Last week, the New York Times wrote an article about how facebook and other types of social media, may be ending the American tradition of high-school reunions. We have a million ways to stay in touch with our high-school classmates if you want to, but more importantly, our curiosity has already been assuaged.
We can say with satisfaction that we’re aging better than the prom queen and our kid got into a better college than the snooty valedictorian’s kid did. And the flip side of that is that we’ve already shown off. Everyone has access to our facebook accounts and has seen the pictures of our gorgeous spouse and the fancy vacation we went on. They were updated on linked-in about our promotions and new jobs. And they saw on youtube when we performed with the New York Philharmonic.
Ok, maybe this is a bit of wishful thinking. But there is nobody we want to impress more than the people who knew us in high-school and today, name-dropping at the high-school reunion just isn’t the way to do that. Instead, we have to think of the image that we present online.
I don’t think there are many of us who can honestly say we’ve never “googled” ourselves or glanced at our own facebook page to check how it looks. In fact, that kind of behavior is easy to justify because of the many warnings about what potential employers might see.
Many of the impressions we want to give potential employers are the same ones we want our old friends to have. We want them to think the same things we wished they thought in high-school: That we are successful, beautiful, interesting and loved. Well, maybe employers don’t care if we’re beautiful, but they do want to see that we are good at what we do, well-rounded and have stable relationships.
That means in theory, our facebook pages, blogs and twitter feeds should already be tweaked to show our fellow alumni what we want them to see, but do they? What I would like to know, is how many people out there have considered this group of peers when creating their online presence. Have you ever changed anything on your blog or facebook page because of how it might look to someone from your past?