Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn…The ways to connect with others on social media are limitless, but don’t let your online life negatively impact your real life. Here’s what not to do.
Don’t post pictures of people without their permission
People are extremely particular when it comes to sharing pictures on social media. You wouldn’t want a friend or family member to post a picture of you without your permission, so why do that to them? Rachel Sussman, a New York City therapist and relationship expert, explains that while you may not think posting the picture is a big deal, the other person may disagree. “Just ask before you post,” she says, and especially before you add tags. “It will help you avoid upsetting your loved ones.” Here are some pictures to never ever post (mainly for safety reasons).
Don’t use social media when you’re mad
Social media should never be used to bully others, and posting snarky or mean comments is a major no-no—not just because it’s hurtful but because it drags your dirty laundry out into the open. Do you really want the world to know that your partner cheated on you? Sussman recommends that you use social media as a tool to spread positivity. “I really enjoy seeing birthday posts or when people most meaningful articles,” says she says. If you’re upset and you have the urge to post something that may come off as mean, put down your phone, computer, or tablet and blow off steam in another way. Stay safe with these etiquette rules for complaining on social media.
Don’t post impulsively
Sure, you’re pumped about your party, but posting a joyous selfie with your guests might not be the best idea because it can hurt the feelings of friends who weren’t invited. And while your old sorority sisters might think the picture of you shotgunning a beer is hilarious, your future employers might not have quite the same reaction. “Always, always, always be mindful of what you’re posting,” says Sussman. “In the old days, people would write letters and it would take weeks or months to get to its destination, so you’d be sure that what you wrote was really thoughtful and something that you re-read before sending,” adds Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, clinician, researcher, author, and developer of the program “A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy” (PACT). “Now people drunk-text and post.” Once you go live with a message, it’s out there forever. Before pressing “post,” consider whether your message could have a negative impact on your life or on others’ lives.