Posted by: Christi McDonald | November 16, 2011

Social Media – A Haunting History

Recent headlines of the last few months have brought to light some issues that have changed my comfort level with the use of social media.  Articles highlighting the use of a Twitter and/or Facebook post in a court case or a job interview are becoming more and more prevalent.   Is what we post on a social media site available and admissible in a court of law?  Will potential employers really research our post history?  Is something we posted going to come back to haunt us?  Did we post something  relevent to a particular situation that means something unique to those who experienced it with us, but holds a completely different meaning when taken out of context? 


Make no mistake; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and every other social media avenue is now being reviewed by insurance companies, prospective employers, current employers, lawyers, etc.  Are you posting things that you would not want the world to know?  It seems the fine line between right and wrong has been shaved to microscopic levels through the utilization of social media.  I’m the world’s worst about having road rage while driving, especially when I’m in the car by myself and occasionally even when I’m not alone hence the reason my 4-year-old knows how to the use the word idiot.  I often tell myself it could be a word that is much worse than idiot, but idiot is not something I really want her to use in public (or the church run preschool that she attends).  The things I say during my bouts of road rage would be completely misconstrued if I typed them on Facebook.  I wonder how my auto insurance carrier would react if they read my thoughts?  I find that I have begun to analyze what I read on other’s Facebook posts, thinking the entire time that what they have posted could come back to haunt them one day when they least expect it and they will have no way to deny it. 

We should all pay close attention to what we type and how we type it, once we post something on a public forum it is fair game for all to see and use against us at the most inopportune time.  Written (or typed) language has no tone of voice or noticeable inflection, just black and white words.  For me, as a mother of young children, it is that nagging mommy voice in the back of my head reminding me that one day my kids will find my social media posts and it will come back to haunt me.


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