#ThinkBeforeYouTweet: 3 Questions to Ask Before Posting Online

During this week’s meeting, my supervisor talked to me and the other intern about posting online. With the recent SCOTUS decision about gay marriage, I think everyone’s social media feeds have exploded, so this was a chance for some friendly advice from a mentor. I think most of us are taught proper netiquette at some point, but it’s always nice to have a refresher.

This isn’t a new topic—hashtags like #ThinkBeforeYouTweet are proof of that. We’ve all seen really idiotic posts online, whether it be some misplaced commas or a tweet that gets a person fired. Still, how do we know what is and isn’t appropriate to post online? Here are three questions I’ve started asking myself before I post online, be it a blog article, Facebook post, or a tweet:

1. Is This Helpful?
The whole point of social media is to spread news and create more informative discussions. Yet useless articles, videos, and photos clutter our newsfeeds daily. Ask yourself, is what I’m posting edifying, helpful, or informative in some way? If not, why post it?

2. Do You Represent Someone?
Another way to put this is to ask yourself if you’ll regret this. Regardless of where you work, you’re always representing someone online, even if it’s just yourself. Would you be embarrassed if your boss saw your tweet? Would it affect your relationships with your co-workers?

3. Who Will Eventually See This?
Every time, the answer to this one is everyone. Or anyone who cares to look. If you’re being considered for a job, someone from HR will look at your social media profiles. But don’t just write this off if you’re already in a job. As mentioned before, you can get fired for what you say online. So be careful. Is what you’re about to post worth risking getting in trouble?

Hopefully these questions are helpful for you. And so my final tip (while shamelessly quoting Jamie Lee Curtis from Freaky Friday) is, “Make good choices!”

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