Can I Live? Social Media and Professionalism
Written by: Kimberly Bowman
As a new entrepreneur and professional, it has been quite the journey for me over the past year and a half building my brand and my business. Building the brand is expected to be difficult, but I never expected the world outside of my business would be so overwhelming and frustrating, to say the least. When you take on the responsibilites of being an entrepreneur you are essential the main brain behind the operation of your business, whatever it may be. But what alot of people don’t realize, when you sign the dotted line on becoming an entrepreneur, YOU as a person, no longer exist. No, you don’t literally vanish into thin air, but you become your business. You represent the values, and prinicples that you founded your company on. People expect you to carry yourself like a business professional, and not like your average person.
These expectations are really pushed on social media. Social media has always been a tricky avenues for professionals and companies to master alike. When you think you are doing it right, something goes wrong. Entrepreneurs, and all professionals really, are handicapped by our businesses to be able to use social media sites how we wish. Oh sure, its useful for your business, but in regards to your life outside of your business its just out of the question. But why must it be this way?
A doctor can’t post a picture at the bar with friends without someone saying, “oh look! My doctor drinks! He must be a drunk!” A politican, or teacher, or company executive can’t comment global warming, or the latest tragedy without being attacked by their followers for stating their opinion or beliefs. The world tends to put us, as professionals, on this pedstal as if we are perfect people and build these general ideas about our professions around us. But aren’t we still human at the end of the day? Yes, I am may be a doctor! Sure, I’m a teacher! Okay, yeah I’m a politician! But if you cut me I bleed just like you!
I will agree that as a professional, there are just certain things you just don’t post or talk about on social media. But outside of those common sense things, don’t I have a right to post about my life, share my opinion, and comment on things just like the average person. It’s not fair I say! We’ve made millions of sacrifices to build a business, brand, and name for ourselves, but I don’t think we should have to sacrifice who we are as people as well. Social media giveth, and social media taketh away, but its just not fair that we as professionals have to be scrutinized for every thing we say or post.
We are respected in our communities and in society, but we should be respected enough for people to understand that we have lives outside of our work. My personal life is seperate from my business or profession. You don’t see me, prancing around in my underwear telling people to check out my magazine. Because we are who we are we have to be extra careful of what we say and do, but people and society also need to be more understanding. As long as we are keeping our personal seperate from our business, what’s the problem? We provide you with some of the best services and inventions. We entertain you, we inform you, we teach you, and we help you, the least you could do is let us live our lives outside of that!