Social media is a very, very long trail.
Everything you write, every picture you post, every comment you make lives on the Internet forever.
Even if you take down something you have written or posted, someone may have captured a screen shot and saved it for posterity. You don’t have 100% control over your trail; Google doesn’t return search results based on an algorithm that considers how proud you are of the content as its creator.
You want to be real and authentic. You want to share your voice. That’s all well and good. But it’s worth taking a few minutes to think about what you are posting before you hit publish.
A Trail Spiraling Downward
When someone searches for you or stumbles upon the trail you’ve left behind you, what are they going to find? Are they going to find someone bitter, petty, or angry? Are they going to find someone snarky and sarcastic? Maybe caustic?
How far will they follow that trail before they decide the path isn’t worth taking? What post/picture/content will cause them to stop them from taking another step on the trail you’ve left behind.
A Trail Forward
When someone steps onto the trail you are leaving behind you as you wander though the digital world, will they find someone who shares things that are helpful, entertaining, and useful? Will they find someone who is thoughtful, generous, and caring?
How much of your trail will be worth following? Will the content you post leave clues that are worth following all the way to the end of the trail?
A Brand Called You
It’s always worth considering your brand as you leave your digital trail behind you. Social media is an amplifier.
Every post, every picture, and every comment is a trailhead, a place where someone can step onto the path that leads to you. Everything you leave can either compel someone to take a step forward or it can repel them.