Post Haste

The newest issue of PC World devotes several pages to advice on avoiding Facebook and Twitter disasters. Things like calling in sick to work and then getting busted updating your status from the beach on Facebook. They delve into tweaking your privacy settings, adding friends to certain groups to control what updates they see, making sure your Twitter and Facebook accounts aren’t linked, and more seemingly sensible precautions.

Now, since not everyone has access to this magazine, I thought I’d extend a little courtesy and offer my own tips on avoiding Facebook disasters.

#1 — Don’t post anything on Facebook you don’t want anyone else to see.

#2 — DON’T POST ANYTHING ON FACEBOOK YOU DON’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO SEE.

Come on, you’re going to tell people to jump through hoops with their Facebook settings when a little damn common sense would do the trick? If you’re dumb enough to call in sick to work and then post a pic of yourself with a pina colada and the pool boy, you DESERVE for your boss to get pissed at you. If you call your co-worker a drooling Neanderthal on Twitter, you have no right to be surprised when they get upset about it. Chalk it up as a lesson learned and don’t do it again. Switching your settings so you can be an idiot in private isn’t the answer.

It’s just another example of how people don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. “It’s not my fault my wife saw those pictures I posted on MySpace of me doing body shots off a stripper, the privacy settings were wrong!” Yeah, right. Hey, I’ve got a privacy setting for you in that situation — it’s called right-click, Delete, and Yes when it asks if you’re sure. Then empty the Recycle Bin. Then probably run a drill through your hard drive just to be on the safe side.

If you really think it’s a good idea to post that “Blowing off work to hit some donkey shows in Tijuana” status, you shouldn’t be getting hand-holding advice on how to post it in the safest way possible. You should be getting laughed and pointed at. Everyone should see you don’t have the sense to know better. It’s a sort of internet Darwinism. “Hey, he’s cute, ooh, he’s got a good job, oh, there’s a picture of him with a lamp shade on his head wearing a barrel with what I’m sure is a junior high school cheerleader. Pass.” It’s an easy way to figure out who’s worth your time and who’s going to be a regular on Fail Blog. And really, you owe it to possible future generations to give potential mates all the information they need to make an informed decision.

Look, you can have all the privacy settings in the world, somebody you don’t want to see something is going to eventually see it and either fire you, leave you, or offer you really unusual employment opportunities in the entertainment industry. So either be willing to deal with the consequences, or just. Don’t. Post it.

That, or get a blog.

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