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The concept of “personal branding” has gained a lot of popularity and individuals are taking the time to align their social networks to tell their story and put them in the best possible light. The question becomes, how much information should truly be personal vs. professional? Do personal anecdotes and interests outside the professional realm add value or hinder one’s credibility?
On the other hand, what if an individual wants to purely use social media for personal purposes. Is that even possible? The saying that one’s occupation indentifies them and makes them who they are can make social networking difficult if that job is not to be discussed. This is a question that can especially be of interest and of value to individuals in the military. The National Guard recently released their social media policy, which at first glance makes it very difficult to even be on a social network as a member of the Guard due to all the stipulations of can and can’t be posted. Or, is it simply common sense and what one wouldn’t say or discuss in public applies to social media and these guidelines are just simple reminders?
We hear stories of individuals losing jobs over social media posts or never even being hired to begin with. While this has become a reality, it hasn’t stopped individuals from making the same mistakes over and over. The members of the military, however, can’t afford to make too many social media mistakes as they can cause more severe problems than lost jobs, it can cost lost lives if the wrong information gets out.
The new environment we are operating in has social networks embedded in our daily operations and almost ingrained in our DNA. Since this medium doesn’t seem to be going away, it raises the real question–should these guidelines look more like training manuals rather than what can be perceived as confusing rules and regulations?
To take a look at the National Guard policy, go to this article: