If you are a keen social media trend follower, as I myself am. Then you may have heard of the degrading comment made by London contemporary artist Hetty Douglas last week, alienating random laborers she came across in McDonald’s through cruel and snobbish words via her Instagram account.
Since the comment was noticed, and subsequently shared on Twitter – the backlash has gone viral and now the tweeting population cannot stop slamming the artist, many going as for as taking personal digs regarding her artwork.
Since posting the comment, the artist’s reputation has arguably suffer irreversible damage, she has since deleted her Instagram accounts and turned her Twitter account to private. Although this is not good for promotion of her work, one could only assume that if she was to use these accounts again, her content would be faced with copious amounts of criticisms and digs as a result of viral-spread rage for quite some time.
Although I could talk about (and go in to a lot of detail about, trust me) the comment that Hetty Douglas made, and how it symbolically represents a lot of modern day stereotypes and mockery’s. I have decided to write instead about how important it is, if you are using platforms to self promote, the importance of watching what you say and keeping your content effectively squeaky clean.
Through online platforms, words are words. Full stop. There is no tone of voice that can change the way that you write something. Even if you do not mean something as how it is written, you cannot get around the way the words will be construed unless you clearly indicate it so. Therefore, if you are to use your Social Media platforms for self promotion, whether you be an artist, a musician, a model, etc. You must always remember that you will gain a loyal following but you will also gain critics on your back all the time, just waiting for you to make a blunder. Alongside this, if you are looking to enter a highly professional industry in the future, prospective employers will be searching through your Social Media with a fine-toothed comb, if they find anything remotely offensive or questionable, this will undoubtedly damage your employ-ability.
So, we can learn from Hetty Douglas’ mistakes and be sure not to follow in her footsteps by following these tips that I have complied:
- Proof read – before you send out anything on social media, question – is this appropriate? It is human nature to sometimes say things without really thinking about it, however via social media this could be ultimately damaging. Therefore proof reading is crucial, and on the plus side, it takes no time at all!
- Keep your accounts separate – when I was sure about the industry I wanted to go in to, I changed my 7-year-old personal Twitter account to private (as deleting 7 years worth of tweets just didn’t sound appealing to me and neither did deleting my account!) I then created a new, professional Twitter that I mainly use to tweet about PR related issues or promote my blogs on, I leave this Twitter accessible to employers and am happy for all the content that I have posted on there to be read by whoever it pleases to do so!
- Think about what you write – by all means, exercise your right to free speech. But also know your boundaries, think about who could be hurt by a controversial comment you may be itching to make, and think – is it worth it to publish this to the world? Hetty Douglas presents to us a prime example that sometimes, it is better to keep opinions to yourself.
We were taught from an early age that it is always important to remain careful and vigilant on Social Media, but we was not told so frequently to monitor our own actions as well, which is equally important to many of us. Above all, stay safe and stay wary on Social Media and always remember the power it embodies.
Love from Jessie x