Digital Identity Dev is a Process

Social media and career development

September 24, 2015
Digital Identity Development

Our digital identities matter. What we post, share, say, upload, snap, and tweet represents our digital identity. It's our online presence. Regardless of how much you share, what you post can be read/seen by hundreds (if not thousands) of people. Say something really inflammatory and you might just see your social media missive showcased on major media sites. Unlike one-on-one face-to-face conversations that reside in our memories once concluded, digital communications have an almost eternal shelf life.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to give a presentation on digital identity and career services. The webcast focused on the critical development that takes place via digital channels and how social media can impact career success. My final thought/concept for attendees was this list of digital identity development components:

  • Be Unique / Be Kind: Nothing is more boring on social media than the banal. Uniqueness is a human characteristic that translates well to digital channels. Our shared humanity is what makes social media so transformative, captivating, and inspiring. However, snark and meanness have no useful purpose on the social web.
  • Context Perception: When you post something on Twitter, context can oftentimes get lost in the conciseness of 140 characters. Always remember that what makes sense to you might not make sense to others. Consider the context of the moment when you decide to share something to the series of tubes.
  • Share and Engage: I'm a big fan of using social media as a listening platform. However, digital spaces are great realms for sharing and engaging. It sounds simple, but social media continue to provide avenues for communication that span the globe and are literally changing the way the world works. Connect, curate, and converse and you will be on a lifelong journey of learning.
  • Networks Matter: Career success is usually dependent upon myriad factors, but a strong network of connections made via social media can easily enhance your chances of landing the job that you've always wanted.
  • Forever Memory: Whenever I'm giving a presentation, I consistently emphasize the concept that once you post something on the Internet, it's there floating around on the web for all time. Even if you delete what you just shared, there's a good chance that it's been captured or cached.
  • Always Evolving: Digital identity development is a process. What we share today, might not be what we share tomorrow. The channels will continue to grow as we grow with them. Developing a robust digital identity takes time. For career services offices, the opportunity to teach, advise, and guide students on how to use social media for career development will always be an ongoing process.

What would you add to this list?

In the spirit of sharing, here are some of the slides from the aforementioned digital identity webinar that I presented.

This post is the third one in an impromptu series focused on career development, social media, and digital identity. Just in case you missed it, the first post was all about the utility of LinkedIn's mobile apps and the second post was a call to action for career services offices to amp up their social media engagement operations.

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