No doubt every teen has been lectured about what they post on the Internet. Whether or not it resonates with them is another question. In the heat of the moment, all sorts of comments and images hit social media pages because it seems cool and the thing to do. Smart phones have opened the flood gates for it. (On a sidebar note, who would have thought that ten or even five years ago we wouldn’t think twice about seeing an image of a friend’s dinner plate? Really? Can’t you simply enjoy it? Do you have to post it for all your “friends” to see? Sure it looks delicious. Should a reply with a picture of my peanut butter sandwich?)
The lecture typically includes the admonishment: Once it’s on the Internet it’s there forever. Businesses are springing up now specializing in scrubbing social media sites. Oh yeah, interviewing for a job after four years of frat parties, complete with images and comments you’d rather not have on the table in front of a prospective employer. Oops, reality.
The same thing is true for any business. Take a minute to think about what you’re adding to your website or social media pages or how you are commenting on other sites. Ask these questions before you post:
- First and foremost, is it true?
- Is it necessary?
- Do I need to credit someone else for this (think plagiarism and copyright infringement)?
- Is it kind?
- Does it reflect well on my business?
- Might this embarrass me a week or month or year from now?
If there’s any doubt in your mind, get a second opinion. Don’t be blinded by the “heat of the moment, this needs to be posted now” thinking. Your reputation and brand will thank you later.