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Social media needs no introduction to anyone. Even the uninterested are aware of the many platforms that exist and the wide spread acceptance they enjoy. For many, social media meets their need for a sense of belonging, for some it is a place to unwind, for many others still; it is a place to catch up on what is happening around the world. Whatever your reason for being on social media, it is important to be mindful of the personality you project online. In the quest to post interesting material and garner follower-ship, certain lines exist which should not be crossed, especially if the organisation you are employed with is named in your profile.

Whether you are into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google plus, YouTube, Pinterest or Snapchat, you will find the following points beneficial;

Anything posted online stays online; forget that it was a tiny comment somewhere or you took it off your Instagram page five hours later, if you posted it online, it can be found online. Before you post, ask yourself how you will feel if your grandchildren or Head of HR  discovered the post.

By your posts, we shall know who you are; although you have used a fancy screen name and changed your location, your words still build an image for you. Even if Facebook is your escape from real life, there is still a need to be careful. Remember that those words can be traced back to you and they say a lot about who you really are.

Do unto others…; it’s called an online community because its full of people who deserve to be respected. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you post that comment or re-tweet that mean tweet. It could be you in the tight spot one of these days.

Yes, it can get too much: You make online posts because you expect people to read them so you need to be mindful that you might be putting out too much information or posting too many times. Except it can benefit them somehow, no one really wants to know what you had for breakfast every day.

It may be your page but it’s a public place: I know you opened the page yourself and named it after you but all kinds of people can see it, thieves, priests, scammers, friends and foes alike. It is wise to be security conscious about your posts. Information like your house address, children’s school, work place and other personal details should be shared cautiously.

The golden rule is to remember that your social media page is an extension of your identity and it can affect the realisation of your aspirations either negatively or positively, depending on what you project.

Are there other guidelines you think people should follow or social media behaviour you find unnerving. Please share in the comment box.

Question of the day; Would you accept a social media friend request from your MD or pastor? Let’s talk about it.

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