Be CAREFUL with Social Media – It Can Cost You

With everyone focused on privacy, people sometimes forget that they’re responsible for what they say too. While you may not think of dashing off a joke on Twitter, or bitching about your day on Facebook, people may not take it the way you meant it. Not to mention, you never know who might be looking.

War on Twitterism

Several people have been arrested for making jokes on Twitter. Recently, a British couple were arrested for Tweeting about their upcoming trip to America. After landing, they were shoved into a van, stored with illegal immigrants, and then forced home to Britain.

The government is monitoring the internet. This isn’t some conspiracy theory, it is fact. Whether this is for finding terrorists or it’s just big brother watching, we’ll leave for another day. But if you talk about anything terrorist-y online, don’t be surprised at the knock on your door. The FBI has admitted to wanting to develop software for social media platform searching.

Not Just Big Brother

But it’s not just the government you should be thinking about. Repercussions could be even more immediate. The internet abounds with tales of people blabbing off about their boss being a bastard on Facebook, then suddenly being painfully reminded they were friends when their boss fires them in a comment.

Not to mention, future employers may see your posts and tweets as well. If all you do is complain online, your bubbly personality during the interview isn’t going to fool anybody. If you can google your name, so can your future boss, and he’s even more motivated to dig around a bit. Checking LinkedIn and Twitter is par for the course in the modern world of job seeking.

But It’s So Much Fun!

But what’s the internet for if not ranting and complaining? Sometimes you just need to blow off steam. Don’t worry. There’s a quick way around being fired or getting shipped off to Guantanamo.

Circles on G+ allow you to quickly and easily decide who can read your posts. Just be careful who you add to which circle. Even if you’re friends with him, your boss can go in one circle and friends in another. Someday you may want to complain about him without losing your job.

Of course, there’s an even easier way. Just don’t say it. Use your head, and remember what you’re momma told you. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. You may think it’s your right to voice your opinion, but it’s definitely your right to get canned for doing so.

I have no compunction about dropping an f-bomb at the slightest opportunity when I’m with my friends, but I have done so in my social media exactly once ever. My boss still questioned me about it. At least I didn’t get fired for my Twitter though.

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