On Social Media, Wear Your Politics (But Not Your Heart) on Your Sleeve
Image courtesy of Mashable
Most people with at least an ounce of sense understand that there are some things that simply aren't meant to be posted on social media. Among these include most drunk pictures, anything illegal, unflattering clothing, and anything too outrageously sexual.
With some exceptions, it's best to refrain from posting anything ultra-personal about your relationships on social media as well--not only are they not particularly appropriate for employers to see, but most of us don't want to read it either. But what about politics?
I'm a big believer that when it comes to social media, you should wear your politics on your sleeve. Even as a full-time student seeking gainful employment in the next year or so, I do it myself, for a few reasons:
- It'll come out eventually, anyway. Regardless of the career you're in, chances are at least one of your political views will come out at some point. Whether it's in a work environment, during a conversation with a co-worker, or at a happy hour chatting with your boss, politics infect every corner of our lives. Trying to keep politics and social media separate is impractical and simply not worth it.
- If an employer has a problem with it, you probably don't want to work for them. I mean think about it--if an employer has views that stray so far from yours that they have a problem with you being outspoken about them, why would you want to work there? Why would you want to have to keep the things you believe in--just as important as religion or any other basic human right, in my humble opinion--quiet just because your boss or employer doesn't agree?
- Personal social media accounts are personal for a reason. There's an understanding in the social media world that there are two primary kinds of accounts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. There's the "personal" account and the "business" account. Now obviously you don't want to be political on a business account (unless that's the point, depending on the business), but on a personal account, all is fair game. And unless you're in public relations or marketing, I'm not a big fan of disclaimers ("the views expressed here are mine and not the views of my employer..." blah blah) either, because if your name is on it, that's the one that'll be quoted/remembered/cited. Chillax, folks.
- If you're passionate enough to tweet about it, then you shouldn't hide it. I mean, how hypocritical is that? If you believe something strongly enough to post it on social media, then you shouldn't even think about hesitating to post it. Otherwise, why bother talking politics ever? If you want to be political, be political. Don't be timid about it.
- Keep it clean, and nobody will be offended, anyway. As long as you aren't mean political, nobody will really be offended. Will you have people disagree with you? Sure. But that's part of what makes social media and politics such a great combination--they're an incredible forum for political debate. Embrace it.