Facebook is a great place to keep up with your friends and what they’re doing… it’s also a great way for people who aren’t your friends and friends and family to creep on you. When you put information Facebook for your friends, you’re also giving that information to future employers, past employers, teachers, fellow students, co-workers, criminals, insurance companies and government officials.
So before you post that video, meme, or selfie on Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram, or Tumblr ), ask yourself whether it fits one or more of the criteria outlined below. Because nobody ever regretted not uploading something for the entire world to see, and you may well save yourself a load of grief down the line. Here are 6 things you should not post on Facebook… they could turn around and bite you in the arse !
1. HOME ADDRESS
Unless your profile is on complete lock down and no one but you and your cats can see it, then you should never put your home address on your profile. You’d think this was common sense, but I see people using different “check-in” services while at their house. It may seem funny at the time to call your house “The Casa” or “The Beer Joint” and check in there. But if your profile is public, then any creeper can figure out where you live and come make themselves welcome.
2. HATE SPEECH
Facebook isn’t a Ku Klux Klan rally, no matter how much white people love it, and trust us, you’re not impressing anyone but your crotchety great-uncle when you drop the n-word. In fact, with each pointless hateful comment, more and more of your “friends” are silently blocking you from appearing in their news feeds, until at last one day you are simply screaming into the void, with no one to answer—as fitting a punishment as we can imagine. Also, your insecurity is showing.
3. COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR BOSS
Maybe you hate your job… or your boss is a tool. We’ve all been in those situations. With Facebook being such a huge part of our lives, it can be tempting to “air our grievances” — to quote an old Seinfeld episode.
A woman in Phoenix posted just last month “I wish I could get fired some days, it would be easier to be at home than to have to go through this.”
Oops… the next day she was granted her wish and fired.
Your boss and your co-workers have Facebook too. They can see when you’re griping about work — and obviously those gripes aren’t going to reflect well on you.
The laws in every state are different, but in Texas (where I am) it’s a “fire at will” state. Meaning employers don’t have to have just cause to fire you. They can legally fire you because you mouthed off on Facebook.
4. INTENTIONALLY ANTAGONIZING OR STUPID
Perhaps you remember the Pennsylvania 14-year-old currently facing two years of jail time for mimicking oral sex with a statue of Jesus? Just imagine: if he’d had a better sense of humor, he wouldn’t have become fodder for the spurious “War on Christianity” narrativeFox News seems bent on peddling. (Besides, when it comes to casual blasphemy, you kind of have to be there.) The trick here is to put yourself in your grandmother’s slippers and decide whether she would approve of what you’re doing. No? Then delete or put it in a scrapbook. That way you can look back fondly on your dumb hijinx instead of apologizing for them.
5. ASKING FOR INAPPROPRIATE LIKES
Brands and news outlets are often worse about this than individuals, but nevertheless, it’s best to avoid making the impression that you’re exploiting a tragedy for attention and clicks. Try to remember that “likes” and shares are are only a valuable currency in your own Web-addled mind, a consensual delusion of sorts, and that the sanctity of human life, such as it is, definitely outweighs the opportunity to “win” whatever media micro-cycle we find ourselves in at the moment. Believe it or not, the average person’s emotional range extends beyond a thumbs-up or withholding of same.
Congratulations Carmen! We’re all very happy for you, but don’t forget that your parents, friends, family and potential employers also now know that you are getting some action. Probably not the best kind of thing to be putting on Facebook.