I’m sure you’ve all heard that social media can cause depression; it forces you to see everything that’s going right in people’s lives while your life might seem to be going wrong.
Then there’s cyber-bullying… I’m just glad social media was in its infancy during my middle school years.
And let’s not forget about social media on mobile devices. You know, the whole, “everyone’s on Facebook when they should be focusing on driving or crossing the street” thing. Have you seen the video of the woman jumping onto a train track to get her phone? She nearly dies, but at least she can tweet about it before she gets home.
In short, social media can be bad for your health.
So how’s it affecting mine? One word: stress.
Social media is no longer truly social. At least not for those of us out there seeking a career in media or marketing. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are increasingly becoming extensions of our resumes, so we better be putting good vibes out there. Don’t believe me? Check out this snippet from Careerealism:
According to the 2012 Global Hiring Survey from the global professional association, Career Directors International (CDI), when reviewing a candidate, 58% of hiring authorities search the Internet for information at least sometimes; only 14% never check it.
I’m not stressed about making interactions on my social media sites job appropriate. That’s not even something we worry about anymore; by now Millennials have this self branding thing down.
The thing that’s stressing me out is maintaining a strong presence. If you’re looking for a job in social media and don’t live on social media sites, you’re basically a walking contradiction.
Some of you may laugh at me and say, “Wow, how hard is it to write a tweet or snap a photo for Instagram a few times a day?” But putting your personal life out there for the world to see doesn’t come as naturally to some as it does to others.
I was the kid at the party who barely said anything. I would listen, observe and just wait for my moment. Then, when the timing was right, I would say something so perfectly witty that everyone would think I was cool even if I didn’t speak the rest of the night.
But it doesn’t work that way with social media. If you want a lot of followers, you better be saying a lot. And if you want a good job, you better have followers.
Now I understand that you don’t always have to post about your life; most posts are pictures of cats or interesting articles that people stumble upon. That’s cool, but I don’t want to spend my life on the Internet. At work I sit and stare at a screen all day. Then I come home just to do the same thing. It’s ridiculous.
Don’t you ever want to completely unplug yourself and just LIVE?!?
Well if you want a job, you can’t. Go on LinkedIn and ask for recommendations. Then read 20 thought-provoking articles and tweet about them. Now get on Instagram and upload those photos of yourself volunteering. Don’t forget about Pinterest! Create a portfolio board, and make sure you keep it up to date. Now scurry over to Facebook and create a post promoting your blog. Do the same thing on Google+. While you’re at it, don’t forget to read what other people and businesses are saying! And be sure to watch out for up-and-coming sites; you might have to create a new portfolio soon. Let’s hustle, people! Are you even trying to get hired?
Between keeping up with our social media sites, actually applying to jobs and, oh yes, working one or several jobs, how are we supposed to find time to do anything else? Every now and then I’d like the sun to shine on my face instead of the glow of a laptop. And maybe it’d be nice to have an actual social life instead of just a virtual one. Who’da thunk?
Is it really necessary to have 5-10 thriving social media profiles? I’m far more interested in helping a company promote itself than I am in promoting myself. Can’t hiring managers just look at our resumes and portfolios to see the work we’ve done rather than study our personal lives?
If you want to be a teacher, you don’t need to have kids. Doctors aren’t required to live with people who have medical conditions. Marine biologists don’t need to have pet dolphins (but if they could, why wouldn’t they?).
I know that social media can add great opportunities to a job search, but sometimes it’s just overwhelming. No wonder so many more kids have ADD these days. We have the world at our fingertips, but choosing one thing to focus on is downright impossible.
What do you think? Does social media ever stress you out?