Although you had a fun time last night out on the town, do you really need to post on your Facebook just how hammered drunk you were?
Probably not the best decision.
The reality is that what you put online can come back to haunt you later in life. Anything you put on the Internet is cached and could be found later, even if you delete it.
Here are some tips to prevent you from getting in trouble down the road:
1. Don’t drunk Facebook/Tweet.
Do what you need to do to keep yourself from sending out intoxicated messages. Whether it means giving your phone to your friend so you’re not tempted or turning off your Wifi, we don’t need to see your misspelled words all over the place. Plus, you’ll probably like yourself a lot better the next day when you don’t have to clean up the mess you made.
2. Don’t trash talk.
I honestly believe the golden rule should apply to the Internet: only write what you would want written about yourself. Not only is it hurtful and extremely rude to the person you are writing about, it also makes you look like an unclassy idiot. If you really need to vent about this person, call a friend and schedule an emergency coffee session, or write in your journal – just don’t put it out in the public domain. Trust me, it reflects so much more poorly on you than it does the other person.
3. Never talk about a boss/adviser/professor. Ever.
If you don’t believe me, just Google the words “fired” and “Facebook,” and you’ll find a dozen stories of people who have lost their jobs after writing about their bosses on social networking websites. No matter how irritated this person may make you, is one 140-word Tweet worth losing your job over? Nope, didn’t think so. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything that you would not say to his or her face in a professional setting. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t post it.
4. Monitor Your Pictures.
We’re in college – we will inevitably have drinking pictures. However, you need to hide these pictures somewhere or make sure people can’t see your tagged pictures. Whether you like it or not, potential employers have their ways of sneaking onto Facebook – despite your privacy settings – and finding you. It’s just best if you can leave the alcohol out or put it in a less obvious place. Would you want to hire someone who was chugging tequila in his or her Facebook picture? Probably not.
If anything, the one thing you need to take away from this is to use discretion about what you post online.