Social Media – It’s All Fun and Games Until Somebody Gets Hurt!

Everyone… well, most people… enjoy posting on Social Media sites. It can help us stay in touch with friends and family, find out what the newest products are from our favorite stores and even stay on top of current news. But sometimes you see things that make you wonder what was going on in someone’s mind when they posted. Here are the top 5 things that I see people doing on Social Medias sites that spell T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

1. Your Social Security number, Phone number, email address or home address – I can’t stress enough how important it is that you NOT share this information anywhere online. Please don’t post your phone number or address on any social media platform ever. This is just plain unsafe. First of all, there are bots online that specifically search for this type of information and you will end up on every phone and mailing (snail mail and email) list known to mankind. Second of all, remember that person who had a crush on you way, way back when? Do you really want them, or some other random odd person, showing up at your doorstep? Can you spell stalker? It’s really not a smart idea… thumbs down on sharing your social security number, phone number, email or physical address online.

2. Your Social or Vacation Plans – When you post on different social media platforms (and I am thinking specifically about Facebook in this scenario) everyone can see your information… so a friend’s third cousin’s best friend’s Uncle may be seeing your posts. What I am getting at here is that you may not know everyone who sees your posts. Posting that you will be out for the evening or in Hawaii from March 15th through the 25th may not be the best idea. I am specifically referring to the potential for criminal activity in your home.

3. Drama – Social Media is a place for happiness to take place. Connect with old friends, share good news and stay up to date with friends and family… but don’t share your arguments and air your grievances online. It hurts relationships, creates more drama and it makes you look bad… no matter how awesome you really are.

4. Complaints about Coworkers and Bosses – If you want to ruin your relationships with coworkers and maybe get fired then make sure that you complain often and publicly on Social Media. But if you value your reputation and your job I would avoid complaining online about your work, bosses, coworkers or anything to do at all with your job. And besides… put yourself into their shoes. Would you want to work with someone who would rather complain publicly than come and talk with you openly about the issues that they are facing? Me neither. This doesn’t just make an employer look bad – it makes you look unprofessional.

And last but not least…

5. Don’t post pictures that you wouldn’t want your Grandmother to see – This is pretty self-explanatory. We have all seen pictures of people in situations where you just know that they shouldn’t have been posted publicly (near nudity, drunkenness and general all around debauchery come to mind). Employers and potential clients (if you own your own business) look at your social media to get a feel for who you are in your personal life. Your posts and pictures speak volumes about your character and ethics. Do you really want to miss out on your dream job because every picture you post is from a party or from participating in events that may be deemed as not acceptable? My advice for determining whether or not you should post a picture is “don’t post it if you wouldn’t show it to your Grandmother.” Leave that picture in an album to remind you of just how fun and crazy you can get and only share it with your most trusted friends.

Here is a great way to decide if you should post something on social media. And it can be used as a gauge for making just about any decision. Just ask yourself “How would I feel if I saw this on the front page of my local hometown newspaper?” I think that your gut will give you your answer.