When I first moved to the US, Facebook and Twitter were only available via the web. But once social media was available on our phones; I got used to uploading, checking in, tweeting or updating my status while I was living inside the United States.
But during my first trip back to my home city, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 2008, I experienced a different story. How I was going to try to utilize social while I was walking in the streets of one of the most dangerous city?
I had to battle my habit of updating and posting pictures from my city while I was walking in the streets — since updating your status or checking into places could reveal my location to kidnappers or thieves. I was only able to post pictures at my house or any other safe location. I took a lot of precaution while I was visiting my hometown, since I don’t put a lot of faith in social media privacy settings, particularly on Facebook.
Whenever I was visiting touristic sites, this was not a problem. However, once I was back in San Pedro Sula, my fear to expose my cellphone or share information on social networks started again.
My trip took place six years ago, and I still question various social media companies and smartphone manufactures if they are doing something about social media and digital usage in developing countries.
Perhaps, social media and smartphones have been able to established and fit everyone’s life in developed countries by being able to use social media safely.
But is still different story in some developing countries, as many kill each other for any smartphone. I must admit that it might not be social media and cellphones companies’ responsibility to combat this issue. Although, I believe they could contribute with plans or campaigns for these countries’ governments in order to educate people about safe usage of different social media networks and smartphones.
I was confused and flattered when I first received an “Endorsement” notification from a connection, which happened to be my friend and from someone who I didn’t really know. Some of my endorsements such as writing and editing matched my skills. However, it was given by most of my close friends instead of my former coworkers or college classmates. I must admit that I felt content that they were considering me a talented writer or editor. Even though, they never read any of my works, and I never had a chance to edit their papers. Were they just being good friends or maybe they just want me to return the favor by endorsing their skills?
I was also endorsed by unknown connections, which was strange and confusing. Yet, I still accept the endorsements and left them in my profile because, I thought that it was going to attract recruiters. However, after researching about LinkedIn Endorsements, I ended up with mixed feeling about my endorsements. According to the article “Everything You Need To KnowAbout LinkedIn Endorsements” from Forbes, endorsements make it easy to put in a positive word for a connection without going to the trouble of writing a recommendation.
But at the same time many recruiters are not impressed by the given endorsements of their potential candidates. They tend to pay more attention to the elaborated written recommendations.
However, who has time to sit and write recommendations? Therefore, LinkedIn had the confusing and practical idea of the endorsements, which is considered the Facebook Poke of professional marketing, according to the article “LinkedIn: Thanks for the Endorsement, Do I know you?.
LinkedIn tried to save us some time when it comes to recommend our connections by endorsing their skills. They should have developed this feature in an efficient and reliable manner, such as describing briefly (perhaps in less than sixty words) why are we endorsing our connections. In other words, ask their users to be more descriptive at the time they endorse their connections. Lastly, endorsements should be exclusive for people that work with each other or were involved either in a college project or freelancing project. It is time for LinkedIn to develop a feature that’s more professional and reliable in order to keep their reputation as the professional social network.
Want more on your online reputation? We recommend keeping an eye on this during SMW14.
Featured image courtesy Sheila Scarborough.