The good old yearbooks and scrapbooks had friends writing what they feel about you, if they like you or not, what they want for you and essentially the nature of their association with you expressed in a few words. Some people did lie and mislead with what they wrote. Most were honest though. Social media cannot really be equated or even remotely compared but it is an online community and like on all communal platforms, you could be yourself or you could be someone else.
In real life, we are not always our true selves. We often act, react, behave and believe, project and perceive what we are supposed to and not necessarily what we naturally should. Hence, you would have to deal with the paradox of whether you should be yourself on social media or if you should at all consider being yourself?
- You cannot be yourself when you have a specific purpose of being on social media. You could be a professional trying to use social media for networking, to connect with prospective clients or associates, to stay updated and perhaps even to connect with your audience. Brands are trying to engage consumers. Media organizations are trying to connect with viewers. Celebrities want to connect with their fans, writers interact with their readers and the ordinary folks simply engage with the world around them. If you have a specific purpose, then your presence should be carved in a way to facilitate the accomplishment of that purpose. If you simply want to engage with the world around without any ulterior motive or an objective other than to explore and learn, then you can be yourself.
- Social media has a tendency to hype everything up, just as it can drown something sane under the onus of opinion, inane noise. Social media can make or break anyone. If you are completely yourself and true to the world, then you will have to speak out in all righteousness and that may not be taken too kindly by everyone. There is a possibility you would fall on the wrong side of the crowd and you could get virtually mobbed. Being politically correct, expressing thoughts in a structured and safe way, not letting out your personal weaknesses or indulging in any brick batting would augur well for your eventual purpose.
Should you be a consumer and have no definite end goals, not even the prospect of a headhunter getting influenced by your online posts while conducting a background check then you can be yourself and perhaps do or say anything on social media.