Social media is a great place to store photos of events, people, and animals you want to remember. It’s basically like a digital diary that you can log into every day and update on a whim.
Unlike a diary, however, Facebook is extremely public and some of those things you want to remember will become a nightmare stalking you from the past. With employers, potential dates, and angry exes all using social media to make sure you’re on the up and up, it can be difficult to discern what may or may not be a good idea to post.
Allow me to help you out.
1. The Drunken Party Pic
When most people get drunk, things that are not a good idea suddenly become a terrific idea that can never go wrong at any point in time ever. If you’ve ever fumbled your phone out of your pocket to take a picture of the party you’re at to update your friends, you’ve probably also experienced the “Holy crap why did I post that” moment that comes the following morning. (Or afternoon, we don’t judge.) If your boss (potential or current) or boy/girlfriend (potential or current) were to see something like this, it might make them think twice about their relationship with you.
Pro-Tip: If you have a problem drunkenly updating your Facebook, either drink less, drink slower, don’t drink at all, or give your phone to a trusted and SOBER friend.
2. The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Picture
What better way to declare your love to the world and to save images of your most treasured moments than by uploading pictures of you and your beloved to Facebook? Awe.
But what happens when you and your loving partner break things off? Now you have to go through a bunch of pictures trying to find the ones of you and them to delete and you’ve just broken your heart all over again. Break out round 2 of the ice cream, Kleenex and chick flicks.
Pro-Tip: Make a folder for all of the pictures you and bae take together. It’s a good way to have them in one place should you get married and have children and the like. If you’re not that lucky, you can set all of the photos to “Just Me” or delete them in one easy motion.
3. The “Edgy” Pic
You want to show the world that you don’t take yourself or anything else all that seriously, so you post a rebellious picture to your Facebook. How could that go wrong, right? While your friends might look at it and thing “Wow, they’re so cool!” others may look at it and think “That’s extremely disrespectful and I don’t want to associate with them.” While this may be fine for 99% of the population, what happens when it’s seen by your boss? They may decide that you aren’t someone they want as part of their team anymore.
Pro-Tip: Just don’t.
4. Photos of Less-Than-Legal Activities
Shockingly, a lot of people have absolutely no problem posting videos and pictures of themselves engaging in illegal activities. Why this is, I don’t know, but it is always a bad idea. Whether you’re smoking weed, toilet papering your principal’s house, drinking underage, it doesn’t matter. These pictures can ruin your life. All it takes it one nosy friend or one concerned parent to turn that photo in to the police and you are suddenly up to your neck in deep trouble. (Need I even mention the employer thing again?)
Pro-Tip: If you absolutely must do something illegal (you don’t, but go with me on this) then for the love of Mary don’t take pictures of it. You want to have as much deniability as possible and having a timestamped post of you doing aforementioned illegal thing isn’t going to help your case, should you get caught.
5. The “Called In Sick” Picture
So your friends planned a party/trip/get-together that you can’t attend because you have to work. Instead of telling your friends that you can’t attend, you call in sick or tell your boss that you’re having a family emergency, and you tell your buddies that you’re in. And then someone decides to take a picture of you and post it online, or you think that doing it yourself would be a good idea. One of your co-workers sees it and sends it to your boss, who promptly fires you. (It happens more often than you’d think.)
Pro-Tip: Don’t lie to your boss. Go to work and make money, even if you hate your job because that is one of the responsibilities of being an adult. Plan something on your day off or ask your boss for a vacation day ahead of time. Don’t let your desire to socialize get you fired.
6. The Cash Pic
We’ve all seen someone who has a profile picture of them waving around stacks of cash. How they got that cash is questionable, but even worse is the fact that they’re bragging about it. A picture of you with a lot of money on hand + a little too much info about where you live could make you a target for robbers or a desperate man down on his luck.
Pro-Tip: Having lots of money is nice, but showing it off is stupid and dangerous. Don’t be stupid and put yourself in danger.
7. “Intimate” Photos With Someone Who Isn’t Your Partner
That Hooters waitress was hot and you were out with the guys. You had a bit to drink and you thought it would be a good idea to post a photo of you pretending to grope her. Everyone thinks it’s funny and cute. Except your girlfriend. One picture, no matter how innocent, can cause a lot of trouble in your romantic life and send the wrong message about who you are as a person. So unless you have one of those more unorthodox types of relationship, you probably want to avoid this kind of thing.
Pro-Tip: Again, just don’t. This is one danger-zone that you may not be able to escape from.
8. The Half-Naked Pic
Unless you’re an underwear model (and you’re probably not) you should generally avoid posting pictures of you half-dressed on the internet. This goes for both men and women, who for some reason think posting racy photos on their social media is a good thing. It just sends all the wrong messages and can scare away future suitors who may consider you a little too free with your body, making them uncomfortable and question whether you have a cheating streak. I’m not saying that line of reasoning is right or wrong, it just IS.
Pro-Tip: Don’t let anyone take photos of you in your underwear. It can be used as blackmail later, or come back to haunt you when that really cute person you like peruses your social media photos and finds unsavory pictures of you with your business all out in the street.