Social media has become a fairly dominant platform people use to voice their opinions and express themselves. However, this can be seen as controversial if employees of certain companies or organizations use their social media accounts as a platform to voice themselves, along with their opinions.
I firmly believe everyone should be able to voice their opinion without receiving any backlash. With that said, there is an appropriate time and place when people’s opinions can be voiced. For employees who have social media accounts dedicated strictly to their work, or profession, I do not believe that is an appropriate place to voice opinions, such as about politics.
Some people look a great deal into a person’s opinions which could impact the impression a person may form about them, or on a company or organization as a whole. It is not in the best interest of a company or business to voice their political opinions on the company’s social media account(s), as that may deter some people from wanting to support, or contribute, to that company. Our opinions are something we are all entitled to have, but unfortunately our opinions can sometimes be detrimental to us.
In an article from the BBC titled “How Can Employees Also Be Social Media Activists,” it stated that deciding what, and how much, to post can be a balancing act, according to Comila Shahani-Denning, a Hofstra University psychology professor. I could not agree more with this statement. Deciding what to post on social media is in fact a balancing act, especially for those in the workforce. I think it is important for people to not overly post about one topic, such as politics. For myself, I know I can get annoyed when I go onto Twitter or Instagram and all I see are stories or tweets about peoples’ views on certain topics or political figures. While I am not arguing that people should not be using their social media accounts as platforms to voice their opinions, I strongly believe that should not be the only, or primary, thing social media is used for. In our world today, social media and the internet is pretty much all we have, as many in-person events and gatherings are still on hold for the time being. With that said, I think it would be great to see more uplifting content on social media.
While I do not think anyone should receive backlash for any content they post on social media in regards to their opinions, I do think it is in everyone’s best interest to be mindful of what they post on social media. College students especially should be conscious of the content they are posting. Many recruiters and potential employers look at candidates’ social media accounts to get a better understanding of what type of person they are. It would be a shame knowing you did not receive a job as a result of something you posted on social media. However, candidates should not be rewarded with jobs due to their opinion. Opinions are something we are entitled to and should not be something that can harm us in any way.
The only time I think it is appropriate for an individual to receive backlash for posting something on social media is when they post inaccurate information, or information that has no factual basis. In these scenarios, I think it is more than acceptable for that individual to receive backlash, as it is not okay to post misconstrued, or inaccurate information. Posting inaccurate information can mislead people who see that information. In those situations, it is in the best interest of the individual to take down the post, and depending on what type of profession that individual may be in, it may serve them justice to make a post or statement recanting what they posted.
Overall, I believe that professional and personal life should be separate. People should be able to freely express themselves and their opinions on their personal accounts without receiving any repercussions. Professional social media accounts used for business should be kept professional only. However, for certain professions, such as politicians, newscasters or journalists, I do think it is appropriate for them to post their opinions on matters, as discussing politics and other opinionated topics is a part of their profession. It is important, though, that those professionals provide facts to back up whatever they post about so that nothing they post can be seen as misleading or deceiving to viewers.
Social media is continuing to evolve in many ways allowing for its users to have a platform to express themselves. This is a great tool that should be taken advantage of, but not over or misused. Part of being American citizens is having freedom of expression and speech. These rights we all have should not be used against us, so long as they are used appropriately.