Be careful what you post; it might actually affect you

Social media has become a huge part of our lives. It’s always on our computers, it’s always open on our phones, and it’s often on our minds.

It’s an outlet for us to connect with our friends and share what we’ve been doing or feeling.

However, what often happens is that we share too much with our friends – things no one should really know or care about.

You took a shower this morning? That’s cool, thank you for not smelling. This is not something that should be unusual enough for you to send out to everyone.

What’s worse is that people often tweet thoughts that came to their mind they thought were funny. There are two problems with this:

One, most people aren’t actually funny – they just think they are. Two, humor and sarcasm don’t often translate well in text.ILLUSTRATION: Facebook scams

What might sound funny in your head might be taken horribly wrong when read by someone else online.

When Justine Sacco boarded a plane to Africa, she tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Whatever joke she was going for didn’t translate in text, and the Internet flipped out – justifiably of course.

Sacco’s life was forever changed for posting that idle thought.

People attacked her online for her thoughtless bigotry. She trended No. 1 worldwide as people replied and retweeted her awful remark.

The things you think to yourself should often be kept to yourself.

College kids might not realize the consequences of what they post.

When you put something out there for the world to see, don’t be shocked if someone sees it, and it affects your life.

When you post a picture of you and your friends smoking marijuana, don’t be surprised if it costs you your job.

Despite what you may think, the Internet isn’t off limits to your company’s anti-drug policies.

You don’t have to be doing drugs at work for you to be fired for it. But don’t worry, afterward you can post a selfie of yourself looking for work.

True story.

But you may not even get that far. When companies take applications for jobs, the quickest and easiest way to find out more about the applicant is through social media.

As a manager, in a hiring process, or even while voting in various elections, the first research I do is to track the person down of Facebook to see what they’re all about.

Everyone knows people are never who they are in interviews or on applications, so more personal information might be necessary.

If you put your drug use, racism or even excessive profanity out there, your prospective employers are going to see it. That’s a fact.

If you’re running for an elected position, people are going to look you up to see if you’ve said/done inappropriate things, as well as check out what your posts say about you that your campaign doesn’t.

When it comes down to it, this is America and you can post whatever you’d like to – no one can stop you.

But you should at least stop and take the time to think about it before typing your every thought and pushing “post.”