TMI: 7 Posts Not to Share on Social Media
We’ve all seen it happen: Someone we know discovers the wonderful world of social media, and ends up sharing obnoxious or downright embarrassing posts. You want to help the poor guy or girl out by letting them know what they are doing…but, instead you opt out of their status updates.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools to connect with your peers and allow you to share your thoughts and feelings. But, regardless of what you can share, there are limits to what you should share if you want to keep your friends and followers.
When is the information-sharing too much? Here are 7 Posts Not to Share on Social Media and you should avoid:
1. The “Over-sharing” Post
This post can take two forms. It can be posting too frequently or posting information that you should only tell your best friend (or in some cases, both).
If you are posting hourly updates on what you see outside your window and what you tripped over at home, stop! Would you take the same interest in someone else’s mundane daily routine? Not every thought you have needs to be shared. That applies as well to posts about bowel movements or photos of flesh wounds. Don’t air your dirty laundry! Keep it for your eyes only.
RULE OF THUMB: Post a maximum of three times a day (unless you are engaging with a specific person or group), and limit posts to things you’d be comfortable showing to your grandparents or a romantic interest.
2. The “Poor me!” Post
From the beginning of social networking, there have been people who’ve abused the system by constantly seeking attention and affirmation. Emotional posts like “I don’t have anyone to hang out with” or “I need a girlfriend” often invoke a response from followers, but aren’t the best way to gain respect.
We all have our own unique struggles, and it’s okay to reach out for support from friends and family every once in awhile. But, if every day is a new setting for drama, you should look into further help offline.
RULE OF THUMB: Keep public posts positive! If you need further support, use private messages to gain feedback from friends.
3. The “Selfie” Post
On the flip side of the “poor me” post is the “selfie” post. Made infamous recently by Ellen DeGeneres’ widely-shared celebrity selfie and the catchy “#Selfie” song, a selfie post is just as it sounds—a picture of yourself, taken by yourself.
Of course, there are times that you may be forced to take a selfie. Maybe you are solo on a work trip, or you are at a fun concert with friends and find it easier to do a selfie group shot. But, you shouldn’t be posting selfies if you’re taking photos of yourself for no other reason than to gain self-gratifying comments.
RULE OF THUMB: Only post selfies when you are doing something outside of the norm or when you’re with friends.
4. The “Let’s Fight” Post
Don’t post something controversial just to watch your friends quibble over it, or let a heated debate get out of control in a public space. Every time that you respond to an argument, a notification may be sent to your friends. It doesn’t make you appear to be the better person if you can’t let something go.
RULE OF THUMB: If an online argument is getting under your skin or taking up too much space, take the conversation offline or to a personal message.
5. The “Drunk” Post
There was a time when you could limit the damage from your drunken revelries to phone conversations, undeveloped film rolls and the memories of the friends you were with. Now, incriminating photos from your night out and embarrassing posts can be shared with only a few clicks of a button. Being drunk impairs your online judgment, similar to you thinking someone is much more attractive than in reality.
RULE OF THUMB: If you realize you’re intoxicated, restrict access to your phone and social networks! Apps exist that will block you from making posts to social networks, such as “Drunk Detector,” or that I identify whether or not your text or post is suitable to share, like “Drunk Text Savior.” If it’s too late, the app “Last Night Never Happened” will automatically delete the posts you made while drunk.
6. The “Work Information” Post
Avoid posting information specific to your organization unless it’s already public knowledge. Some companies have social media policies that forbid workers from even mentioning their company unless it’s linking to the company’s own updates. That goes as well for complaints about your boss or co-workers, because that information can come back to haunt you.
RULE OF THUMB: Share information only if it’s public knowledge and as your social media policy allows.
7. The “Security Violation” Post
Your identity is at risk if you share your home address, travel or financial information publicly. Also beware of sharing answers to security questions such as your place of birth, first pet, favourite book, and favourite colour.
RULE OF THUMB: Review and screen your profile and posts for potential security issues.