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Are You Guilty of Social Media Fraud?
By: Aprel Phelps Downey
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Countless hours have been spent planning out the next step of your career path. Your Facebook status updates detail virtually every moment of your progress as you go about pulling off that dream internship or landing that coveted interview. Your Instagram account highlights networking events where you rub shoulders with the people that can send you straight to the top of the corporate ladder. Your Twitter account showcases motivational quotes or retweets from Donald Trump or other business moguls who live and breathe success. According to your Pinterest boards, your business knowledge would put Bill Gates to shame.

Sound familiar? We dedicate so much of our social media life to putting our best foot forward. It only makes sense that the best pictures make Instagram, the best status updates post to Facebook, and the most thought-provoking 140 character tweets find their way to Twitter.

Social media allows us to hide behind the safety of a computer screen. Here we can pretend to be something we are not in our real life. From the comfort of our couch, we can select the pictures that show a vibrant social life. We can Google search an inspirational quote from an industry leader such as Steve Jobs, add a few Photoshop elements and within minutes have a social media update designed to impress even our harshest critic.

At some point we have to stop and ask ourselves if we are really sharing the true picture of what our life is like. Or, are we hiding something from the rest of the social media world?

Social media fraud is like the dirty little secret of the Internet. Everyone does it, yet no one ever admits to it in public. Life has a way of getting a little messy at times. Sure, it means that a dream job may be handed to someone else. We might even have to watch someone else take possession of that coveted corner office we’ve had our eye on since the day we walked into a company. These moments are hard to swallow and even harder to share amongst our social media circles.

We should be sharing the realistic moments on our social media networks. In other words, don’t be afraid to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Share that Facebook status update of disappointment over being passed over for a promotion at the office. Tweet about the frustration over not having enough concrete experience to gain that entry-level position. Post that less-than-flattering picture on Instagram as a reminder that sometimes life simply does not go according to our plan. Have a Pinterest board dedicated to a favorite hobby or pastime without giving it a second thought.

Check that fear of what others may think at the door and bravely share a life moment, no matter how messy it may be, with the social media world!

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About the Author
Aprel Phelps Downey is a writing/marketing professional who holds more than seven years marketing experience, including all aspects of promotional and informational campaigns and website development.  To learn more about Aprel please visit her website at www.aprelphelpsdowney.com or follow her on twitter: @aphelpsdowney.
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