Communications professionals share their thoughts on this
These days, it’s easy to fall into (some of) the traps of social media. If you’re having a bad day or pissed with someone and didn’t get hold of your emotions, it’s easy and even tempting to pour your heart out on your social media channels and before you know it, things have turned messy.
Since the advent of social media many moons ago, experts have been explicitly advising users to be extra cautious when sharing details of personal matters online.
Social media today dot com, for example, advised people to shy away from posting the following:
• Negative posts about customers
• Irrelevant viral content
• Political or religious posts
• Content that isn’t edited
• Attempts to capitalize on tragedy
• Overtly promotional content
• Misleading posts
• Unattributed content
Other experts also cautioned users against posting about personal conversations, social plans, linking sites, company information, photos of kids, your address and phone number, personal finance information, password and password hints, among others you don’t want to share.
The above list may even be underrated as hackers nowadays can easily gain insight into your personal life through bits of information you share online, even those that you have shared sporadically in the past.
Personally, I usually (operative word: usually) only share about light or matters I deem trivial such as new food joints I find interesting, inspiring quotes or reads, funny stuff I read online, or mundane musings on issues I care about, just enough for friends (read: chosen audience) to know my personal stand on it. Sometimes, I do feel that I overshare, and fortunately, on social media you can undo your previous actions. I like using social media to connect with people, and to learn, while also being aware of its dangers and the importance of being the one in control of it and not the other way around. In the interest of this topic, I’ve asked some communications professionals from different industries to share the things (content) they will never share on social media platforms.
“It depends on the platform I’m using. On Twitter, I don’t show my face, real name, and my exact location. Although now, it has an option to tweet only to a select few. On Facebook, basically, anything that is asked in a forgotten password question. On IG, it’s the same with my take on FB. Although, here, I somehow allow people to know where I am via stories. Generally, I don’t post personal conversations and the companies I’ve worked for, as well as my purchases.” – Ana V., content writer
“My relationship and/or details of my personal travels, work-related issues, my rants (to keep things positive on my space), my plans, (e.g. change jobs or trips I’m planning, and personal successes.” – Lyn M., marketing and corporate communications professional
“Family problems, relationship problems, money problems, other people’s problems, luxury purchases, sex stuff, and reason for breaking up with an ex.” – Cyrian A., filmmaker and multimedia producer
“Fake news, unverified news, misleading information; anything damaging to another person’s reputation; anything with an intent to hurt or malign (even if warranted); my mental health situation; anything negative about my job or employer; family spats, private details about my relationships; negative opinions of other people; medical issues; my finances; any opinion that might come across as controversial or polarizing; spoilers of movies, shows, or books; and requests for donation posted by people or groups that I can’t vouch for.” – Martha H., marketing professional
“Personal info like birthday, full name, passwords etc.; dirty laundry – literally and figuratively; personal problems with no purpose except to rant; comments, suggestions, and violent reactions that are not of public interest; humiliating photos, stories, and information about other people; photo of a dead person inside a casket; photo of an animal run over by a car; gossip, blind item, anything that are unverified and slanderous; screenshots of private conversations that are not of public interest; personal thoughts and opinion that may inspire others to harm themselves and others, too; as a makeup artist, I am not fond of posting before and after photos of my clients. They’re all equally beautiful, with or without the help of my skills; a group message FB status that’s meant to be sent to a group chat; I will not dare post my fitness journey as I do not have the patience to explain why I still haven’t made any progress since I started. I’m going to give my fats the privacy they deserve sans the judgment.” — Chuchie L., writer and professional makeup artist
Essentially, the best credo that applies when using social media is K.I.S.S. (Keep it super safe).