What have you posted online lately?
Are you concerned it might be misinterpreted, be used not as you originally intended, or used against you in the future?
In general, my target audience is readers who care about business issues and are open to my take on biblical values. When I first started posting online and blogging, I did not worry about my digital presence or the reactions of my readers. My assumptions were we were all business people, professionals and accustomed to civil discourse.
But after paying attention to what people post online over the past several months, I’m not so sure my assumptions were accurate.
It’s not that I question the judgment of my readers; it’s that I question the judgment of everyone.
You see, we all are constantly creating a digital record of ourselves and, unless we take specific actions to delete our postings (and I’m not sure that is even a possibility anymore), this digital record will last forever.
As reluctant as I am to enter the digital age, I understand the need to keep and maintain a digital presence. Our social media profile has become our resume.
Social media is where we go to find new employees and where prospective employees go to find us. We are all continuously using our social media resources to learn about the people we interact with, may interact with, or do not want to interact with.
What is funny is the very people who rely on social media to learn about others are often the same people who pay little attention to their own social media profile. I am no longer shocked by the photos posted of people that I know shown in rather unusual circumstances.
Seeing these posts make me wonder what they were thinking.
The old adage was if you don’t want your mother to know, don’t post it online. Nowadays, it is just as likely the mothers and fathers who are often posting outlandish photos or statements for all to see and read.
Other Uses for Social Media
Many people do not seem to know or care that the lasting impact done by thoughtless posts is not just limited to their reputations. Do they not know that job recruiters, police agencies, and criminals all follow social media? Your social media record is being mined for many uses other than just to ascertain your credibility.
Linear Thought Process
Posting on social media has a linear thought process that we need to be aware of as we decide what to post. Our awareness of this process does not dictate what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable, but allows us to see the larger picture of what our posting adds to the resume of our career.
The first step is how you consider your personal activity. Is what you are doing post-worthy? Some think activity as simple as eating is information everyone needs to know. Others think winning an award is the threshold of being post-worthy. Even though this is an individual choice, it is a starting point for establishing your digital presence.
The second step is converting what you are doing to an online post. You have gone from letting a small number of close friends know about your activity by posting online to letting everyone know what you are doing.
The third step is to acknowledge you just made an entry into your resume—that this information is worthy of your resume for all time. In retrospect, are you comfortable with what you posted? Is there anything you need to do to tie up loose ends that may have been generated by the posting?
What is significant about these steps is that while you think you are selectively letting the online world know about your actions, there is someone who knows about them regardless of whether you post or not. The Bible says.
would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart. Psalm 44:21
When you post online, you have a thought process about how you want your digital resume to read. You can be as selective or generous as you wish.
With God, however, there is no hiding your actions, your digital presence does not matter to Him. He knows all your actions and intentions.
Maybe the first step in the thought process leading to posing online is, do your actions reflect an awareness that God is watching over your life?
That would be a great place to start.