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How Your Social Media Choices Can Impact Your Life

We’re living in the social media age. Think about all the platforms that exist. You can use TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You can use Meta, which was once Facebook.

Some social media choices seem generational. For instance, older individuals use Meta a lot, while TikTok attracts a younger crowd. Twitter sees use from young and old alike, while most people use LinkedIn mainly to find professional connections.

Other social media platforms exist, some of them mainly used by fringe societal elements. It’s rare to find someone in 2022 who does not use social media at all.

We’ll talk about what people choose to reveal about themselves on social media in the following article.

Why People Use Social Media

Using social media to learn about a person is very much in vogue. If you hire a background check company, they’ll look at criminal records and other public information, but they’ll also try to learn about someone via their social media accounts.

People use social media for many different reasons. Some use it to try and find jobs, while others utilize it to contact companies about their products directly. It’s pretty easy to get a response from a business on Twitter if you complain that they’ve sold you a defective product. They don’t want the bad publicity, so they’ll usually do what they can to rectify the situation.

Some individuals use social media to find like-minded people. If you have extreme or unusual political beliefs, you might connect with other people on social media who feel the same way you do.

You may also call yourself an influencer and use social media for self-promotion. Think about celebrities like the Kardashians. They have so many social media followers that they can mention a single obscure product or company, and it will instantly trend. That’s why companies pay them thousands of dollars or more for a single mention.

What’s fascinating, though, is that you can use social media to create a self-image that you spin from whole cloth. If you seem to embody a lifestyle on social media, you can essentially wish that life into existence if you can gain enough popularity. Social media is truly the ultimate popularity contest, where your renown pays off in real dollars via company sponsorship.

How Much You Reveal Can Impact Your Life

While people use social media for different reasons, others use it for one reason alone: to find out about people. We mentioned earlier how fewer and fewer people don’t have any social media presence these days. With each generation, those who abstain from social media altogether grow scarcer.

If you’re careless on social media, you might show the world more about yourself than you intend. Most people know they should set their social media profiles to private if they don’t want the world at large to see what they post there. It might surprise you how many individuals don’t even bother to do that, though.

If you have several social media profiles and use them for different purposes, you’re potentially showing the world your innermost thoughts and feelings. If you do something you shouldn’t, the urge for fame can get you in serious trouble sometimes. 

Think about all the violence that took place in Washington on January 6th, 2021. Many of those who were there and committed crimes that day effectively turned themselves in because they posted themselves breaking the law on social media.

Criminality on social media happens more than ever right now. Gang members post pictures and videos of themselves on various platforms flashing hand signs, selling drugs, and showing off illegal and unregistered handguns. They brag about hurting or killing other gang members.

If the police suspect an individual of doing something, the first thing they do is look for social media mentions, and they often find them, especially with younger criminals who don’t think before they act. When you post anything on social media, that never really goes away, even if you delete it.

Technology exists to retrieve posts you made, even if you take them down later. Many criminals find that out to their detriment. Others post repellant viewpoints, and then it surprises them later when they lose their jobs because of it or someone isn’t willing to hire them.

Companies Often Do a Social Media Search Before Hiring Someone

If you have social media accounts, you should know that when you apply for a new job, it’s more than likely the company will look for you online. When they do a background check, they’ll search for any of your social media profiles and potentially take action based on what they see there.

You might have a post up from many years before when you were younger and immature. Maybe you said something at that time that you regret now, many years later. Perhaps you’ve grown a lot since then, but those old posts can still come back to bite you.

Celebrities Have Social Media Training

Some celebrities get social media training now to avoid saying or doing things on platforms that get them into trouble later. Those who don’t bother to get that training can hurt their careers significantly if they do or say something off-color or inappropriate.

Think about the things Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has said about trans people. She definitely caught a lot of flak from that and has never truly recovered. Think about the comments Roseanne Barr made about Kamala Harris. She got in a lot of trouble because of that and got kicked off her TV show.

That’s what some people refer to as “cancel culture.” A single tweet or comment on some social media platform is all it sometimes takes to change someone’s career trajectory. 

It’s hardly necessary to do a lot of research about a celebrity to find out whether they’ve said anything inappropriate on social media. It’s probably going to make worldwide headlines within just a few hours with faster news cycles than ever before.

Use Social Media Wisely

Whether you are a celebrity or an ordinary person, you should take lessons from people who use social media to get themselves in trouble. That trouble could manifest as legal problems, job loss, or public humiliation.

In any of these cases, a person did something foolish and then talked about it on social media, or they had one adult beverage too many and sent out a message that went viral for all the wrong reasons. If you’re not a celebrity, then no one might pay attention to what you said for a while, but it’s likely going to come back to hurt you at some point.

If you use social media, try to think about what you’re saying or doing on a platform before hitting “send.” Once you have put it out there into the world, you cannot take it back.

It can cost you a job, a career, or a marriage. It can get you ostracized from a friend group or make you a laughingstock.

In the past, before social media existed, someone might say or do something, and as long as there was no camera around, it was like it never happened. Unless there were many witnesses, you could scrub these events from your life and hopefully learn from them.

In this social media age, that’s no longer the case. If you do something and use a platform or multiple platforms to document it, it can pop up later and really harm you. If you acted of your own volition and posted the offensive content, you have only yourself to blame for what happens later.

You should also understand that if you want to find out about someone because you don’t know very much about them, but they’re trying to enter your life in some way, you can often use social media as a window into their psyche. If you’re dating someone and you’re thinking about taking things to the next level with them, combing through their social media profiles might tell you whether that’s a good idea or not.

You might learn that a person is not who you thought. They may portray themselves a certain way, but they act entirely differently online. They might say things if they think they’re anonymous behind a keyboard that they’d never come close to expressing in person.

At one point, alcohol might loosen a person’s tongue and show you a side of them you didn’t know existed. Now, social media serves the same function. If you remember that and act accordingly, you should avoid embarrassment, job loss, and so many other problems that might result if you conduct yourself recklessly.

You also have the opportunity to use social media to find out a person if you’re not sure about them. You might discover that this is an individual who you don’t want in your life. In this respect, social media is a double-edged sword. It can both help and harm you.