Sunday, November 1, 2015

Social Media: Your Worst/Best Friend

Wynston Wilcox

People are always watching. 

No matter how cliche that statement is, it's true. And now with the social media growing each day, it's important to be even more careful about what you post.

Know Your Audience

At this point in our careers, your social media accounts should be directed towards your profession. For example, my twitter is used for tweeting whenever I cover an event for The POST. I am very weary of what I post to my twitter as well as monitor what/who I retweet. 

Wynston Wilcox's Twitter Account

While my audience is mostly college students that could probably careless about what's happening in the Ohio soccer match, I am focusing more on how I will be using my twitter after graduation then tweeting a picture of me at a party or what have you.

This concept was something that I didn't grasp my freshman year. As I get updates from the app "Timehop," in which it flashes back to anything I posted a year ago on that specific day on each social media platform I use, I realized that a lot of what I posted was useless.

For the most part I was censored but there are some things that I posted that I cannot figure out why I hit the "send" button.

But I have grown up now and understood the importance of branding myself, whether it is socially acceptable among my peers or not. 

Something I have grasped though is that everyone that follows me doesn't need to know my whereabouts and everything that goes on every second of my life.

What To and What Not to Post

Is it important that my followers know that I bought a Big Mac meal from McDonalds while road-tripping to Florida at 4:35 pm in Georgia? No.

In all actuality, THEY DON'T CARE.

Which is honestly why I don't tweet as much as most people do. I don't feel the need to let social media know what I am doing at all moments. Sometimes if I'm heading home for a break that is appropriate, but for the most part, your whereabouts are useless on social media.

Use your character limits for things like your opinions about the NCAA Football Playoff Final, or the NBA Finals. But no one cares that you bought a milkshake from Union Street Diner.

This also means truthful in the things you post about those events. RTDNA makes it clear that your ethics of journalism apply behind your phone, tablet or keyboard.

Use Social Media as a News Platform

The best part about Twitter, specifically, is that you get up-to-the-second news. I honestly use twitter for my news than I do just going straight to the website itself.

I follow various sports accounts and news accounts that keep me updated on what's happening not just nationally, but worldwide.

I follow a few accounts for humor, but most of the accounts I follow are sports and news related so I can stay informed about what's going on, considering I don't avidly pick up a newspaper. 

But it's also important to make sure that the information I check is right. Which is why it is important to confirm information on social media with multiple reports. For example, this CNN story talks about making sure you check before you publish. 

So this last piece of advice when using social media is to know that social media can be informative, depending on how you use it. I learned early enough that I can use it for personal use and begin to use it professionally. 

The task is to make sure I'm not overly personal, but also show my personal side to my followers.

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