Friday, March 3, 2017

Social Media For College And Career Goals?

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become an integral part of teenage culture. Yet the snarky comment or inappropriate picture we share with our friends just might not project the image we want the rest of the world to see, especially as we get older - How careful are you online?

In this Preoccupations column, Cal Newport argues that social media can hurt your career:

As you become more valuable to the marketplace, good things will find you. To be clear, I’m not arguing that new opportunities and connections are unimportant. I’m instead arguing that you don’t need social media’s help to attract them.

My second objection concerns the idea that social media is harmless. Consider that the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy. Social media weakens this skill because it’s engineered to be addictive. The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom.

Once this Pavlovian connection is solidified, it becomes hard to give difficult tasks the unbroken concentration they require, and your brain simply won’t tolerate such a long period without a fix. Indeed, part of my own rejection of social media comes from this fear that these services will diminish my ability to concentrate — the skill on which I make my living.

The idea of purposefully introducing into my life a service designed to fragment my attention is as scary to me as the idea of smoking would be to an endurance athlete, and it should be to you if you’re serious about creating things that matter.

In contrast, Patrick Gillooly argues in this column that your social media presence can be as important as your résumé.

Most employers and customers I’ve talked to are ultimately looking for confirmation of their excitement about you, not reasons for suspicions or doubts. Not having any profile could be seen as a red flag, so why give a potential employer any reason to question your candidacy?

Your social media presence — and, really, your whole digital footprint — is no longer just an extension of your résumé. It’s as important as your résumé. Social media use is now a standard of the hiring process, and there’s little chance of going back.

You need to realize that social media wields great power: What you say there — including saying nothing at all — has an effect on your network or on the employer who is checking out your Instagram account. But remember that you control what people see. By being more judicious about what you share or by altering the platform settings where possible, you can manage your digital trail to increase the odds that a potential employer will form a positive impression of you.

Students: Read both articles, then tell us:
  • Do you think social media will help or hurt your college and career goals? Why?
  • Was either columnist more persuasive, in your opinion? Which one, and why?
  • Did you have a strong opinion about the value of social media to a person’s professional life before you read the articles? Regardless of your stand either way, did reading the columns sway you to one side or the other? Why or why not?

Guest Authored By Caroline Crosson Gilpin. Caroline is a staff editor at The Learning Network. She's a former High School English Teacher, Writing Tutor, Newspaper Education Editor and Children's Book Author. Follow Caroline on Twitter.

Conduct a personal social media audit.

Make a list of your social media accounts, including old platforms you no longer use.

How do think admissions officers or employers might view your social media presence on those accounts.."

    • Authored by:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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