NOTE FROM JEFF MOROSOFF: Each semester, my public relations students in Hofstra University’s Honors College are required to contribute posts to my blog. The following guest post was written by sophomore Nyala Stagger:
Personal public relations is the basis behind a lot of our daily actions and interactions. For the average college student, your publics are your classmates, your professors, faculty, and residential staff, among many others. How you present – or pitch – yourself to them becomes great practice for going into the workforce. However, the Internet has made the process of establishing a great first impression all the more frightening.
In this day and age, as many college students have been warned, social media profiles can be used as weapons against or for someone’s personal PR. Many times when we hear an unfamiliar name, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are great resources to get an idea of who that person is. A decade or two ago, people had to wait until they physically met someone to learn the bare minimum about them. Now, we can learn about people’s whole lives with 20 minutes of good scouring and scrolling through a social media profile. I’ve heard frightening tales of students whose professors found their Facebook profiles and were more than displeased with what they encountered.
A trend that I’ve noticed among my peers is a censoring of social media profile content to control the kind of impression others get from them. By censorship, I don’t mean removing the typical college house party or bar night pictures, since those obviously don’t belong there, but students are now not posting personal thoughts and opinions that could be considered as “controversial” or deleting social media profiles all together to remain “under the radar.”
I think that by trying to stay under the radar, they do exactly that. By heavily censoring their profile, one can remain virtually unseen by potential employers and acquaintances by leaving their PERSONALITY out of their personal PR. What’s needed is a healthy balance between showcasing individuality, while still maintaining a level of professionalism.
What are your opinions? Do you agree with heavy profile censorship or do you like it more when a profile really showcases the person behind the “@” symbol?