Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Facebook and Other Social Media Platforms: Changing the Use of Email and Privacy Concerns

As those of you who are regular readers of this blog know, I often post about the need to be very careful of what you put on your Facebook profile page. I harp on this subject because Facebook is being used more and more for business purposes. And you never know who might see your profile on Facebook – for example, a college admissions officer of a college to which you plan to apply or a human resources recruiter at a company to which you plan to apply.

And today – because of a question sent out by the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) as part of a blog carnival (bloggers invited to write blogs on the topic and then submit their blog posts to MIMA) – I realized that all my harping about your Facebook profile isn’t enough.

Here’s the MIMA question: “Will Facebook, MySpace, and SMS marginalize the role of email in communication between friends, family, and people?” (According to Wikipedia, “Short Message Service – SMS – is a communications protocol allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices.”)

I absolutely believe that Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms will dramatically decrease the use of email. Already I’m much more likely to send a DM (direct message and therefore private) to someone on Twitter rather than email the same person. I know the person will very likely read the tweet before reading the email. Or I’ll send a public tweet telling the person I’ve just sent an email.

What’s the connection between my opinion on this MIMA topic and advice for college applications, internships, jobs and careers? The decrease of email accompanied by the increase of social media communication indicates an increased need to be very careful, for example, what comments you put on people’s walls on Facebook or what you post on a Facebook group discussion board.

Replacing email or text messaging with comments on Facebook and other social media platforms can come back to haunt you if you’re not always thinking with a third eye of the long-term effects of what you’re publicly writing rather than sending in a private email.

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Judi Jerome, LICSW, LADC said...

Front Page of The Sept. 20th Burlington Free Press was an article stating that the admissions office at UVM and other local/national colleges ARE checking FB and M.S. and Twit. to complete their decision on admitting new students. Unfortunately, many H.S. Seniors are NOT taking this seriously. This could make the difference in getting into their top choice... Mindfulness Matters. judi jerome

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Judi --

Thanks for sharing with this blog. I've just posted another warning about this situation. It seems such a shame that students will work so hard for four years to get into a good school and then blow their chances because they put up a stupid photo on Facebook or MySpace.