This blog is not directed to my readers. Instead, it is written for those who are shooting themselves and others in the foot by writing stupid posts on Facebook and other social media.
In a society where the “me” generation has given way to celebrated narcissism, Facebook provides new and exciting opportunities for people to look stupid. An old sage said if you ever write something while you’re angry or upset, you should put it away for a while. That way you’re less likely to share it — or maybe you’ll tone it down. Well, somewhere along the line, that notion fell out of vogue with the value of personal privacy.
Some people do not understand that anything they write is a form of publishing. Every post is a personal news release that can go viral at any time. For a frightening example, check out the New York Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/nyregion/on-facebook-nypd-officers-malign-west-indian-paradegoers.html?_r=2&scp=2&sq=NYPD+facebook&st=cse)
Thanks to the Internet, just about anyone now can publish anything without the traditional filters of editors and publishers there to protect them. And frankly, I don’t know a good writer who does not appreciate the helpful scrutiny of an effective editor.
What’s more, most employers using social media to make hiring decisions. Social media scores of individuals are even being considered by insurance companies http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/12/12/what-insurers-could-do-with-your-social-media-score/
Every post is a personal news release that can go viral at any time.
Here are the five dumbest things I have seen people write on Facebook.
#1. Cursing and Other Inappropriate Comments. Sure, this nonsense is no good for children to see, but I don’t like it either. Using these expressions only makes the writer look ignorant. Remember the birds of a feather concept. For your own reputation, be selective about who you “friend.”
#2. TMI (Too Much Information) Comments. These are the whiny, negative posts about someone the writer knows or even about himself or herself. This includes telling everyone how terrible your life is, or about last weekend’s wild party or how poorly your significant other is treating you. (My advice: If a “friend” verbally abuses you, don’t just unfriend him, cut off the relationship!)
#3. Sharing Your Religious, Ideological or Political Beliefs. Thanks to social media and the Internet, the line between the personal and professional is blurring. Don’t risk offending a future employer who happens to see your post. If you can, stay neutral. If not, be ironic.
#4. Geo-Tagging (Or Telling the World Where You Are or Are Not) Oh sure, we know not to set out the welcome mat for burglars by announcing we are out of town. But really, should you tweet your location and tip off your smart teenager or her friends that no adults are home after school?
#5. Posting Too Much Personal Information. Please do not post your phone number, home address or your birth year. This information is already too easy to find. This also applies to relationship status, especially “it’s complicated.” It’s negative and confusing.
Do share this post and stop the madness!