I am an avid user of Twitter as many of you may know, but I think there are a few people who may not understand the repercussions of the things they post. 45% of employers were screening social media sites in 2009, according to an article on Mashable. While social media may be a great outlet for networking, it may also be a great way of destroying opportunity when misused. This is my explanation and understanding of what not to tweet or post, and why.
1. No one wants to hear your complaints, especially when you do nothing to change the circumstances. Everyone complains on occasion and, in small doses, it is not a big deal. If an individual complains all the time, I will delete or unfollow them because I do not want consistently negative people in my life. We all have problems. Welcome to the real world!
2. Bad mouthing people and co-workers on social media sites is great way to never be employed by a decent company. If an individual cannot bite their tongue and show a little restraint, obviously they need not apply to any jobs because everyone provides some kind of service. No one wants to hire someone who cannot be a team player. Some people, like this Massachusetts teacher, choose to make unnecessary comments in a public venue and pay the price.
3. Profanity use is unnecessary and raises questions concerning whether or not an individual has an educational background or understanding of acceptable behavior. Utilizing a diverse vocabulary may be a better way of illustrating excitement or frustration, but profanity should never be posted on a public outlet.
4. Talking about illicit drug use or underage drinking is not going to make anyone want to follow or friend someone, much less offer them employment. Public sites are PUBLIC! This is fairly self explanatory. No one wants to know about your dabbling in drugs, aside from law enforcement and the DEA. Government organizations are taking steps to make sure they can incriminate people for drug use and other crimes via pictures or posts online, so think it through.
5. While children and animals may be cute, there is such thing as overkill and over-sharing. “Tommy learned to use the potty today,” is not something everyone wants to know. Pictures of a child would be better suited for Facebook than Twitter for the sake of privacy, but please know where to draw the line. Animals are cute and lovely, but I do not need to know everything they do all day long. Animal pictures are adorable, but when someone inundates my feed with their critters – it makes me wonder if they have anything else going for them.
6. Posting a link to a personal blog everyday is pointless if there is no new material. If someone wants to enable people to check out a personal website all the time, there is a link section on Facebook and Twitter. Posting the same link over and over gets annoying for anyone who may read your blog on a normal basis. If I have avoided reading your new blog the first time, chances are I won’t read it at all if you post the link 10 times in 24 hours.
7. Personal problems are not meant for public viewing. If you have a personal problem with someone, try talking to them before making a public display of your issues all over the internet. The ability to confront a problem over the phone or in person, without yelling, profanity use, or passive aggressive comments, is a sign of maturity and respect. It goes back to the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated.
8. Keep in mind Facebook is a networking site. The things I post are things I would announce in a room full of my peers and their friends. Twitter is a more public social media outlet than Facebook, so taking the audience into consideration is key. Would you stand up in front of hundreds of people you barely know and say the same things? Catering to the audience is important and knowing what appropriate content looks like is necessary.
I realize we all may be guilty of some of these thing and I am aware I have a tendency of posting things my followers may not always care about, but there are unfollow and unfriend buttons for a reason. I do not harbor ill will over internet interactions because talk is cheap. Unfollowing me will not hurt my feelings. I enjoy constructive criticism, so if anyone has anything to add to this please let me know.