Every so often a new social media buzz comes out. Once upon a time it was Google Plus (that one ended quickly, I know) and a long long way back it was Facebook.
Nowadays, the so-called buzz is “professional” twitter accounts. Every time I turn my PC on there’s another reminder telling me how I will be forever jobless unless I convert to the light. It’s a depressing thought, especially for someone like me who despises such accounts with a passion. Well it is, until you realise they are a useless waste of time.
Idea is sound enough
The idea behind the professional twitter account is sound enough; no future employer wants to read about how you hate your boss or that time you threw up all over the road when totally gazeboed. But why on earth would you want to tell the world these things in the first place?
One of the first things you learn about twitter is its very public nature. While you can fiddle with the privacy settings to become a shrouded mystery, it’s entirely built upon the idea that anyone can interact with anyone and we can all have a jolly good time.
Be careful about what you post online
It doesn’t matter if you’re tweeting from a private or personal account; whatever you’re talking about is still there for all and sundry to see. Sure you might be using a username with several xo’s in it, but unless you’re a technical wiz kid it’s highly likely everyone knows who you are.
All that hard work you put into your professional presence can be undone in a second when they view your personal account full of lurid sex tales and obscenities.
Put bluntly, I would never post anything online I wouldn’t want my granddad to see.
Journalism is a part of my life
I might have posted on several occasions about the importance of gin or the shelf I was building last night (it was an achievement) but there’s nothing in that I would be ashamed of anyone seeing. Sure, there’s probably an argument to be had about the separation of private and working, but creating a purely sterile work persona lacks the honesty of real life.
Regardless, journalism is so much a part of my life I don’t think I could separate the two anyway.
When an employer looks at my twitter, they’ll see all the things they want too; a picture of me sober, work details and a constant focus on my career. They’ll also get to see that I’m a genuine real person who cooks, drinks (in moderation), socialises and has fun.
That’s not embarrassing or detrimental to my job prospects at all. It just shows I’m a person who can get through life without having to splurge every minute detail out to people who really couldn’t care less.