Part 3: Don’t Let Social Media Screw Your Finances

Don’t Let Social Media Screw You Financially Now and Later.

Ah social media. I figure with this new Facebook movie coming out that this topic is going to be on my mind and likely the minds of my readers. It’s about time I related this constantly evolving, and always entertaining topic, to personal finance, because of course I try to relate everything to money. Plus I didn’t want to bore you with this new series by getting all technical right off the bat.

Is social media inherently a negative thing? I really don’t think so. I have my Twitter account running so that I can keep up with my readers and my blogging peers. My Facebook account allows me to keep in touch with old friends and family members (and see how people have changed). Facebook also allows me to find out who’s celebrating their birthday when and where, so that I don’t forget. Btw, my Facebook account has all privacy settings on to the maximum (try finding me). With that being said, there’s many ways that social media can interfere with your finances.

Let’s continue on with our journey to becoming a financial stud and look at a few ways on how social media is screwing you financially right now:

Time wasted.

Think of all of the time you spend on Facebook that you should be spending on other stuff (assignments? work? your side business?). I covered this the other day so I don’t want to get too deep into time wasted again. Just try to imagine how you could better utilize the time that you spend on social media following the useless updates of others. This is time that could be used to either make more money or work on more productive projects.

Employment.

This is easily the worst one.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of how young college graduates had a job pulled away from under them due to a Google search done by the employer leading to drunken Facebook pictures. You need to ensure that all of your social media outlets with personal information are extremely private. You also need to watch what you say on public forms of social media (Twitter). We’ve all encountered a drunken tirade on Twitter from a friend or perhaps a celebrity that we follow. You really don’t want to let things you do through social media hurt your current or future potential employment. You need to fully understand and expect employers to Google your name. Please watch out what’s out there about you. You might be a YouTube celebrity without even knowing it.

Advertising.

Social media has been monetized and most social media sites earn a profit from advertising. We see this advertising every single day. Some of us may ignore it completely. However, many of us will be affected by it eventually. The advertising is extremely targeted. The geo-targeting on Facebook and Twitter mobile phone apps can be pretty amazing. I’ve seen ads for restaurants and stores that are right around the corner and I’ve never even heard of in real life. Whether you want to admit it or not, we’re all influenced by the advertising around us. Also even if you don’t purchase something directly online, the advertising of the brand is on your mind. This can be all that some advertisers want.

Word of mouth.

Social media is an excellent way for you to voice your opinion. However, your opinion may be a bit too candid or perhaps vulgar after a few drinks. The way we behave online essentially allows us to create a brand for ourselves. You don’t want to hurt your online image by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

What are the two forms of social media that could screw you financially the worst:

1. Facebook.

This can be a career and reputation killer. Getting tagged in one compromising photo can completely kill your reputation. You don’t want to be known as the guy that passed out in an alley. You also don’t want to become the “spam guy.” The person that sends out mass emails to everyone on their list in hopes of promoting some sort of useless product or event.

You also don’t want to get caught in a lie through Facebook. A friend of mine informed me that one of his employees applied for vacation during Spring Break, didn’t get it, and then called in sick for the week. Due to confidentiality issues you can’t invade a person’s privacy. Unfortunately, this employee decided to post some vacation photos on a open Facebook account. Ooops.

2. Twitter.

The brevity of Twitter, along with the easy accessibility, makes it a recipe for disaster. Most of us have smart phones, along with Twitter apps. We also all go various emotions throughout the day (especially while drinking). One bad late night tweet and you can make a complete fool out of yourself. Just be smart about it. A bottle of vodka and Twitter don’t go well together. A general Twitter rule is don’t tweet if you’re sad, mad, hungry, or drunk.

How-to Become a Financial Stud Series:

Part 1: Get your financial stuff together.

Part 2: Take care of your academics.

Are you ready to become a financial stud? This is the only series that you need.

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