Social media is a great way to stay in touch with distant friends, share special experiences, and connect with new people. However, there are a few times when posting on social media can cause problems. Here are three times that it is best to keep your feelings and experiences offline.
When Searching for a Job
While you are actively looking for a job, it is best not to post anything pertaining to the job hunt on social media. This includes who you are interviewing with, how an interview went, and what you think about the interviewer. Most likely, potential employers will do a quick search on your social media accounts to gauge your level of professionalism and look for any red flags. Additionally, while you are job hunting, don’t post complaints about your current job or announce your intentions for any prospective jobs. You should keep your posts professional and appropriate. Don’t share overly personal pictures, exhibit illegal or offensive behavior, show highly opinionated and biased viewpoints, or express yourself with improper grammar or profane language. Potential employers will use your social media accounts to help form their opinion of you. Stay above reproach, and don’t give them any cause for concern.
During a Legal Case
Social media posts can be used against you when you are part of a legal case. Don’t post anything that could be incriminating or hurt your case. For example, social media posts can be used against you during a divorce. You might need an empathetic ear now more than ever, but resist the temptation to vent over social media. Everything you post will be available for review, and any questionable posts might be enough to harm your chances of getting custody of your children. Nothing you post on social media is fully protected, even on your private accounts. Most experts recommend removing yourself from social media completely during a divorce or other legal proceeding. At the very least, never post uncomplimentary things about your spouse, pictures with a new love interest, and travelogues of lavish vacations or other major purchases. Maintain a strict silence about your children, and exercise extreme care when communicating with your spouse.
During Sensitive Times at Work
You can damage your reputation, harm the company, and get into legal trouble by sharing the wrong things about work on social media. Spreading rumors or speaking unkindly about coworkers is an unethical and unhealthy way of handling issues at work. Photos of your sick day spent on the golf course will undermine your reputation and expose your dishonesty. Posting about sensitive or confidential information could get you in major legal trouble. Finally, never share or like a post that even remotely resembles hate speech. This includes anything that attacks a religion, gender, or race online. These types of posts are all grounds for getting you fired.
When you use social media wisely, it can help you stay connected, make new friends, and present yourself to the world in a positive light. However, the reverse is also true. Never let your social media content cause you harm or damage your reputation.
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