We all get those urges to post on social networks when we are cracking up with our friends or after experiencing the most awkward moment in the mall trying to buy a pretzel. But should we? Is sharing our every thought or action online always a good choice?
Don’t get me wrong. Posting on social media occupies my life about as much as every other college student, but what rules or guidelines should we follow? When should you post to social media in general I’m not sure if there is a clear answer, but I have 6 important questions to ask yourself before posting anything.
1. What time is it?
Have you ever heard the expression “nothing good happens after 12:00?” Well as far as posting goes, nothing good happens after 10:00. At this hour, things become much funnier or much more stressful.
This leads to posts which either make no sense or are completely irrelevant. Don’t be that guy to crowd everyone’s feed with selfies while studying or hilarious jokes that aren’t funny at all.
2. Have I been drinking?
Again, everything seems more extreme while under the influence of alcohol or extreme amounts of coffee. If you have consumed large amounts of either of these, just don’t post. You’ll thank yourself later for showing restraint now.
3. Am I going to regret this post later?
If the answer to this is yes or you are unsure about the answer, don’t post it. If you are particularly sad, angry, confused, or in any other emotionally unstable state, do not post on any account. You are much more likely to post something you will regret. For example putting your roommate on blast for not doing the dishes is not always a good idea. You live with them after all.
Give yourself time to calm down and then share your thoughts.
4. Am I uploading a picture?
Is this picture relevant to only you? If it is, just keep it to yourself. Does this picture contain incriminating content? (Note: incriminating content can be anything from a red solo cup to a little too much skin.) While statuses are easy to pin on someone else/delete/forget about, pictures are not. You can’t deny that is your face.
(If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, this tip especially applies to you.)
5. When was the last time you posted?
If your answer is under one hour ago, stop. Put down your phone, log off your account, and walk away. I know you think your followers want to see five selfies of you in a row on Instagram, but they don’t. They also don’t want to read the play by play of your dinner, study session, or your break-up. Less is more when it comes to the number of times you post that you are normal, etc. You should know by this point to censor yourself, but in case you don’t, be careful. Controversial topics/pictures could create terrible, awkward, embarrassing conversations.
6. Will anyone important see this post?
Important people include (but are not limited to): parents, professors, current employers, future employers (for when your current boss fires you), grandparents, your pastor, that really cute guy that you are trying to convince
To summarize: use your brain. Our world is changing and our “private lives” are not so private. We post all of our information on the internet, but the catch is, we control what we post. So, if you don’t want those college pictures to come back and haunt you, first don’t take them, second don’t plaster them on the internet.
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