Have you ever met someone you follow on social media and been compelled to stop, invite them for a drink, to tell them how much you know them? We do connect with people through the lens of what they show us on social media, after all. But we should ask ourselves: Are our posts a true reflection of who we are and what we stand for? I cringe every time I look back at some of my old Facebook postings, yet it was me who posted what I thought was great enough to share. Let’s face it, we don’t publish things we aren’t confident about. However, now they are just off, that is not me anymore, but Facebook still has them, and when someone searches for me on Facebook, they can see my current and past posts, giving them a glimpse of who I am and who I was. When Linda Umulisa Ndungutse was looking for work at a church-based company, she didn’t realise the implication of what she put out on social media. “I had ‘*insert f-word* Religion’ in my bio on Instagram and Twitter. I assume they searched and saw it because in their rejection letter, they indicated that they were looking for a person who had Christian principles or morals,” she says. Social media is a tool that allows us to stay in touch with old friends and meet new acquaintances. It connects us with like-minded individuals, which is why sections such as ‘People you may know’ and ‘Things you may be interested in’ appear. They are designed to keep track of our searches, postings, likes, and comments in order to place us in a category with other people who share our interests. What do you think of yourself? What are your ethical principles? What are your objectives, goals, and dreams? Are these reflected on your social media accounts? Calvin Shema Munyaneza, a university graduate, on the other hand, does not agree. “Since the post and the social media account are yours, you must share what makes you happy. If you don’t want to share something with someone, you may choose to hide them from viewing on WhatsApp, Snapchat, and even Instagram. I believe we will never be able to make everyone happy, so make yourself happy,” he says. Leslie Kamugire shares Munyaneza’s viewpoint. “I’m sure we’re all familiar with meme lords; you’d be shocked to meet one in person and discover that they aren’t even conversational, despite the fact that they share joke posts all day,” she says, adding, “We are not necessarily what we publish, we may post just to have fun.” Meme lords are people known for creating or sharing memes (demonstration of behaviours, facts, or something else in a sarcastic way). It’s easy to argue when you’re young that you don’t care what other people think since ‘it’s your page, you post anything you want, and those who don’t like it can move on to something else’. Personally, I believe it is beneficial if you are able to anticipate the possible repercussions. While it is crucial to stay true to oneself, it is also necessary to recognise external influences on our daily lives. Smile With Faith in their article “You are what you post! How does your social media represent you?” offer five questions to consider before posting something on social media: • What is my purpose for this post? • In what way does this represent the person I am? • Would this be considered appropriate for an employer to see? • How would my parents/family members feel about this post? • Is this an inspiring or encouraging post for others? The article “9 reasons to be careful about what you post” also shares tips to consider before publishing something: Nothing is private; your friends have their own circle of friends! While one may be choosy in who they share with, their viewers may not share the same sentiments; content can still be spread outside your chosen friends via screenshots or other means. Not every joke is amusing. You may believe you are the funniest person, but an internet ‘joke’ that is directed at the wrong audience might offend or hurt them. Recruiters are looking online, a good reputation is a valuable asset.