Are You Sure You Want to Post That?

We often hear about how social media is changing our lives (in a positive way, and sometimes, not so much), but regardless of your opinion, there is no doubt that the ever-changing online social landscape has affected how we do a lot of things.

It seems that we have to always be careful with what we say online, and we’re constantly warned that what we post ‘can never really be deleted’ and ‘stays there forever’. This may be true, but this slightly dramatic outlook shouldn’t be what keeps you from utilising the countless amazing features social media offers.

While social media is an incredibly useful and effective way to connect with others or to get a message out there, it seems that a lack of thought put into postings is getting a lot of people into hot water.

News.com.au recently posted an article about a Sydney couple whose aggressive post about a neighbour on a community Facebook page resulted in a $15,000 fine for social media defamation. The couple probably hadn’t given much thought into what they were posting, but will surely think twice next time.

Social media has a habit of being a bit of a troublemaker when not used cautiously; all it takes is one tag in one photo to blow your cover when you’re meant to be elsewhere. For example, if a friend tells you they can’t come to your birthday because they’re sick, but then you see them tagged in a photo at a night club on Facebook, that’s probably going to be the topic of a very heated discussion.Are you sure you want to post that?

Social media and work are often not the best of friends either; it’s all too easy to write online about how much you hate your job or your boss. Even though you may not have your boss as a Facebook friend, chances are someone who knows you, also knows them, or you have other colleagues as friends who might pass the comments on. This is the main reason many companies now include a ‘Social Media Policy’ in employment contracts, which binds employees to abide by set online behaviours when regarding the workplace. Not surprising, really, as one negative comment that gets shared around could have a very negative impact on the company.

So it goes without saying that we need to be careful about what we’re posting. It’s likely many of us have had negative experiences on social media before, and probably will in the future, but a little bit of caution online can go a long way.

So what do you think of all this? Have you ever avoided social media in fear of someone finding out where you really are? And do you think it’s fair for an employer to give an employee strict guidelines regarding what they can write about work online? Share your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Simone Douglas

Simone is co-founder and Senior Principal Solutions Architect of Digital Marketing AOK. Simone offers over 17 years in corporate management roles encompassing generalist HR recruitment and development of small to large teams across multiple sites, industry sectors and states. Experienced in a variety of social media platforms and their complimentary applications, social media strategy, risk management, disaster recovery and associated HR policies and processes.