Monday, February 20, 2012

Social media: it's real public media

Just because you own social media account, it does not mean that you want to share your personal life on your account.  You may have small number of followers on your Facebook or YouTube account, but that does not mean that what you share will remain private.  In contrary, your Facebook and YouTube account are media channels that you don't really have control over.  What you share among your friends can be shared to your friends of friends, and before you realize, it can be making national headline on the next morning news (just like it happened with father who shot his daughter's laptop for posting complaints of him on Facebook).
Superheros need social media training as well...
We have to realize that what we post on social media is meant for public.  If it's not something that you would feel proud of seeing on the cover of Washington Post (a.k.a "Washington Post" test by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff), social media is not the right place to post such content.

Another reason why you should be careful of social media is that it has almost infinite memory.  I say almost infinite because it's practically impossible to undo a message that goes out to public via social media.  Although there are delete options available YouTube and Facebook, in reality there is no guarantee that the message will be removed from Internet completely.

For example, even if you delete your Facebook photo, as long as someone captured the URL to the photo shown in their news feed, anyone can see the photo at any time.  That's not all.  In case of public Facebook pages or YouTube channel, there are search engines that crawl and cache the data for anyone who wishes to access.  Once the message is out, it is virtually impossible completely remove it from Internet.

There is yet another reason why we all need to be extra careful with social media.  It's because Facebook and YouTube (now through new and improved Google privacy policy) are enforcing real name policy.  What you share on Facebook and YouTube will not only likely to remain accessible for people, but they will be directly attributable to you.

Although Facebook would like us to believe that social media is new email, it's really different from email.  Email does not share all these properties.  Email is not meant for public sharing, and it does not have to be tied to real name (well, Google is changing that with Google Mail, however).

How we use social media is not as straight forward as email.  With email, you control who sees and who does not.  It's private communication medium just like snail mail is.  But with social media, you don't really control who gets to see your post or who does not.  It's social collaboration platform that is connected to larger internet community with just a few degrees of separation.

Media training is not for marketing team any more.  We all need media training as a part of high school general education curriculum.

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