Emma Pettit is an English and Political Science major who is on the volleyball team at Villanova University.
As college students, our lives are absolutely swamped with social networking. There are the basic networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and then there are the niche medias like Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vine, Google+, and the other thousand of ways to share thoughts, blurbs, and photos online. While social media has definite benefits, (connecting with friends, starting relationships, networking) there are also some major risks that come with sharing information online. College is a time where we start forming our image and applying that image to get job opportunities. In a digital world, the impression we create online can work for us, but it also has the potential to work against us. So when deciding when and what to put online, use this checklist to make sure the information your choose to share won’t limit your opportunities later on.
So without further ado, do NOT post something online if…
You’ve had more than a few drinks
It’s the weekend and you’re feeling buzzed. Okay, a little more than buzzed. But still, you’re looking cute and you want to share your booze-inspired rantings online. Just one piece of advice: wait until the morning. Put the phone down and walk away. If you’re drunk, you’ll most likely make spelling errors, post inappropriate pictures, over-share personal information, and make other mistakes that you’ll definitely regret. So save the post for the morning when you’re sober and more inclined to feel shame.
It’s a post targeted to only one person
You’ve just broke up with your girlfriend/boyfriend and you want to share your new-found wisdom with the world:
You’re insanely emotional and you just want everyone to know why this one person is the absolute worst. We’ve all been there, and it’s definitely difficult because social media is so immediate and how easy would it be to just make one passive aggressive tweet about how completely okay you are right now and that you’re “totally moving on” with your life.
But please, take at least a 24 hour cooling off period. Many situations seem less extreme the more time passes, and chances are you won’t want to talk smack and be “that girl/guy” a few days later.
You have already posted three times that day
This rule applies for the main social medias like Facebook and Instagram. We all have those people we follow who post at least ten times a day and they make us want to throw away our computers and give up the Internet all together, like seriously just shut up already.
Other social medias -like Twitter- are exceptions, but as a general rule, you should keep your posts at a maximum of three per day.
It’s a photo where you’re clearly doing something illegal
It doesn’t matter if you blur out the beer/booze/bong; you should never post it. No employer will ever think that your camera accidentally blurred out you and your friends drinking a lot of waters on a crazy Saturday night.
And finally, if it’s an obscure inside joke
THE most annoying thing on social media might be when people post obscure inside jokes that no one understands. You’re only going to get a maximum of five likes and more importantly, it annoys everybody else. Posts that are obscure make no sense and clog everyone’s news feed. So avoid them at all costs because honestly, nobody cares.