Why Social Media Behavior Matters

Sue Scheff
April 9, 2015

Social media has proven more than a trend, social media matters.

Your social behavior offline may never be seen by a college admissions director or a potential employer if you don't implement responsibility and respect in your online social media behavior.

In 2014, Career Builders released a survey that revealed 51 percent of job applicants were not hired due to their social media behavior. This survey also found that the percentage of employer's eliminating applicants because of their social media behavior continues to climb; in 2013 it was 43 percent up from 34 percent in 2012. During a recent episode of ABC's Shark Tank, fashion mogul and entrepreneur Daymond John said that his companies' Google every applicant they consider for hiring.

Many teenagers are aware that a Tweet or Facebook post can actually cost them a college scholarship or admission, however do they understand that it can be more than a simple post? It can be how you interact and engage with others online that matter too.

Another cliché that has come full circle, 'you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.' Today your first impression is likely to be what a search engine has to say about you.

So we can agree that social media behavior matters, now what can you do to improve your social media behavior?

  1. Keep private and personal matters offline. Use private messages and never engage in heated arguments online. No one ends up winning.
  2. Be mindful of what you post on your site and other's sites. The cliché, think before you post, never gets old.
  3. Keep your tone in check. Never use all caps. Digitally speaking, typing in all caps relates to yelling or screaming.
  4. De-clutter your friends. Especially if they are continuously adding questionable content or comments to your sites.
  5. Interact with empathy and respect. No matter where you are online, (blogging, chat rooms, forums, etc) be sure your keystrokes are engaging with respect towards others.
  6. Sign-off. If you are having a bad day, don't be afraid to unplug from all devices and social media for 24-hours before you post something you may regret.
  7. Don't Overshare. Privacy has become a priceless commodity online today. Don't assume your texts, Tweets and posts can't be forwarded, copied and pasted -- all before you get a chance to 'delete' a digital mistake.

Another cliché that has come full circle, 'you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.' Today your first impression is likely to be what a search engine has to say about you - your digital reputation, your online social behavior. A search engine can likely dictate that first impression for your college and your next job. That is the importance of your social media behavior.

Treat others as we want to be treated is what most our parents have taught us. What we need to remember is this is equally important online. Kindness is always a priority in all that we do - offline and online.

Cover image courtesy of Flickr.

Written by

Sue Scheff

Sue Scheff is an author and Parent Advocate. She founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc in 2001. Her expertise is educating parents that are struggling with their out-of-control teenager and Internet safety for both kids and adults. In her book, Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate (Sourcebooks), Sue Scheff equips readers to handle cyberbullying, trolls and other digital disasters. Find out more at on Suescheff.com.