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HEREDIA: Are you committing social media suicide?

I will preface this by saying I am not referring to suicide in the literal sense but rather the speculative sense. I am referring to suicide in the form of losing value in your character; loss of admiration and respect.

People invest a great deal of time to social media on a daily basis. There are countless varieties of apps that allow us to connect to one another. They allow us to share ideas and comment with our opinions and knowledge. The words we put out onto the internet are everlasting and this can pose many problems.

I recently saw a speaker by the name of CL Lindsay and something he said really resonated with me and has been making me think. He said, “You may have freedom of speech but that does not mean freedom of consequence.” This statement to me defined a plethora of problems that I witness happen on social media daily. You can say whatever you want but the consequences can be a variety of things like employers deciding you are not the right candidate for the job, damaging relationships, legal issues, school consequences, and even literally ruining someone’s life with your words.

From an educational standpoint it made me wonder, if the percentage of people using social media outlets continues to increase and the problems continue to exist to the point they are damaging peoples’ lives then why wouldn’t education have mandated courses in social media awareness and proper usage? Just a thought.

Generation after generation keeps entering adulthood with these improper social media habits and these adults run businesses, become community leaders, and help mold our future world. That is a lot of responsibility and we just assume that they have people in their lives to teach them how to properly present information on social media. They clearly do not. As we all know the art of “presentation” is everything. You may choose to be a modern-day patriot for a cause or retaliate to a rival, but the way you choose to do so will often determine the outcome and more importantly leave a lasting impression on how people view your character and reputation.

There are numerous well-educated individuals that continue to give poor “presentations” of their information. We can all think of an example of this. Here is the thing, we will not agree with everything we read or hear but if the information is presented respectfully, in the appropriate venue, and in a classy manner then we can at the very least hold that person in a higher regard for communicating admirably.    

Before posting anything ask yourself: Am I setting a good example for others? Is this the proper place to be sharing this information? Will this information harm others? Is this something I would say in person? Could this information affect my life in some way down the road? If you can answer yes to any of these then your best bet would be to defer posting your information or comments. Your words, even after deleted, are in the “cloud” forever and may come back to haunt you later in life.

Don’t commit social media suicide. 

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