Social media has taken over the general population. Everywhere you go, people have their smartphones open to browse Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other famous social media platforms. Even in the seafaring industry, you’d be hard-pressed to find a seafarer without social media, as it is one way for them to connect to their families. Industry-wise, social media has been helpful in search and rescue operations in the Philippines. There are even social networking sites specific to the interests of maritime personnel. With how powerful social media is, a maritime professional should be mindful on how to use it. Below is our guide to having responsible social media usage as a seafarer.
Remember that you are representing the company
Before you post that party picture of you and your colleagues while at the dock, remember that you will be seen first and foremost as a representative of the maritime company. Any questionable content you upload can be held against you or the company. If you have a rowdy pic with your fellow seamen, for example, it can be seen as a sign of irresponsibility and lack of professionalism of the company. Know what to post and what not to post for it could bring harm to the company’s image. It can also bring harm to you because if a company feels your posts are harming their brand, they will not hesitate to let you go.
Be mindful of what you post when in other countries
A seafarer’s job involves travelling to different destinations and experiencing their cultures while you’re there. Because there are different standards and customs per country, it is alright to feel a bit of culture shock from time to time. However, it is not recommended at all to post content that is insensitive of a country’s cultural norms. More than being representatives of the company, you are also representing Filipino seafarers. It is important to show that your maritime training in the Philippines goes beyond and includes cultural sensitivity and respect.
Avoid sharing company information
This is a given in any employer situation, but divulging sensitive company information is a huge no-no. While transparency is an admirable quality of a maritime company, it is ultimately up to the company to divulge these issues in a more accessible and proper manner for the general public. Not to mention, some issues are really just for internal discussions only. Make sure you ask the company if it is alright to share a piece of information before posting. Read your company’s guidelines regarding sensitive information beforehand and always double check from time to time.
Connect with professionals and aspirants
As mentioned earlier, there are social networking sites available specifically for maritime personnel. These platforms are great for broadening your professional circles. You can discuss with your fellow industry professionals about anything maritime-related through these platforms. You can even post and apply for job postings. Having an account in any of these social networking sites can also keep you updated on what is happening in the industry and on the outside world while you are at sea.
Overall, social media usage has to be done responsibly. Just one online misstep can be enough to ruin one’s reputation. With how easy it is for negative comments to go viral, you must always be mindful of what you post before it affects your career. Aside from your maritime training in the Philippines, you must also have basic social media etiquette in order to accommodate the constantly evolving digital age.