There is a saying that goes something like this: “with great power comes great responsibility.” Few things make this statement as true as does social media. By now you’ve heard of people being fired, sued, divorced and killed over things they posted on Facebook, Twitter or some other social network. If you don’t want to fall within this category, listen up, this article applies to you.
Say it to My Face
You’ve heard it a million times already, but we will repeat it once more. Don’t post anything about ANYBODY online unless you have the guts to say it to their face. Many people don’t get this concept so we will rephrase it. Unless you are 100% what you are about to post will not angry or otherwise embarrass you or someone else at a later date, do not post it, PERIOD!
Leave the Boss and Job out of It!
People have lost their jobs for it and with social media becoming more and more prevalent, companies are spending millions of dollars each year to track their workers online activities. If you do not want to jeopardize your job, do not rant about how much of an a**hole your boss is, or how much of a greedy corporation your company is. They will find you and you can get in trouble.
Do Not Defame
Even if what you said is truth, you can be held liable for what you said, especially if you’re in a country such as England, Brazil or India. Do not post anything that could be considered defamation of character. When in doubt, do not post it. Better yet, have a trusted friend read it before you do. It can cost you undue headache, including litigation should you post unfounded or even founded claims about an individual or company.
Do Not Post Angry
It is generally a good idea to leave Twitter and Facebook alone when you’re angry. Not only do you appear like a needy person looking for attention, chances are you’re not thinking straight. If you need to vent, do not vent on Facebook. Instead, take your venting to a spouse, relative, coworker or someone else who you trust. And if you must post something on Facebook or Twitter while you’re angry, take a minute or two to double check your post before you go ahead and post it. Would you be comfortable with this 2 hours from now? If no, you know what to do.
Get Permission First
So you had an awesome night at the bar, or you snapped a candid photo of one of your friends, please do not upload or worse tag such an individual unless you get their express permission. You can ruin friendships and reputations that way. As much as possible, what happens off Facebook or Twitter stays off Facebook and Twitter. You will prevent many a embarrassed encounters as well as a few destroyed friendships. And while we’re at it, don’t divulge secret information on Twitter or Facebook either.