Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do you know what other people are saying about you?

-Written by Ethan Vernon, senior Chinese and international affairs major

Social media is just like a party on the internet where you can say and share whatever event or ideas come to mind. However, your social media site may be giving others the wrong impression. Did you know that your social media pages are what most people will find when they search on your name? Do you how others perceive you? Others perceive you by both analyzing your everyday, in-office behavior, as well as perusing your social media page to get a picture of the “real” you. 

You can change how others see you by cleaning up your Facebook/Twitter and deciding how you want to be perceived. In today’s world, social media can be a huge source of public opinion on a person. If you post drunken pictures of yourself from wild parties, you may get a bad reputation as unfocused or a little too unhinged. Additionally, any posts about your relationship trouble or mental state can also be interpreted by others as indicators of how you can be expected to perform on the job. You can also take personal control of your image by defining your personal image goals. If you know how you want to be perceived by others, you can consciously avoid behaviors which give the wrong idea, and consciously make the most of opportunities to put forth the best image possible. This may take some practice, but eventually what you want to be seen as will match how others see you. Thus, controlling your image involves addressing the sources of opinion. Just two of these sources are your social media page and your everyday behavior and decisions.

The social media page and your own goals can influence how others see you. It’s important to note that this can work both ways: someone at work who seems very professional and has a very clean Facebook account may in fact be a host of other things once you get to know them personally. This implies that you can make a clean break between your social life and your professional life. Thus, when looking at social media and your own goals, see them as tools to help shape how others see you, rather than factors outside of your control. A good image will go a long way in helping you advance in your career.