Should You Make Your Facebook Posts Public?

We’ve all heard stories of employees getting fired because of something that they posted on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media giant. It’s tempting to post amusing pictures, share details about how you are feeling and what you are up to, and even complain when you are having a bad day. However, everything you post has the opportunity to hurt you. Determining whether or not you should make your posts and information public has a lot to do with your personality, much to do with safety, and also your ability to find or keep a job can also be affected. Some people choose to have a more conservative social media presence because they prefer not to share very much, while others do the exact opposite. There are pros and cons to being very public with your information, and there are also advantages and disadvantages to keeping too much to yourself.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Personality

One of the first issues to consider is your own personality. If you are a very private person, but you choose to broadcast all (or even some) of your daily activities and your pictures on Facebook, you might make yourself unhappy. Many Facebook users experience ‘post remorse’ where they quickly delete something that they recently posted. Even if you choose to keep your privacy settings very strict and you limit who can see your information, there is always the chance that information will get passed around via word of mouth.

Frequent Twitter posts are probably not the best idea for someone who is a very private or introverted person, although the social media site can be ideal for people who like to talk about themselves or who have a business to share. Even LinkedIn necessitates decisions about how public you want to be; don’t feel that you have to share anything on any of these sites just to stay in contact with people. All three sites allow you to control what you post and share.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Safety

Not everyone thinks about this issue, but safety is one of the most important considerations you should make when deciding how public you want your information. There are many dangers when using the internet in general, and the same is true for social media. Teens have an especially difficult time differentiating what is appropriate to share from what isn’t safe.

Teens are no the only ones who struggle with this issue though; the truth is that even with strict privacy settings, there is no way to stop another user who can see your information from forwarding it to someone else, or using it in a damaging way. You should be aware that posting your address, or even other identifiable information about you, can put you at risk. This is true on any social media site, including employment-related sites.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Employment

Having a public social media presence can be a positive or a negative for your work life. Joining sites like LinkedIn can help you get and stay connected with other contacts, which can help you land a job. While employers may be turned off if you post inappropriate photos or complain about your boss, you also may land a job if you have an impressive social media presence. According to Time, employers use social media to determine if you are relevant potential candidate, and also to figure out if you would fit in at the company.

In addition to helping you potentially acquire a job, social media can also help you share your work, which can be another great benefit. If you don’t make your information public, you won’t have this same opportunity. However, if you are a private person, you don’t need to make everything public.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Accessibility

Forget snail mail — social media and the Internet have made it easier than ever to stay connected. While email is a great tool, social media sites, particularly Facebook, are ideal for easily keeping track of what other people are up to, and also for easy communication. If you want to know when someone’s birthday is coming, it might be on Facebook. You can quickly send messages and you can even know some important events before the person might otherwise have had the chance to tell you.

For example, a new dad can post a photo of his baby, and can easily reach hundreds of friends and family members without calling or writing out each individual email address. People who sign off of various social media sites often feel like they are missing out. There are many positives to keeping your own posts private, and the biggest one is that most likely the people that you want to see are already your friends or followers. You also need to be careful about how you create your privacy settings when it comes to people being able to find or connect with you, otherwise you risk missing out on people you want to be connected with.

These are four important issues to consider when you determine whether or not to make your social media information public, and also, just how much you want to share. While keeping your posts public does present many safety, privacy, and employment-related issues, keeping everything private might also cause you to miss out on potential job offers or connections. For many people, the best idea is to share just select information or to set privacy settings so that you can be contacted, but so that not everyone can see all of your information.

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