Think Before You Post: My Advice to the Freshmen (and anyone else at that matter)

social-media-icons

It’s crazy how in one year things can change so much.  A year ago I was giving advice to my former students telling them to always carry gum because they’d make lots of friends.  Ha.  Now, I have different words of advice.  My best advice to my former students this year, my little babies, who are going off to the high school is  be careful what you post on social media.  Facebook.  Twitter.  Instagram.  Snapchat.  And whatever else there is nowadays.

Photos:  Make sure they’re appropriate. Gentlemen, no one wants to see your abs (or lack of abs).  Ladies, no one wants to see your inappropriate skin.  That’s just asking for trouble and rumors.  Don’t give people reasons to talk about you. 

Status updates and posts: Don’t call people out on Facebook or Twitter. Seriously?  (I’m giving the squinting look of disapproval right now.)  That’s practically asking for drama. And trust me, anyone in their right mind doesn’t want to be involved in drama. It’s a waste of time, energy, and emotions.  Don’t give people reasons to talk about you.  Just because you don’t use someone’s name doesn’t mean it’s a secret!  People are smarter than you think.

(Speaking of drama, they have a class for that. It’s called theater or at some schools, it is indeed called drama.  But no where on a schedule will you find the elective called Facebook.)

People will see what you post, whether it’s a photo, a comment, status update, tweet, or whatever, even the things that you “like”. And you WILL be perceived in a certain way.  For example:  If you “like” someone’s status about them wanting to get high or whatever, people are going to think that you like to do that kind of stuff too and that you’re okay with it.  When you “like” something online, or retweet something, or favorite something, essentially what you’re doing is agreeing with it.

You don’t want people to talk bad about you?  Think before you post.  Don’t give them a reason to!  That’s something I’ve repeated over and over throughout this blog entry.  You don’t want people to judge you?  Again, don’t give them a reason to.

“Well, I don’t care what people think of me.  They can’t judge me.”  Wahh, wahh, wahh.  Ummm,  yes they can and yes they will.  And yes… you do care. Everyone does. It’s normal to want to be accepted. Don’t lie to yourself.

Social media isn’t some sort of secret community that stays online.   It’s brought into the classroom, hallways, locker room, field, court, church, home, etc.  Unfortunately, it affects people throughout the day. Keep social networking positive. You will either make or break someone’s day. And at the same time make or break your personal image, your reputation, and how people see you.

As I was going back to revise and edit this post, I realized I guess this blog entry can actually apply to anyone… Hmm.

Well, until next time…

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