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3 Things for Students to START, STOP and KEEP Doing with Social Media

3 Things for Students to START, STOP and KEEP Doing with Social Media

 

With so much negativity around teens’ online activity, it’s time to change the conversation from what not to do on social media, to what should be done to create a positive online presence. Used smartly and responsibly, social media is an enormously powerful platform for us to share our skills and ideas and connect and network with relevant audiences.

  1. START – Creating a Digital Portfolio –

 English teachers have been telling us for years that the best stories “show, rather than tell’. The same applies to the stories we create about ourselves online to impress universities and employers. Rather than simply listing out your skills, values, accomplishments and experience on a paper resume, you can build credibility and demonstrate your potential with a digital portfolio.

Your social media accounts can do so much more for you than make it clear how good you and your friends look at the beach.  Actually, once you start using digital tools to showcase your talents by sharing relevant visual and written content as a type of social resume, you’ll likely find yourself connecting with industry influencers and contacts and getting attention for all the right reasons.

Still in secondary school, Jadon Barnes showcases his passion and talent in videography via his website, film reel and professional profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

 

  1. STOP Talking all the time, without listening to others

You don’t go to a party and relentlessly talk about yourself without asking a single question or listening to anyone else. Or if you do, I’m guessing you don’t get invited out much any more. Social media is the same. Like digital ethicist David Ryan Polgar says, “social media is set up to be “social.” Being social entails two-way communication where participants are engaged in conversation, not sold to like a pitch.”

Basically, it’s not all about you.

Beyond netiquette though, there are enormous benefits to actively listening online. By following companies, organisations and individuals of interest, you can get a better understanding of what makes them successful and what it would take to be successful in the industry too. You will gain valuable insight that will enable you to better optimise your online presence, make meaningful connections and engage with the right people.

 

  1. KEEP Being your fabulous self. 

Being yourself on social media can be a tricky balance. You want to be the version of you, without being contrived. Posts on social media shouldn’t be like a conversation with your best friend, but equally not like a job interview either. Social media is more like having dinner with your friends and their parents. You don’t want your friends to think you’re a try-hard but you do want their parents to take you seriously and maybe even be a bit impressed.

Social media gives us all an opportunity to put our best foot forward and show our originality and creativity. You don’t need to stop posting pictures of you and your friends having fun; you don’t need to stop sharing funny GIFs (as long as they’re clean); and you don’t need to stop telling your stories. Keep expressing yourself positively and let others know the unique individual you are and what you have to offer. Rather than focusing on what not to post, use social media to amplify the impression you want others to have about you.

 

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