Yeah, you posted it. You want to take it back now, right? You deleted it, but too late, of course. Your post already has comments, shares and probably been laughed at. You'll never live this down. I know. I've been there. Once it's out there, no matter how hard you try, you can't get take it back. What have I learned after making mistakes like this? Plenty.
Think, Think, Think Before You Post
Remember that selfie you took at the party the other night? Is it something you want your mom to see? If you're looking for a job, do you want potential employers to see that not-so-flattering party animal pic? Privacy settings cannot ensure the picture is only seen by a select few.
If It's on the Internet It Must Be True
OMG! Your best friend just posted proof that Bigfoot exists. There's an "authentic" picture to prove it. You're so excited you want make sure all of your friends know about this amazing discovery. You share it on Facebook and Twitter. But, the joke's on you. According to Snopes.com, the picture and the claim are false. In fact, if you'd thought about it first, you probably would have realized the story was a hoax. What were you thinking?
OK, that was a minor flap. You should have checked it first. Lesson learned. But what about all of those pictures of politicians and celebrities that get passed around? Even news headlines from different sources lean toward an agenda. Did a politician really say what these easily created graphics indicate? Don't take anything at face value. If someone's accused of saying something offensive in a speech, find the speech online and read it, word-for-word. Then you'll have the facts.
Snopes.com, mentioned above, and FactCheck.org are reliable websites you can use to check the validity of internet rumors and urban legends.
Be a Peacemaker, Not a Fighter
People love to see other people argue on social media. It's so easy to lose your cool and post something you'll regret in the heat of the moment. The problem is that arguing through social media is never pretty. In fact, it's downright stupid. Nothing is ever accomplished through arguing and you could end up saying something really dumb. Discussion and discourse is cool, hot-headed arguing is not.
Respect the Privacy and Dignity of Others
A recent article on Elite Daily by Jen Glantz covered the debate couples are having these days over whether or not to allow social media at their weddings and receptions. The article goes on to explore eight true examples of brides who felt their weddings were, if not ruined, at least somewhat dampened by the use of social media. One victim, a bride, was angry because one of her bridesmaids posted a picture of her on Instagram in her wedding dress right before the wedding. Hundreds of people saw her in her wedding dress before her family, friends or even her husband-to-be. Another said she and her bridesmaids were in the same room just before the wedding. She looked around and saw all of her bridesmaids taking selfies for Facebook and Snapchatting. It was like she, the bride, didn't exist. Wow, lost privacy and invisibility - all because of social media.
We've all seen embarrassing photos of people posted by friends and family. Some people may not mind being seen in an embarrassing light but most people don't appreciate it. Snapping a photo of them and posting it without permission is just wrong. Friendships have been lost over social media posts.
Can't say it enough - think before you post!