I was reminded of that this week when I was working with a new client who wanted to improve her web presence while she was job hunting. During our session, this question came up – Should you be you online – warts and all? Or should you “enhance” your image a bit?
You know, “like you….only better?”
Why bother? There’s really nowhere to hide anymore. What exactly do we hope to accomplish by airbrushing those laugh lines and glossing over graduation dates? Once you meet somebody in person, the jig is up anyway. (I’ve heard versions of this dilemma several times from women friends who have tried internet dating.) And it’s not just about your appearance anyway.
Should you censor your opinions and even your personality to land a job, get a date, whatever?
My client’s worry was that her online comments and opinions could cost her a job interview. That’s a legitimate concern. But I pointed out to her that she probably didn’t want to work for someone who’s diametrically opposite to her values anyway. And, her opinions could also land her a job interview with a company who loves her opinions.
This “should I or shouldn’t I” dilemma is mostly a boomer phenomenon. Those of us from this generation are still very much in the habit of not spilling our guts in public. The generations who have come after us have less of a problem sharing personal information on Facebook. (I’m still mortified about one photo I saw on my timeline of a FB friend’s very private new piercing.)
I go back to my self-imposed Mom Rule for posting on social media. I don’t post anything I wouldn’t have wanted my Mom to read. (Mom wasn’t a total prude, but she was a lady.) Envision your own personal arbitor of taste. What would they deem to be acceptable in online etiquette? And follow that cue.