I posted my review of PS I Still Love you by Jenny Han a while ago (video review posted below) and ever since finishing the book I’ve been thinking about the ever growing challenge of managing our social media reputation because it’s a big topic in the book. While it makes for a great storyline it certainly hits home. I mean, seriously, it’s so easy nowadays to get into a bit of trouble considering the vast number of platforms (and with it an even greater number of opportunities to screw up) and the ease of access to a large audience (and with it a larger number of individuals to make an impression on). Our circumstances are definitely impressive, to say the least.
Companies (a.k.a. perspective business opportunities; a.k.a. future employers) are increasingly more active and engaging on these platforms, hence the opportunities to interact with them is just at our fingertips —a great thing if our reputation is exactly where we want it to be. Global barriers are virtually nonexistent, which, again, is both amazing and terrifying because the exchange of communication has now become so easy. With everything that’s happening around us, it stands to reason that we may not always understand how our words come across under every circumstance.
I don’t know about you, but when I screw up it really affects me. I get into these slumps where I really dread trying out the activity that got me into trouble again—whatever it may be (posting on Twitter/IG or going out with friends). Over the years, I’ve gotten a bit better at managing both my dread and my online “reputation”. It’s partially due to a woman whose name I don’t remember and who I’ve never met, personally (Cheers to web surfing!)
Many years ago, before becoming heavily involved in the world of blogging, I came across a wedding planner’s YouTube Channel. She shared with us a few basic guidelines she followed to manage her brand and online reputation. I didn’t appreciate her words so much at the time, given that I really didn’t understand the power of social media, but that’s all changed now. Her process can be summed up as follows:
- Let it simmer
The “let it simmer” part is probably the most impactful bit of information to me. In a world where we want to put out content as pronto and as plentiful as possible, taking a step back and thinking through our posts is something that I think vital, yet highly overlooked. It’s definitely a struggle to do so, especially because we don’t want to be the last to post relevant content, but I think this is when we have to make the call as to how much thought we should put into our posts. Not all posts require as much thought, but many do, and those are the ones you really need to focus on.
The platform I struggle with the most, and ironically the one that I feel the most successful in, is Twitter. I absolutely love Twitter given its simplicity; its brevity, and the vast audience you can instantly reach. I know that the facets that make it intriguing to me, also make it dangerous for a number of reasons. I am bilingual; I am Mexican; I am American; I am a woman and so many other things, but even so, I do not represent all facets of individuals. I do not understand every point of view or cultural difference, and for those reasons, among many others, I fear making a really sever mistake and insult someone, inadvertently. I fear that the context of my words may be mistaken and even more, that my loved one’s might pay for my failures. My lack of control is what makes it so challenging to fully embrace this platform—or any platform really; this one just seems (to me) like the easiest to use. While writing this, I still love it, and all its glorious and terrifying features.
We can’t get around the trials and tribulations of social media; at best we can take a gander at managing them. The following are just a few of ways I’ve learned to manage:
1. Choose three words that best describe what you want to portray; what you want to be best known for—aka your brand—and use them to guide your posts.
Mine are respectful, lively, & true—if during the “let it simmer” phase of creating content, I find that my post doesn’t fall within the confines of these words, I don’t post it. I may rephrase it.
I know this takes away from the spontaneity that made social media so successful, but the truth is we now have to be more analytical than ever when it comes to our posts as they determine how we are perceived by the world. Employers, companies we hope to make partnerships with one day, may overlook us if we don’t manage our reputations with a bit of TLC.
2. Understand your alcoholic threshold and adjust accordingly.
When in social situations I limit the number of drinks I consume to two if I’m accompanied by my husband, and to one if I’m alone. Two is the magic number for me. It takes me to the point of bliss but not over the top. I mainly take this approach so that if I say something inappropriate or do something out of character, it’s wholeheartedly my own doing and not the effect of external forces.
3. Own up to your mistake as soon as you realize you’ve made one.
The sooner the better and make sure you are genuinely sorry about your mistake. If you aren’t genuine in your apology, others will read right through it and it may end up backfiring. Sometimes it may take time for you to respond, which I think is a good thing as long as it’s always at the forefront of your thoughts. I personally prefer to take a step back because I tend to say things I later regret in the heat of the moment—really terrible things; things that are hard to recover from and that is the worst feeling ever. Taking time to think things through helps me use my words as wisely as possible and things end up a lot better when I take this approach.
Long story short, follow the golden rule and all will, for the most part, be okay.
And those are my tips! Please share with me a few of your own. This topic is of great interest to me and I’d love more tips.
My Review of PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han
The scenario in PS I Still Love You is quite steamy and poisonous. It gets out of hand really quickly. It definitely makes for a great plot point and it definitely makes you feel grateful to never have been in Lara Jean’s shoes. (I truly hope that is the case for anyone reading this post.) If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts! If you haven’t read it, read the first one if this book intrigues you as it is a duology and it’ll help you keep up with the story. Cheers!