SCJ President hosts “Social Media Etiquette” event

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Kendall Hazel | Staff Writer

On November 22, Buena Vista University’s Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) and Young Professionals of Storm Lake hosted a “Social Media Etiquette” event at the Legacy Steakhouse in Storm Lake.

President of SCJ Dr. Andrea Frantz explained that the event gave current BVU students a chance to network with young professionals of the community. Beyond networking, Frantz discussed the importance of maintaining a good online presence:

“I think it’s important that everyone in this day and age talk about social media uses and abuses and develop sort of a sense for what’s really appropriate and what is not,” Frantz said.

Frantz explained that social media is so important to discuss because it is always changing:

“I think it’s important to acknowledge that I am not and will not claim to be a social media expert. I would argue, actually, that nobody is an expert in this business because social media is changing by the hour. There are new apps and new ways to engage coming out constantly,” Frantz said.

One of the reasons social media has been changing is due to the increase in business-related content. More and more employers are beginning to use social media as a way to screen potential employees.

Employers use this tactic of screening to search for any positive or negative behaviors that a job candidate displays on social media. Assistant Director of Lori Berglund commented during the event on business’ tendencies to screen when interviewing potential employees:

“One of the first things employers do is look up your name on social media. If you think potential employers aren’t looking at your social media profiles, they are,” Berglund said.

Frantz continued to caution the audience about the very public nature of social media. Along with original posts or tweets, anything that people share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter communicates something about that person even if it was someone else’s thoughts. Every action on social media can be viewed positively or negatively by friends, family, schools, and businesses alike.

“Social media is an amazing tool. It’s an amazing tool to brand yourself, but it is also a powerful tool to damage yourself,” Frantz said.

Frantz believes that people are beginning to have the common sense necessary to avoid posting inappropriate things, yet it still happens. She shared a story in which a woman used an app that posts live video to Twitter while drunk driving. As a result, the woman was quickly located and arrested. It is irresponsible social media abuse like this that makes social media etiquette important to understand, according to Frantz.

In addition to her “Ten Social Media Truisms” (listed below), Frantz offers this simple advice to anyone that uses social media:
“Never post a status or send a tweet if you are tired, angry, or inebriated.”

Ten Social Media Truisms:
1. You are what you share.
2. Social media is public. Yes, all of it.
3. Think before tagging.
4. Privacy settings are yours to control.
5. It is not necessary to “friend” everyone.
6. Posting when you are tired or upset is a lot like drunk texting.
7. Social media—especially Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter—are all things that prospective clients and employers troll when screening people with whom they will associate.
8. You know Aunt Gladys, who over-shares about all of her medical issues at the Thanksgiving table? Over-sharing on social media also makes people uncomfortable.
9. Timing is all for messaging.
10. Choose your profile picture wisely.

Photo by Stephanie Steiner