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!