The Internet feels like a private place, but it’s actually the most public expression of who we are. Everything you post can potentially be broadcast to millions, and what you post online doesn’t always stay there. The way you portray yourself on social media can have long-lasting real-life consequences, so follow this tips to show off your best self.
Clean Up Your Photos
You may think you look cool dancing with that beer can in your hand, but to a college admissions board, you just look like a lush and a liability. We all know what’s in those red plastic cups, and that picture of you playing beer pong last Friday can come back to haunt you.
Keep Your Clothes On
That’s just good life advice in general, but it is especially poignant when it comes to social media and texting. Posting nude shots of yourself isn’t sexy, and it can get you into big legal trouble. Once you hit “send,” it’s out there forever, so think twice – or better yet 100 times – before you post.
Remember You Have No Control
Once you post something online, you have no control over it. You’ve seen how a video of a cute kitten can go viral in minutes – now imagine how you’d feel if it was an embarrassing or compromising photo of yourself going viral. Don’t post anything you don’t want millions of people to see, including your grandma, principal and parents. Whatever you post can end up in their hands, even if that was not your intention.
Words Have Power
Photos and videos aren’t the only things that last forever online – so do your words. That nasty name you called your ex-best friend? It’s there forever. That rant you posted about your math teacher? That’s there forever too, along with the love letter you posted for your boyfriend and the snarky comments you wrote about your last college campus visit. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t be proud of if it was printed in the school paper tomorrow.
Social Media Sites = A Permanent Record
Everyone makes mistakes, but posting them online makes your bad choices last forever. What you post today can make or break your reputation tomorrow, change a friendship next week or stop you from getting a job in the future.