Monday, February 13, 2017

Don't Judge Me by My Social Media

Don't Stalk My Facebook
Don't Stalk My Facebook
A lot of people have discussed how social media is public and it can affect your work - that "professionals" who might hire you are stalking your social media profiles.

I have one word for those people: Don't.

I'm from the country - an aggressively rural area in a Fly-Over State in the middle of the Deep South - where many of my closest friends, relatives, and neighbors (who have known me all or most of my life) live. Many have Conservative political values, religious outlooks, and lead relatively simple lives. We disagree on many things, and agree on some unpopular views; sometimes we fuss and fight, other times we behave in a manner that would be frowned upon in offline public forums where smoking, drinking, and nudity are not allowed. But those are the people I love and interact with on a far more personal level; I do not maintain a professional attitude or outlook with those dummies - and they do not maintain a professional outlook when they are forced to put-up with me.

There are also trolls, stalkers, instigative and antagonistic clickbait, and more. Facebook admitted it had weaponized its platform and used it to intentionally and willfully, with malice aforethought, inflict emotional damage on users. President Obama signed the NDAA into "Law" - giving alleged "news" outlets the go-ahead to broadcast propaganda to American citizens. When this methodology was turned against them, they decried the proliferation of "fake news" on social media and started using taxpayer money to fund the NDAA! Astroturfers were paid to gangstalk people online and foment racial divide and gender discrimination during the last Presidential campaign.

Networking sites such as LinkedIn and Stage32 are for professional networking. I act professionally on those sites because those sites are specifically aimed at, and attract, professionals. If I develop personal relationships with people there, I will publicly behave less professionally toward them and vise-versa - but I will still strive to maintain a professional attitude and behave professionally toward others on those sites. I don't do that on Facebook or Twitter, because I don't use those sites as professional networks. If you choose to, that's great - but you shouldn't force that on others.

Add to this the fact that social media has been weaponized, and that people are being paid to target and gangstalk individuals across social media platforms, and there's absolutely no reason anyone should be judged by their behavior or interactions on social media networks - especially those that are not professionally-oriented.

If you choose to prejudge my work ethic based on the way I behave in my personal life, you're the type of person I tend to avoid, so I can't imagine that I would want to work with you. If you choose to ignore the more disturbing aspects of social media and its effect on users while still judging those users' behavior, you are either too dense or obtuse for me to consider working with.

We've all seen celebrity meltdowns, feuds, nudes, and worse, so this is not an issue that only affects certain people; we've all seen that no one behaves on social media the way they do IRL, and that should be expected at this point. Social media is not real life, and - with few exceptions (such as those paid to weaponize it) - is not reflective of the account holders.

© C Harris Lynn DBA The Weirding, 2017

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