We need to remember that once something is shared it can’t ever be completely erased. The desire for either support or validation can be overwhelming. The disconnect that happens when using social media makes it easier to feel as if there are not consequences. We all know that isn’t true but it is easy to forget in the moment. Here are some tips to keep you safe professionally when using social media:
1. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face – don’t say it on social media
Don’t let the disconnect get you into trouble. Real people will read your post. Real people will be affected by it. Don’t forget that.
This can be difficult, but critically analyze what you’re posting and why. If there is any chance that what you’re going to say could upset your boss, co-worker or client just don’t say it. If you’re upset wait until you have calmed down to make this decision. If you need to talk to someone reach out through a private avenue. Direct message them or try the old fashion texting and/or calling. Humans respond better to support and venting when it’s done in person. A coffee date maybe be just the thing and it much less likely to have professional consequences!
3. Basically, remain professional
You may not be in the office but act like you are. Would you yell and scream at your boss? Would you look into their eyes and tell them that they’re a totally incompetent jerk? Not if you want to keep your job. So act that way with what you share on social media. It’s a small world and you can’t ever be sure who will pass along what to whom.
4. If you MUST share – keep it vague
You don’t say: “I’m so sick of the crazy uptight control freak from hell at the desk next to me!”… not on social media. On social media you: “Had a stressful day!” or “You just can’t get along with everyone. So I’m going to kill ’em with kindness.” This could mean anything. Then, as stated above, if you need more – keep it private, keep it face to face and most importantly KEEP IT OFFLINE AND AWAY FROM THE OFFICE!