13-17yrs, 18 & over, 8-12yrs, commentary, Education, personal development

Before you share on Social Media: 3 things to consider

shareConsider your personal feelings on this topic. Go onto your social media pages and imagine you’re a prospective employer. Take a look at the postings on your timelines. Pretend you are hiring for a position that requires someone who is trustworthy, hardworking and will represent your organization professionally.

You’re scrolling your timelines and noticed an inappropriate post by someone you don’t really know. Did it lower your opinion of them? What about that funky booty picture you saw posted of someone you thought valued herself more than that? And, on and, on. How many people would be excluded, automatically, based on something they’ve posted online?

In today’s job market, more progressive corporations will ask you to sign a disclosure submitting to a credit report and a review of social networks you have accounts with. Less progressive companies will do a random Google search and find out everything you didn’t share during your interview and on your application. Therefore, you shouldn’t really be surprised if jobs and colleges fail to accept you or contact you when you have pictures of alcohol and drug use all over your pages along with some very racy rants on a variety of subjects.

There has probably come a time when the urge to lash out verbally is overwhelming and you get on the social network of your choice and let it fly. It may be because you just saw a news report that infuriated you or it may be the conduct of someone you know and it’s high time somebody put him/her in their place. Or maybe you’re feeling a little frisky tonight and after two glasses of wine; you post some very revealing pictures on social media.

It’s the day after and now you have to deal with the backlash associated with rash decisions driven by emotion and/or drugs and alcohol. The damage could be infinite in today’s society. This means that before you have time to regret something you share, it’s gone viral and everyone you specifically did not want to see it has seen it.

As far as your 1st Amendment Rights are concerned, they’re still in place. You still have the right to say anything you want that isn’t a direct threat to national security and I firmly believe that censorship on any level is wrong. When I was about to graduate from high school, we didn’t have the luxury of the Internet. It was a lot easier for some errors to be eradicated and forgotten without billions of members of the human race finding out. I find it useful to take a deep breath and consider these 3 things before posting:

1-Remember, anyone and everyone is watching the Web

Convincing you that some things don’t belong online can be an uphill battle. So I’ll try appealing to your squeamishness by reminding you that what you put online can be seen by anyone. Ask yourself: Would I send this picture to my grandmother? Would I talk like this in front of my dad? You should be aware that whatever you share online could end up in front of the wrong audience. In order to protect your online reputation, you must always be aware of who might see the content you share online.

2-Your every move is not ‘post’ worthy

Although you may think that everything you do is worth sharing online, some things are better left unsaid. Would you like it if your parents called you every time they made a sale, went to a meeting or checked their email? You need to see how oversharing can be not only annoying but dangerous. This is particularly important when it comes to sharing personal information such as your home address, phone number, birth date, Social Security number and other information that cybercriminals can use to steal your identity.

3-Upload only appropriate online pictures

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an online picture of you acting inappropriately is more than enough to hurt your chances of getting a summer job or being accepted into your college of choice. Some overeager parents even seek out negative content about other teens so that they can help their own child get ahead. It’s not pretty, but the truth is that your online photos play a huge role in shaping your digital image and are an important part of your online reputation.

Be smart about how you choose to represent yourself. Never compromise your sensibilities but always make sure that whatever you choose to share with the world is something that is a positive and correct representation of who you really are.

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