Welcome back to Tarleton Tip Thursdays, where every week we give you tips to help you harness the power of social media. Cathy Wilterding, a Tarleton State University librarian who is also an alumnus and a native of Granbury, Texas, recently shared with TSMRI how some of the guidelines she grew up with for living in a small town also apply to social media.
|This image was used with permission from the Cross Timbers Historical Images Project.|
- Be careful of the company you keep. In Facebook and Google+, you can corral your contacts with lists and circles, but don’t allow anyone in your social media circle that you wouldn’t want in your “real” circle.
- Mind your manners. Once you say it, you can’t take it back. Yes, you can delete posts and clean up your social media presence, but you may have already affected a relationship.
- Don’t gossip. People love to pass on info. News travels fast…especially bad and revealing news. What used to be a phone call to parents/bosses from a neighbor or fodder for school hallways is now more quickly spread through tweets, Facebook and blog posts, and emails – often with pictures.
- Don’t expose your dirty laundry. Some things do NOT need to be cataloged in social media. When in doubt, don’t.
- Don’t accidentally leave your diary out where others can read it. And don’t leave your social media accounts open on a shared computer! New entries might appear.
With Facebook’s Timeline rolling out, we urge you to remember some of those small-town sayings and manage your online reputation. Don’t let it manage you and your future.
Dr. Maben is a communication professor at Tarleton State University, and a co-director of the Texas Social Media Research Institute.