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How social media can play a role in making or breaking your reputation

Experts say we can control what we post, but we can't control what people do or say in reaction to it.

Chelsea Pettigrass says her favorite social media platform is Twitter, but says she's very careful just how much she shares with followers.

"I don't make my life too public I suppose, I'm careful about what I post especially since I'll be getting a job soon and I'm careful about things that way," said Pettigrass.

Joyce Colabufo has a smart phone, but doesn't use any social media.

"I think it's gotten away from who individuals really are, you know, nothing's sacred anymore," said Colabufo, "People are so quick to criticize, and there's just too much negativity that's in today's world with social media."

That scrutiny is something we can only try to avoid if we think before posting, says Chuck Beeler of the Mower Public Relations Firm.

"It's very public, it's not private and a digital footprint's everlasting, so people need to be thoughtful," explained Beeler, "when people go to your Facebook page or your Twitter what do they see? Is it an updated photograph, what does it say about you? You can manage your privacy settings, you can manage who can view your content and who cannot view your content. But be mindful of your own activity."

Beeler says your likes and shares can attract comments you might not expect, whether they're negative or positive.

"Post with purpose. Why am I posting this? What will this post, this share, this link say about me? Answer those questions before you get involved." suggested Beeler.

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