Social media and public digital presence have created environments where what you do or say have a greater likelihood to spread like wildfire.

Good usually ensues with fluid dispersion of information, though sometimes people get themselves into trouble by saying offensive or insensitive things. Predictably, companies and individuals are becoming more conscious about what they say and publish in public online venues.

With increased digital exposure, it’s become more common to hear statements like “you’re always on now,” or “the meter is always ticking” or the “world is always watching.” These statements imply that it is important to always be on your best behavior because someone may be watching or listening.

A challenge with these sentiments is that they emphasize “getting caught” versus demonstrating good character and judgment in the first place. They muddy the waters between the two realms.

Character is reflected by what you would do if absolutely nobody was watching you — not about how you would behave because you may get caught. The greater exposure inherent in social media presence demands that participants demonstrate higher standards of character and judgment.

This is an important distinction.

This essay also ran in MediaPost. Photo: Tracy.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.