The seemingly non-stop rise of social media has led us into a world where whether you like it or not, you have to develop your own personal social media use policy with regards to how you utilize services.
By this I mean that you have to develop parameters in which you work and communicate through social media, on both a personal and a professional level. Some of my friends have no problem posting obscenities, rude or insulting statements and compromising photos. I attempt to stick to posting music video’s from YouTube, communicating and commenting with friends and supporting political issues – not to say that these things don’t sometimes go wrong as I have had to delete two “friends” over multiple abusive comments they have posted about politically related issues. As we have all heard before “Don’t feed the trolls”….
My opinion (and advice) is that no matter whether you are using social media for personal or professional reasons, keep in mind that everything is public and open to scrutiny. If you don’t want someone finding it, don’t post it, if you are not ready to deal with opposing comments, then don’t open yourself up for comments, if you don’t want people seeing a picture, then make it private or just don’t post it, if you don’t want to be found, then don’t “check in”.
The difficult part about this issue is balancing your use of Social Media from a professional perspective especially when you work at an agency that may demand extreme privacy (like a shelter for battered women), may be highly stigmatized (HIV Care or Addiction) or may focus on a oppreseed group of people (Homeless or transgendered). Any “sharing” of information could have disastrous consequences for your own job prospects or for your clients. The question is, how can you constructively use Social Media and promote the issues associated with your agency while at the same time protecting the safety, personal information and identities of your clients?