The Internet is Forever

Every person is entitled to his or her own opinion. It is the right and prerogative of each person whether to let those opinions known. That said, think twice before doing it.

During and in the immediate months after the last presidential election, I saw friendships fall apart. Friends stopped being friends – they allowed one area of disagreement to rip their relationships to shreds. I’ve seen years of elections with some pretty heated opinions but till recently never saw it negatively impact lives as in recent years. What is the difference? We’ve all turned into 24-hour sharers instead of being able to just turn off, unplug, and be with our true nature and relationships.

People have lost their jobs over their social networking posts; professional peers involved in a person’s individual social networking site see the posts. That immediately makes them work-related and impacts professional life.

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I get a big kick out of those e-cards. Kidding aside, though, here are a few things to consider before blasting a strong and/or controversial opinion:

  1. Will sharing this benefit anyone or anything? If the answer is no, and you’re just blowing off steam, you may consider journaling instead. You’ll get some great perspective and the same result without starting a social networking wildfire.
  2. Could this comment/opinion harm you? Think long-term. Could what you are posting haunt you in a future job interview, for example?
  3. TMI? I’d love it if people were as interested in my life as I am, but let’s face it, folks… no one is as “for you” as you are. Does this information NEED to be shared?
  4. Yo Mama! I lost my mother seven years ago, but she still influences my decisions. I really don’t do anything that I’d be ashamed to do in front of my Mama. It’s kind-of my version of the non-denominational “WWJD” bracelet… “WWYMD?” (What would your Mama do?)

Whether you delete something or not, it’s out there somewhere. There is a place in your digital footprint where traces of even deleted posts exist. If someone wants to find it, they could do some digging and get there.

Live well and post responsibly!

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