January Issue Sneak Peek: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
By Heather Cherry
Nanny Magazine recently communicated with Nanny Stella Reid and Michelle LaRowe about a hot topic affecting all nannies and families, social media. Many turn to social media to exude their personality, but if not meticulous, it can cost a nanny’s career. Reid and LaRowe answer many of the burning questions about protecting yourself (and your career!) on social media and you can find the full article in our January issue. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek!
For 28 years, Nanny Stella has positively impacted the lives of families all over the world. With her expertise and passion as a solution-based family consultant, her no-nonsense approach has gained her recognition as an authority on nanny care throughout the world. Stella is a real-life British Nanny, author of Nanny 911: Expert Advice for All your Parenting Emergencies, The Nanny in Charge, and The Nanny Chronicles of Hollywood, and she is also the star of the hit reality show Nanny 911, which was broadcast in many countries around the world. As the CEO of Nanny Stella, Inc she is the founder of the first CACHE Endorsed Learning Centre for nannies in the US.
Michelle LaRowe has more than 20 years of nanny industry experience. As an International Nanny Association credentialed nanny and Nanny of the Year award recipient, Michelle has authored several parenting books including Nanny to the Rescue, Nanny to the Rescue Again, and Working Mom’s 411. Michelle has also served as executive director of the International Nanny Association, executive director of Morningside Nannies, and as an expert content contributor, product reviewer, and consultant for a variety of major brands. She is the lead educator at NannyTraining.com and editor in chief of eNannySource.com and GoNannies.com.
Their experience in the nanny industry is tremendous, and they offer easily-implemented tips for approaching social media professionally.
Is it okay for nannies to share information on social media? If so, are there certain guidelines to follow?
“Many nannies share advice, support, and resources on social media, and that's a great thing. What becomes problematic is when nannies use social media as an online water cooler to share gossip and gripes about their jobs,” Reid said. “Sharing photos without parental permission, sensitive or identifying information about their jobs and work families, and polarizing opinions that should only be had with a trusted friend over coffee are definite nanny no-nos.”
What do you think is the most controversial topic nannies should avoid on their social media accounts?
“Nannies must remember that nothing they put on social media should ever be considered private, even when their settings are private! Remember, screenshots can be taken and shared. Nannies must remember they are viewed as a role model to the children in their care, on and off the clock,” said LaRowe.
“Their social media accounts reflect who and what they stand for as an individual; posts and shares are just a small snapshot into someone’s life and sometimes all that is seen by a curious information seeker,” LaRowe said. “It's essential to consider how this might appear to someone seeing it who really doesn't know you well before posting.”
How can a nanny remain professional while handling social media bullying directed toward themselves? What if it is directed towards their charge or Mom/Dad bosses?
“There are several options for dealing with social media bullying. The great thing about social media, however, is that you can literally turn it off,” said Reid. “If a conversation becomes uncomfortable or if bullying occurs, an easy solution is to simply turn it off, delete or block the offender, then move on.”
“If bullying is directed towards their employers, it is probably a good idea to speak to your employer before engaging,” said Reid. “If you work for a high-profile family, chances are they have a preferred strategy and practice for dealing with online bullying; you may not want to get involved for safety reasons.”
Please provide an example of a time when social media was a positive (or negative) experience for a nanny.
“Parents will often check a nanny's social media footprint before interviewing. Families have turned a nanny down for an interview because of publicly shared photos of a nanny wearing lingerie on her bed, posting racist comments, and sharing polarizing political views,” LaRowe said. “One nanny shared a major complaint about her family on social media, and another nanny whose boss was friends with the employer took a screen shot and shared it with her boss, who then shared it with the nanny's boss, resulting in her termination.”
Whether you are active on popular social media sites or not, the popular opinion seems to be that nothing is private. Use discretion when using social media and remember that things can easily be shared or misinterpreted, which can result in some major drama for your career as a nanny.