Almost everyone must have Facebook or Twitter profiles. These are great avenues to promote yourself, get to connect with your friends, and even help you establish and optimize a good online identity. But just like any other avenues, when social media is not used properly, things will fall out of hand and before you know it, you might end up in dumpster - figuratively and sometimes, well, literally.
Here are the top 10 do's and dont's of social media that will definitely guide you to success:
1. Always be cautious
Even "freedom of speech" must have some limitations. Before you type and send a status update or a message, make sure that it is appropriate, something that is not offensive to others. We may have heard some people who got into trouble and even cost their job just because of what they had posted in their social network profiles. Revealing some confidential business matters, ranting on about your work or about your boss, and posting some inappropriate business information may kick you out in the office - fast!
2. Use privacy settings appropriately
Take full control on who can view all the information you post including photos, videos, friends and personal information. Your social networking profile is a mirror to your personal life. When you allow others to see all information you post, it is like you living in a house made of glass. There are multiple set of eyes around watching every inch you make. Surely, you do not want that.
3. Use other names
Some people just could not control what they feel and how they feel in their work places. When they do, the first thing they do is to Facebook and Tweet it. Later on, they regret what they post but damage has already done. If you really want to vent out your h3otions, might as well create another profile, a dummy account so to speak, that people in your office will not easily connect to you. However, by doing so, you may only harbor any negative h3otions you feel inside.
4. Do not reveal all things online
Whatever you post online may stay there forever. Surely, you do not want to be sued for revealing confidential matters online.
5. Be careful in posting your pictures
Whatever photos you upload and post in your Facebook or Twitter accounts, you may also get into a lot of trouble when you do not think first before posting them. You may be sending employers a wrong signal if you post photos that are provocative and revealing.
6. Do not reveal personal information
Unfortunately, criminals and perverts found a home in cyberspace. They are looking for their next target as you read this. Their favorite stop is the social networks. If you reveal your address or if you post something like you will be away for the weekend, is very harmful. They might use that information to do some horrible things.
7. Online "friends" do matter
Just like looking for a true and trusted friend in real life, it is also important to screen your online "friends." You do not need 100-200 friends online if you really do not have that certain connection. Few online friends are okay and may help you stay out of trouble. Before confirming a friend request, make sure if you really know him. Think of your common grounds.
8. Do not engage in war of words
You are no longer in high school where the war of words rules the campus. This is social media and as such, everyone should be responsible. It is best to confront a person personally at the right time when you think he wronged you. As a popular tag line stated, "face the person, not Facebook him!"
9. Use social media responsibly
Instead of posting rants, might as well post something positive like an upcoming event that you are working on, awards won, promotions received, and the likes.
10. Socialize more in the real world
It is important to look around you. There are real people who care about you. Do not limit your world in social media.
The rule of thumb when using social media is that you need to think before you click. Be a responsible social media user. When you do, things will fall into its perfect place exactly how you want it.