Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Highs and Lows of Social Media

Clearly, I am in to social media and communicating online with those I know, and many who are only "virtual" friends.  I love seeing what friends and family are up to, I love keeping up with Airman that I have worked with, and seeing their families grow and their professional successes.  But one Air Force family learned the hard way that if it's on-line, it can mean open season.  See the story here. It's a bit scary, isn't it?

I am not advocating that we all shut down our accounts, I just urge you all to be careful and keep your eyes open.  Keep details like addresses and phone numbers out of your profiles.  Mark pictures as "friends only." For pictures taken in and around Air Force bases and operations, remember the rules for releasability (or ask you friendly approachable Public Affairs officer before sharing). Think long and hard before posting anything negative.  Venting about your workplace might make you feel better, but would you say that to them face-to-face?  

These cautions are especially important to remember for those of us with kids who are also putting themselves out there on the interwebs.  I have to say I am exceptionally thankful that I survived my teens and twenties before the advent of Instagram! Now my goal is to help my kids make good decisions.  My oft stated rule is that nothing should be put on-line that they wouldn't feel comfortable having Grammy see.

Here is a great and far more competent resource for you - the Air Force Social Media Guide.  It's put out by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency and is fantastic.  It gives great examples of how to share your story and the Air Force story on Facebook and Twitter without crossing into areas you should avoid.   The link is to the 2013 version and there may be a more up to date one available.  They also have a Social Media office, that you can call and e-mail if you have any questions.  

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