We’ve all seen them. Facebook statuses informing the world that “I got so wasted last night”, or “My principle is the biggest loser on the planet”, or, my favourite, “I am on the toilet”. So many people tend to go too far in sharing their lives online and don’t remember the very real consequences that can occur. Here is a list of seven things you should never put on Facebook.
Put up your hands everyone who stands in the middle of a shopping centre and shouts out their name, home address and telephone number. No one? Well why then do people persist in putting these details on the internet for the entire world to see? And then they wonder how some crazy stalker is able to track them down…
Photos of their (or other people’s) children
Okay, maybe I’m sounding slightly paranoid here, but with the amount of child molesters in the world, and especially on the internet, you can’t be too careful. So you put a picture of your child on your Facebook profile for relatives in England to see how big they’ve grown, it is not always just family and friends who want to look at those pictures. Rather try using e-mail to send the pics to only certain people, or even the good old fashioned snail mail.
Photos of you that you wouldn’t want to show your dad
It’s great to be able to have a fantastic party, and understandable that you want to memorialise it, but remember that anything you place on the internet is there forever. Today you may laugh at the photos of you passed out after a hard night’s partying, but twenty years down the line when you are the pastor of a church or a school principle, you may not want those pics to be made public.
Also, even though you don’t see anything wrong with the pictures you or a friend posts, doesn’t mean a prospective employer won’t. Employers have been know to check the Facebook pages of candidates for a job, and may decide not to hire you purely because of the way you portray yourself online.
Some conversations are private. You may be talking about things you or the person you are talking to don’t want to be made public. Mistakenly letting the conversation go public could lead to the airing of some personal secrets that can ruin relationships (e.g. “I heard you’re pregnant! Congratulations!”).
You could be having a random conversation about something only the two of you could possibly care about. You may even be peppering the conversation with private “in-jokes” that no one else even understands. Here’s a hint: nobody want’s to see this filling up their newsfeed, we don’t care if Superman could beat Mr. Fantastic, or what your all-time favourite sandwich was.
Many people announce that they plan on going to “so-and so’s birthday party”, or that they are throwing their own party. Unless you are very choosy and only have a handful of Facebook friends, it is unlikely that everyone who can see the posts about your plans will be going to the party. It also may not just be your Facebook friends who see this, other people going to the party may post it on their wall, there for even more to see. While many people wont care about not being invited, others can feel hurt and left out.
There is a story of a couple who seconds after the priest had pronounced them married, whipped out their phones and updated their relationship status on Facebook to “married”. In this case the couple had already planned the update, and had let their family and friends know what they were doing. Sometimes however, these updates can come as a big shock to the people who really should be told in person.
First of all, it is really cowardly to break up with someone by simply changing your Facebook status to “single” without saying anything to your partner first. Other things like changing your status to “engaged” without first telling your parents and close family may lead to a few fights and hurt feelings. I’m not saying you shouldn’t post your relationship status, just that you might want to think before changing it.
Finally, as some medical students in America discovered, it is not the most tasteful thing to post pictures of you and the body you are dissecting, especially if relatives of the person who donated the body stumble upon them.