One thing I always hear my parents complaining about is the ever-changing technology of the twenty-first century. The generation born in the later 90s through now is experiencing a world dedicated to the Internet and all of the technologies that come along with it. This is the world that we know. A technology savvy world where posting what you’re doing, wearing, eating on social media is the trendy thing to do.
I’m an admitted social media addict and am constantly logging on to my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to post about things I consider fascinating in my life and also for stalking my friends and family to keep up with what’s going on. I also usually use my social media pages as one of my main sources of world news, along with following pages that have daily posts of fun facts and cute baby animal photos. I can’t even get out of bed in the mornings without checking my phone first to see if anything new happened while I was asleep. It gets addicting.
However, one of the major problems with social media is that everything you do and say is out there for everyone to see. Even if you think your profile is private or you delete an embarrassing photo you’re tagged in, whatever is posted is out on the Internet for the world to see. Forever. Nothing ever gets deleted for real.
So here are some simple rules to follow for posting on the Internet.
Would you want your parents to see that?
If you wouldn’t want your parents seeing a photo of you topless, beer in hand, or showing rush boobs, then don’t post it. If your parents don’t want to see that then the world doesn’t want to see that. With that being said, don’t place yourself in compromising positions that could potentially end up on social media. With today’s technology, everything you do publicly can find its way to the Internet through images, words, or videos.
I’m not saying don’t go out and have fun. Just be cautious of your surroundings and who has their cameras out while you’re chugging beer from a keg.
Check your spelling and grammar before you post.
Nobody wants to read your posts if they’re having to sit there and decode what you’re trying to say. You don’t want to look illiterate on the Internet, especially if whatever your posting is something you want to be taken seriously for. If future employers see your posts full of spelling errors and made-up words, they most likely will discard your application because they see this as the real you, not the person depicted on the application.
Employers look at what you post on the Internet to get a sense of who you are, and you want to be able to have an online presence that reflects upon you in a good way. Don’t be left feeling embarrassed by what you posted the night, week, month before.
Avoid getting involved in confession pages or debate pages.
It’s understandable if you want to follow certain pages because of your beliefs, interests, or organizations you might be associated with, but the best thing to do is not get personally involved with them. You don’t want to be that bigoted person who tries to shove his ideas down peoples’ throats and calls out anyone who disagrees.
You have your own ideas. Respect the, But also respect the ideas of others no matter how rudely they may be presented. It’s best not to get involved in a debate because once you post your name is linked to whatever is said. Fueling the fires of debate could potentially get your profile spammed with hate mail. If future or current employers are linked to your negative online image then they most likely won’t want that reflected back onto their company. In extreme cases, you might even find yourself without a job.
Following a Confessions page is just a bad idea all together, but thousands of people still do because they are a great source of juicy gossip. However, sometimes local or college confession pages will post things you don’t agree with. Posters could bash beliefs, organizations, or even people you may know. So in order to not be angered by these posts, it’s best to simply unfollow them. You don’t want your name to be associated with a page that allows posters to trash people, organizations, and ideas along with posting a multitude of inappropriate content.
Parents: Please don’t exploit your children.
I hate pulling up social media pages and being bombarded with parents posting pictures of their naked children running around or on the toilet. I understand that some of these are milestones in a baby’s life, but try to keep the more personal photos documented to a photo album at home, not social media. Even though you may find some photos funny, by posting it you are exploiting your child. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take these pictures, but keep them for yourself and for your family to view. I cannot stress this enough. There are a lot of crazies out in the world who could potentially get their hands on these photos, even if your profile is set to private.
Think of it like this. You post a picture of your child running around naked doing something silly. Not only are all of the people you’re friends with going to see it, but if one friend likes this photo or comments on it, it will show up on their newsfeed and all of their friends can see it.
Another thought you have to consider is what’s going to happen when the child grows up. What if somehow one of his naked baby photos gets out and a classmate gets a hold of it? This could cause potential bullying or ridicule.
So please, keep naked and personal photos of your child to yourself, and don’t post them all over social media.
I hate to break it to you, but no one actually cares.
Ranting about people on social media pages just shines a bad light back onto you. Real people solve their real problems without having to complain about it on the Internet. It’s one thing if you talk to a close friend about your problems, but it’s another if you blast your social media pages with your troubles.
The posts where you’re indirectly calling someone out, but you don’t mention their name? Yeah. Most people who you’re friends with are going to know who you’re talking about. If you have a problem with someone then confront them about it.
Reading a post complaining about how alone you are after a break up? Sigh. Eye roll. Keep scrolling. Talk to friends, not social media. Half the people who are your social media “friends” aren’t your friends in real life. Sometimes things you post might just be fuel to a fire against you, and you don’t want to be the subject of gossip when your friends get together.
Truth is, when you complain on all your social media pages, people begin to think negatively of you, and if you continuously do it you’re going to be unfollowed or deleted until the only people left are drama-seekers who have nothing better going on in their life than to follow the drama of yours.
Don’t be a troll.
Trolling is one of the recently coined terms for someone who stalks the Internet to find something to complain about. They typically only have negative comments to say and will continuously comment negatively on everything they see. They are trying to start an argument; that’s the thrill of the game to them. Don’t go around hating on everything you see. Try to keep negative comments to yourself. And if you’re being attacked by one of these trolls, your best options are to report them, unfriend them, or block them from your social media pages.
All of these tips for using social media are really subcategories of the one main Internet rule: Be careful what you post and where you post it. Anybody can get their hands on anything from the Internet if they just dig deep enough. Whatever your life aspirations may be don’t let old social media posts haunt your future.
Keep it classy, ladies and gentlemen.