount of women commenting has gone down but so has all my comments in general. I feel thats more to do with me scaling down on the amount of comments I leave on other blogs than anything else.
    Peter recently posted…AFL Pick The Ladder Now LiveMy Profile

    Reply
    • True, most of your comments have gone down, but when you compare 4 to all the others… the numbers aren’t close to comparable. Still, it’s what you hope for right? I think we’d both have to agree that your blog has never really been female friendly, but they did come to comment when you wrote about stuff other than the jokes more often. As I said in the last comment though, if you’re happy with it all then do you!

      Reply

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