It is important to be careful who your friends, connections, and followers are on social media. This is for multiple reasons. One being how a wrong perceived contact can look towards a future employer. Another being how helpful a good “friend” can be.
Future employers, dates, and loved ones do not just look at your tweets or wall posts. Your “friends” are looked at too. If all of your followers are sorority sisters who tweet about going out and getting wasted every night with constant misspellings, how do you think that makes you look? Just like them. Be weary of who you allow to be your social media “friend”. You may care greatly about your online presence, edit every tweet, re-tweet carefully, and have professional photos of yourself, but unfortunately, not everyone does. I personally have had to “un-friend” on Facebook some of my good in my life friends because I disapprove of how they chose to use social media as a weekend evidence site. This does not mean I dislike them or even look down on their lifestyle. However, when branding one’s self it does not just matter how we act, but who we surround ourselves with.
To the contrary, having helpful, social media savvy “friends” can prove to be beneficial. I recently received the honor of interning with a corporate office this summer. I became excited immediately. My glee started fleeing as I read how formal the attire was for the work place. I though “how can I afford to get a whole new wardrobe before I get a paycheck?” After a few tweets, direct messages, and a status update I quickly received multiple solutions from my social media “friends” on what styles are in, where to get them, and helpful hints on how to look professional quickly. I estimated it out that my social media “friends” saved me over $300 on what I expected I needed to spend.
Real life and social media life are not drastically different. We are judged by the company we keep. Surround yourself with others you respect, admire, and would like to imitate in one way or another.