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5 Ways To Keep An Online Following Without Losing Your Job [JACK'S WORDS OF WISDOM]

Flickr, frauhoelle

It’s hard out in these tweets. We all want attention on our social networking sites (despite what you might admit). We want to interact with old friends and make new friends and be true to who we are, all while at the same time not landing ourselves in hot water when employers Google us and find the rants about traffic on the 198/33/90/290/wherever while we drive to/from work.

Some of us choose to be completely different people on the Internet due to this fear. We tweet Buddha-esque “Good Morning World!” tweets to seem chipper when nobody else is and keep all Facebook statuses dull to avoid a war in our comments. Others are completely unfiltered and don’t care how ignorant they sound because that’s just who they are — but that might not always work in their favor.

Some of us overshare, and some of us have horrible timing, but here are a few tips to keep you balanced, entertained and interactive on the Internet.

1. Keep all ignorance to yourself. For some reason, a lot of people are under the assumption the Internet is this soapbox of entitlement. The Internet is also a mask some use, so it’s easy to mouth off or vent about certain things because you’re not there to witness the reactions, nor do you care because what are people going to do about it anyway? Fire you, that’s what. If it’s something you have to whisper, look over your shoulder or even stamp a disclaimer on before you say it in REAL LIFE, just don’t. There are so many other ways to be witty without it being at another person’s expense.

Like, how is this even cute?

2. We care about your well being, but not as much as you think. Being connected on any social network is a choice. We all choose what we’re exposed to based on our likes and interests, and that’s the beautiful thing about the Internet. Friends we haven’t spoken to in years are definitely interested in knowing about milestones such as engagements, marriage, kids, pets, etc., but sometimes we need to be able to hold back on a few details not only to keep people out of our business but to maintain privacy. Imagine adding your brand-new boss on Facebook and having them read the status below? How awkward do you think the next morning at the coffee machine will be? Do you think they’d ask about your kids then? Probably not. Plus, loose lips sink ships — no employer, nor fellow employee, wants to be around someone who can’t keep certain details to themselves, or at least OFF the Internet.

3. Be confident. Employers like that. Anybody can understand the jitters of certain obstacles in life. Vulnerability, at times, shows courage because you’re able to put yourself in a position where you’re willing to try new things — which is AWESOME. However, don’t make yourself look 10x worse than you feel to fish for compliments. Sometimes sarcasm and digging into yourself is a defense mechanism, and it’s normal, but it’s not very becoming. The Facebook status below could’ve omitted numbers 1 and 4 and been completely okay; instead we have the following portrayal of disparity.

4. You see that red squiggly line? It means you spelled something wrong.
Show that you care a little bit about what you’re saying. That’s all we ask for.

Oh we bet it is.

5. Think before you hit POST. You know how drunk texting is a bad idea? Or texting when you’re angry and haven’t had the chance to really let the anger simmer and think clearly? Posting anything on a social networking site is probably 10,000,000 times worse than that. Not only does it show you’re impulsive beyond control, but it shows immaturity. You have all the right to post a gripe about something, because it is YOUR profile, but think long and hard before you hit post because even if you delete it soon after, screen shots are the devil, and you never want to be the victim of that. Just ask Amanda Bynes.

Have a silly or embarrassing story, or some good advice, you want to share with readers? Email your stories to angela.stefano@townsquaremedia.com, and you could be featured in Jack’s Words of Wisdom!

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