What are your first thoughts that come to mind when you think of social media? Is it selfies? Or Facebook marketplace? Keeping up with friends or old classmates? Or stalking old boyfriends?
We asked, Jill Day, Executive Director at The Bridge at Ooltewah, who has a strong presence on most social media platforms what social media means to her.
I think, social media is your own personal online brand. Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, what you post, what you like, and what you comment on are, in reality, what people judge you on.
Are you one of those that focuses on the glass half full or the glass half empty? Are you looking for the latest gossip in the news or are you sharing something inspirational for others to read? Regardless of your preference, we all must realize that social media can have a positive and negative impact.
Recruiters, job influencers, or fellow peers are checking out your activity all the while your acquaintances, aka friends, are also checking out your page.
I manage my social media pages by being authentic. If I feel in my heart to share, then I share... but I'm prepared for the comments. If I am looking for advice, I ask for it... but I'm prepared for the comments. If I am looking for recognition... I will probably get it, but how does that make me feel? Do likes and comments really define who we are as a person?
I have social media pages for several reasons. I use my Facebook to stay in the loop with acquaintances that I don't get to talk with much and I'm very active on my community's page that I manage. I support other communities as Facebook is now a strong marketing piece for senior living. I use LinkedIn as my online resume and promoting others on a professional level, and I use Twitter for information. Instagram is for connecting with the younger generation that thinks Facebook is for old people. My best gal, Lexi (my brown Labrador,) even has her own Instagram. Honestly, I'd rather look at her Instagram than my own personal page because it makes me smile.
But what is social media really... a marketing tool, a conversation starter, an icebreaker, or entertainment? It's all of the above really. All of us as natural humans of curiosity need to take social media platforms for what they are... they are informative. Regardless, what you are using these platforms for, they are for information. This information doesn't define you, it's doesn't hold anything more than what you allow yourself to feel. There is no right or wrong when posting on social media platforms, however, be prepared to comment or ignore the opinions of others.
Social media can share so much. It can share happiness, it can encourage positivity, and it can share helpful information, which is what you want your online presence to have as a lasting impression. But be authentic. Be honest. We all have bad days and deep thought days, but you don't have to dwell on those days. Whether it's personal or professional, when it comes to social media, quality over quantity is always best.
When it comes to my social media, you will see I am a loyal wife, a proud dog mom, I care for my residents, I encourage my associates, and I support senior living. My permission is required for anything to be posted on my pages and I will give credit to those around me when credit is due.
I feel that social media is a positive aspect in my life personally and professionally. It is also monitored. I don't love looking at it all the time. I have set my settings so that I do not receive any social media notification from 10 p.m. - 6 a.m. I value my time away from social media. And I enjoy my time checking out ideas on Pinterest. I spend only a few times during my work day looking at pages. When I do, it is intentional. I search "The Bridge at Ooltewah" or "Century Park Associates" while at work. I follow the majority of our sister communities across the country and do my part in liking, commenting, and sharing when it is authentic and I love something they have done.
While social media can bring so many emotions to our attention, it can also link and support. Everything can be good in moderation. We must know our limits and set boundaries in all aspects. It's that simple. And don't rely on social media for all your pictures 10 years from now. You will be devastated when you get hacked and lose everything. Take it back old school and print them out, save to a photo book or file on your computer.
Keep tweeting, posting, and sharing the great things in your life. Encourage others and remember, like all things, only in moderation.