I was sitting at home watching re-runs of Wonder Woman when I asked myself, “Should I post the picture of me drinking Jägerbombs with scantily clad Latvian prostitutes on Facebook?”
I pondered it for a moment, then decided they would be better suited for Twitter.
With the advent of social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter have made it very easy for people to make fools out of themselves on a very large, public stage. Much of what we say and do isn’t done behind locked doors anymore, it’s done out in the open – even if the “open” is the Internet.
Let’s face it, we are a voyeuristic society. If we weren’t we wouldn’t enjoy peeking into the lives of our friends by following their every move in the social sphere. We look for check-ins, we look for photos, we wait for updates and when Facebook or Twitter goes down we break out into withdrawal worse than Lindsay Lohan on her way to rehab.
In the 80’s The Police sang, “every move you make, every breath you take, I’ll be watching you.” In honor of them I present my “Five Tips for Avoiding Embarrassment in Social Media”:
- Fact Check Before Posting – Do you really think Facebook is going to donate a dollar to every person who shares a picture of a baby born with three legs? Do you believe that by posting some hastily crafted legal notice on your wall that Facebook doesn’t have the right to use your personal information? And, do you really think you can make $800 a day tweeting on Twitter? Protect yourself from embarrassment by becoming aquainted with Snopes.com.
- Don’t Drink & Tweet – If you’ve had a little too much Tequila, it’s best you only use your phone to call a cab. Those late night tweets about your latest shag are only going to come back and bite you worse than a case of crabs you picked up at a truck stop.
- Remember Anthony Weiner – A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture shared with the world that depicts you in a compromising or unflattering position isn’t worth the pixels it’s made of. Before you post a photo of your passed-out boyfriend or you drinking a bottle of Jack through a funnel, think about who is going to see it. Your mother may spank you for posting it and a potential employer may not hire you because of it.
- Know Your Audience – I’ll be the first to admit it, I don’t know everyone who is on my friend list. Some may be customers, fans, or people I met years ago and have forgotten because of old age. My kindergarten teacher is a friend of mine on Facebook and I wouldn’t want to tarnish the pristine image she has of me by dropping the f-bomb in a post. Be mindful who is reading your posts and tweets and try not to use the word “sucks” when talking about your boss. The country’s unemployment rate is high enough.
- Debate Professionally – Because it’s election season, I can’t leave this one out. If you’re going to post something about a candidate, be more constructive than “Romney Sucks” or “Obama Sucks.” Let’s face it, they BOTH suck, but one of them is going to be our fearless leader – birth certificate or not. Debating who is going to be the better candidate can be fun and enlightening, but only if the conversation is fact-filled and constructive.
If after reading this, you now have absolutely nothing to post about on Facebook or Twitter, do like everyone else does, post a picture of a cute kitten.
It really pisses off the dog lovers in the audience.