Ah, social media. A platform for social justice, equality, and…shirtless selfies? For many people, the internet has become the go-to place where they are most comfortable disclosing their most personal thoughts, controversial opinions, and provocative images. While you may think that what you post online is safe as long as you’re behind a screen, it’s important to conduct yourself professionally and maturely on the internet. What you post online can come back to haunt you.
Everyone swears now and again, but excessive use of profanity can negatively affect your online reputation. Those who overuse profanity on social media come across as aggressive, immature and unprofessional. The same goes for any type of abusive language or underhanded remarks, harmful statements or offensive comments related to racism, sexism or anything remotely discriminatory.
Anything Related to Legal Issues
If you post anything related to crimes, drug use or illegal activity, you could get fired or even face charges. Many people mistakenly assume that what they post online can’t be used in lawsuits, but they are wrong. People have lost their entire careers over things they’ve posted on social media. Talking about a crime or current court case you’re involved in could also come with serious legal consequences. Even if you don’t mess up your legal case, a social media post can impact insurance claims just as strongly.
Although many people use the internet to build confidence, showcasing your assets on social media can come back to haunt you. Chances are that you wouldn’t feel comfortable heading into the office in just your underwear, so why risk having your coworkers or even your boss discover a profile filled with nothing but revealing selfies? As the saying goes, discretion is the better part of valor, and you should only share online what you would be comfortable wearing, saying, or doing in a public setting. Protect your reputation and self-image by always posting with integrity. If you wouldn’t want a friend or family member to hear or see you doing something, don’t share it online. It’s easy to use social media as a diary, especially when your most heated thoughts can get validation through likes, but make sure that you learn how to cope with your thoughts and feelings in a healthier way.
Social media, like everything in life, should be used in moderation. Ask yourself what role it really plays in your life, and find ways to capture that same energy, connection, and validation offline. This will help you to avoid posting something that you’ll regret.