Have you ever had a conversation with someone or even a group of people, and later thought – you know, I wish I hadn’t told them that.
Well, that same experience happens with social media. While it’s normal to want to share details of your life with others, it’s important to actively remind yourself to filter your thoughts and words. If not, you can potentially overshare information with others, which could lead to dire consequences.
This is especially true if you’re utilizing a social media website such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
With our ‘always on’ and real-time technology world, a misspoken word or thought, can cause irreparable damage to you and others.
Before posting any information online, whether it be an image, video, tweet, posting or comment – pause and ask yourself:
- Can this be traced back to me? If so, it’ll be hard to deny any allegations.
- If my employer, government agency, professional associations, etc. see the post, image or video, would it cause embarrassment or issues? Remember that some employers and organizations have moral clauses in their contract agreements and by-laws.
- Am I revealing information that may be proprietary or subject to a non-disclosure? The legal issues can be tough to overcome if you’ve publicly violated a legal agreement.
- Did someone tell me this in confidence, and if so, would they be offended to see it posted online? This is especially important with friends and family, be careful not to share information on their behalf – especially without their prior consent. If there’s any doubt or uneasiness about what you’re posting or sending, simply don’t do it. In this case, the old adage applies, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- And ultimately, could this post hit me in the pocketbook and cause financial repercussions? If so, the answer is apparent, steer clear from posting the content.
While I’ve mostly focused on content published on social media websites, the same advice applies to emails and text messages. Be careful of what you email and text to others, after you hit send, you have no control as to how the information will be handled. It can be forwarded to others, posted on unsavory sites, manipulated, and many other unfathomable actions.
While social media definitely has its place in today’s society, we should remind ourselves that some aspects of our lives should remain behind closed doors.
Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.