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Social Media Etiquette
10 Things to Avoid Posting on Social Media:
1. Over-the-Top Party Pictures
You may be proud of what you see as your wild ways now, but you probably won’t be in a few years. It’s one thing to post pictures of you and your friends having fun, but posting pictures of any age-inappropriate activities is just going to look immature. Post this kind of content at your own risk: your college-age cousin is probably taking screenshots and posting them on Reddit for the mocking enjoyment of thousands.
2. Stupidly Insensitive Jokes
You might think that a certain racially charged joke is just hilarious, but not everyone is likely to feel the same way. The point of Facebook is to make social connections, not to alienate people. If you think there’s any chance that someone might be hurt or feel targeted by a Facebook post, you should consider just not posting it. And believe us when we say that the world doesn’t need yet another joke about how women need to get back in the kitchen. There’s a diminishing return on jokes that were funny when your great-grandpa told them.
3. R-Rated Memes
No one with any common sense is going to suggest that high schoolers only access age-appropriate, squeaky-clean content online. But that doesn’t mean you should force everyone else to see the gross and weird stuff you see online by posting it in your Facebook feed. This is especially true if you have younger siblings or friends who might be upset or disturbed by what you posted.
4. Relationship Drama
Ah, young love. Nothing seems as urgent or important. And nothing makes adults feel more snidely smug. Even if you are ‘it’s complicated’ with the object of your affection, keeping the sordid details to yourself can help protect you and your social circle from unnecessary and potentially incriminating drama.
5. Insults About Teachers
It’s not unheard of for students to get in trouble for stuff they’ve posted online. You might feel the need to vent about a teacher, but it’s best to do that in a way that can’t be recorded and used as evidence in punishment.
6. Bullying Classmates
It can be easy to gang up on people online, since it is indisputably easier to insult someone when you don’t have to look them in the eye. But again, you can get in trouble for the things you say on Facebook. Plus, you’ll just come off looking like a jerk if you bully a classmate on a social network. Why would you want to show that side of yourself in such a permanent way?
7. Anything You Wouldn’t Want Your Parents to See
This is a pretty good general rule of thumb – you might think your posts are completely protected, but most parents have Facebook these days, and your parents are probably way more Internet-savvy than you’d like to think. If you post about stuff you know you’ll get in trouble for, you’ll only have yourself to blame when you actually do get caught because of something you stupidly decided to share with the public.
8. Anything You Wouldn’t Want a College Admissions Board or Future Employer to See
Again, you might think your Facebook is totally safe from prying eyes, but it’s always possible that you forgot to finalize a certain privacy setting. Why put stuff out there in public that’s going to make you look like an idiot? Facebook searches are a pretty standard part of the job application process at this point. Everyone expects it. You should probably make the same assumption about college admissions boards. Don’t share any information you wouldn’t want to be judged by.
9. Links to Questionable Web Content
You might think that ‘NSFW’ link is hilarious, but your older sister – who happened to click that link while at work – might not share your opinion.
Like bullying, gossip is particularly easy to spread online. But there’s no way to backpedal when everyone saw you post something with your name and picture right next to it. Save yourself the social trouble and just steer clear of gossip on Facebook.