Are Your Social Networking Profiles Helping or Hurting You?

Social networking is all the rage today.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace – the list goes on.  It seems like everyone has one or more of these services, but how many people are thinking about how it can affect them professionally?  And how does it affect your productivity?

In terms of your professional image, there have been many news stories and articles about people getting fired or not getting hired for jobs because of the things they post on their profiles.  In one of my time management seminars, a participant told me she didn’t hire an applicant because she researched his social sites and saw that he “wanted to do as little as possible for as much money as possible.”  If you want to keep your social networking just "between friends," pay close attention to the privacy settings on sites like Facebook and MySpace.  The safest bet is to assume that anything on the internet can be fair game; however, you can minimize your risk by making your profiles private or "friends only."  Be careful what you write and post, even when making comments on others’ pages.  Think about whether you want what you’re about to say in the virtual public record for all time. 

That said, social networking can be a useful tool in developing relationships and marketing yourself.  I’m using LinkedIn to build relationships and network for new business.  I already have over 250 connections and many recommendations.  However, keeping up with your networks can becoming all-consuming and almost addictive.  I know several people who admit to being Twitterholics or check their pages on different sites continually throughout the day, which has far-reaching productivity implications.  If all day you sift through information on websites, read your blog postings, keep up with all your social networks, and wade around in your email in-box, when are you actually going to get your WORK done?  I check my social sites once each day and only after all my key priorities for the day are completed (generally in the afternoon).  I suggest you set some appropriate boundaries around your usage of social networking and then apply some good old-fashioned discipline to make yourself stick to them.

© 2008 Laura Stack.  All rights reserved.

www.TheProductivityPro.com

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    Are Your Social Networking Profiles Helping or Hurting You?

    Social networking is all the rage today. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace – the list goes on. It seems like everyone has one or more of these services, but…

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