Teenage Angst

I have been active on social media since my sophomore year of high school. Back then, it was just Facebook for me, and I used it fairly intermittently. Most of my activity charted the progress of the University of Missouri Tigers football team, or the St. Louis Cardinals, both fairly harmless subjects. Since then, I like to think my social media presence has matured….for better, or for worse. I like to think I have a thriving Twitter, with close to 4,000 tweets, and 260 loyal followers..some more so than others. I tweet about an amalgam of topics, from New York Times news articles, to rants about the AU dining staff. Certainly, it is reasonable, if not necessary that I privatize my account. As I continue to build my online presence, I will have to take particular care to creating a tailored image that reflects who I have become rather than the less mature person I was as a senior at Niwot High School (I’m sure I’ll be saying the same thing again five years down the road about my ‘junior year in college self,’ but I digress).

It is interesting to me that those that comprise the majority of today’s professional landscape did not come of age during the existence of social media. No one will ever find out the “recklessness of one’s youth” unless they did some serious digging, and even then, it would be highly unlikely there would even be photographic evidence. As one of my classmates brought up in a comment, how will today’s generation, who much like myself has literally plastered their lives and daily reflections all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, be impacted down the line? How accessible will our posts be, and will they be used to disqualify us from positions? The impact on aspiring politicians could also be devastating, or just plain big, (Take whichever adjective you think is more fitting). For all of these reasons, this is why my Twitter and Facebook account ain’t going to be going public any time soon!

Image

My first Facebook profile picture. Like I said before, I like to think I’ve changed..

 

5 thoughts on “Teenage Angst

  1. Adam, I think you should name that profile pic “Teenage Angst.” Anyway, you raise a very good point about how open and accessible our privates lives have become due to social media. Employers can get a much better sense of ones personality now with a simple search through twitter, Facebook, and instagram. While we all have to be much more careful about what is public and private, I think there could also be a new trend from employers to excuse some social media digression, realizing that young people are young people, and that the photo you forgot to untag of you drinking in high school may not reflect your current professionalism. As the lines begin private and public blur, both employers and employees will have to take into account and compromise with the concerns of the other.

  2. Interesting point about our social media past hurting us in the future. The one counter argument I’d make is that if everyone is “born digital” so to speak from now on, won’t past social media “digressions” be considered normal? Or at least won’t everyone be more empathetic towards them since social media is such an important part of everyone’s lives? On the flip side, if social media becomes so omnipresent, perhaps people will “mature” sooner, as you say, causing fewer issues anyway.

  3. Adam, you raise a great point. The stupid and reckless things our parents’ generation did in high school and college are memories and almost impossible to obtain physical evidence of. Whereas our generation is now facing the harsh realities of having digital lives. Who we are at 17 or 21 is not who we are in our late 20s/30s (I hope) and you hear in the news that peoples online lives hurting their careers. How can we educate the next generation to learn from our mistakes?

  4. I think Zach’s point is a relevant one. I am curious if any of you have had any problems with social media posts that have impacted your professional lives? Maybe draw on the reading a bit more here.

  5. I often worry about the online profile and the professional profile colliding. I wonder if businesses are becoming more relaxed about their employees online musings or if they are becoming more strict, with the increased use of technology and new media platforms?

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