Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media are increasingly popular avenues for communication. These social networking sites allow users to post comments, website links, and video links to share with friends in the network. As social networking sites grow in popularity, the types of sites will grow also. For now, the two most popular sites are Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook started as a social networking site for college-age adults, but over the past couple of years it has grown into a huge marketing engine for businesses. Many businesses and organizations maintain a Facebook page for their companies, and some companies maintain multiple pages. With over 500 million users, Facebook has become a major force in our modern world and a huge avenue for exposure.
Facebook fan pages include product pages, pages for reality television shows or news organizations that allow viewers to interact with celebrities on line, pages for authors and publishers that allow authors to host product giveaways, and pages for radio stations that allow fans to communicate with and interact with radio program hosts. As the presence of Facebook grows, the opportunities for interactions will as well. Comments made to one group of Facebook friends can be “shared” by friends or fans with their own groups of friends or fans with the result that information can spread rapidly across the site.
Twitter is a very different type of site from Facebook. Twitter is just a little over five years old, so it is a younger site than Facebook. Users send “tweets” limited to 140 characters. Any message which is over 140 characters must be condensed or shared in the form of multiple tweets. Twitter offers followers the ability to forward tweeted messages by “retweeting” to members of their own group. Because of this ability to retweet, messages can be spread rapidly throughout the Twitter network and shared with a potential audience of more than 190 million people.
The importance of paying careful attention to what we post on line cannot be overstated. More and more employers are routinely checking social networking sites as part of the employment-screening process. They are looking for compromising photos or evidence of behavior which would reflect badly on their organization. Employers can also continue to check social networking sites after the hire to make sure that the information posted does not embarrass the organization.
Information posted on the internet is basically impossible to remove, and it can impact your life for many years. Think carefully before you write or post anything. If you are wondering whether something is appropriate to post, ask yourself this question, “If everyone in the world saw this post/photo/video, etc. would I be embarrassed?” If the answer to that question is “yes” don’t post it because if you do you are giving everyone in the world an opportunity to see the material.
Now that school is out for the year, this will be my last post of this series. Next week though, I will introduce a series on some helpful tips to help your homeschooled student succeed in his or her summer job.
Alexandra Swann has a Master of Arts from California State University Dominguez Hills. She is the author of Writing for Today, published in September of 2011 which has received great revews from well known names in the homeschooling community. Her newest novel, The Planner, will be released June 30, 2012. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net or like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/frontier2000mediagroup.