Am I naked?
Don’t post naked photos of yourself. Don’t even post half-naked photos of yourself. Those swimsuit photos showing off your new CrossFit abs may seem cool now, but they won’t seem as great in four years when one of your tenth grade students finds you on Facebook and forwards the photos to all of his friends.
I know what you’re thinking—it’s your own private account. But listen folks, if Celebgate taught us anything, it’s that nothing is private. Those tenth grade kids could probably hack into the Hillary Clinton’s e-mails if they set their mind to it. This kind of scandal is what turns your life into a Lifetime movie starring Rob Lowe.
Could I be fired for this?
If you have to ask, the answer is probably yes. If you wouldn’t say it in the office, you shouldn’t say it online. That being said, you shouldn’t say how much you hate your job or post anything negative about your company. If you work in the publishing industry, don’t post a link to an article entitled, “New Research Shows that Books Melt Your Brain More than Television.” Instead, post a video of children reading books to shelter dogs that promotes reading and pet adoption.
This goes for photos as well. Don’t post negative photos from the workplace. For example, if you’re a teacher, don’t post an Instagram photo of a students work with a mocking caption. It’s not only an invasion of privacy, but it’s an abuse of power.
What if this post were about me?
Of course posting ugly and embarrassing photos of your friends is hilarious, but it can also be damaging to their reputations. I understand that it’s impressive that they did a two-minute keg stand last weekend, but by posting the video, it could cost them their jobs—or at the very least, the respect of a significant other.
This also goes for negative posts about friends, frenemies, exes, or family members. It’s harmful and makes you look like a jerk.
Do I want to keep my identity?
Hopefully, the answer is yes. Again, this should be pretty obvious, but don’t post any identifying information. Don’t take a selfie with your new drivers license. Don’t post a photo of a plane ticket, and definitely don’t post a photo of the stack of hundreds you made bartending this weekend.
While you’re at it, don’t post dates and times you’re taking a vacation. You don’t want someone to break into your home while you’re away and steal that stack of Benjamin’s you keep “hidden” in your underwear drawer.
What would my mom think?
You’re probably well past the age of being grounded, but your mother will never stop judging you. She’s probably still mad about that time you spilled spaghetti sauce on a couch cushion and flipped it over without telling her. Just imagine how disappointed she’ll be when she finds out you posted a revenge nude of your ex-girlfriend.