To Share or Not To Share? A Pre-Post Social Media Checklist

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We share a lot on social media. Its an important way that we interact with each other. It’s how we form and inform our online personalities, (I mean, if it’s not documented on Facebook, then it might as well not have happened, right?), and it is a useful social networking tool. But everyone knows someone (or maybe you are that someone), who, on occasion, shares way too much.

We all like to keep up on what’s happening with our networks, but sometimes, (and we all have a friend like this), certain posts can verge on annoying. Sharing too much, too often, or the wrong things might have your exasperated friends blocking your posts ASAP, just so they don’t have to deal with another chain message or emoji storm. I know there are times when I’ve looked back on something and cringed, thinking, “Really? Did I really need to share that with everyone?” Sometimes I wish I’d filtered myself – and I don’t mean in Lo-Fi.

To help you navigate these muddy waters, we’ve compiled a checklist you can measure against future posts to see if it’s really the best thing to put out there for the whole world, (or even just your Friends of Friends), to see.

 

Q. What time is it?

A. Late night? Stop.

We might not be using our best decision making skills if it’s late and we’ve had one or two several cocktails. It always seems like a fun idea at the time to post three bathroom selfies with a trio of pouty faces, but the next morning might have you second guessing that life choice. Steer clear of anything where you could be described as a “hot mess” and you’ll avoid having to do damage control the next day.

 

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Q. Who will be reading it?

A. Your entire network? Reign it in.

You should always consider your audience. I don’t know about you, but I have my grandma on Facebook, and she has a lot of time on her hands. I probably don’t want to share every crude thought that has ever crossed my mind, because I know she’ll see it. The same goes for coworkers. Do they need to know all the details of my recent messy breakup? Probably not. If your post is going out to anyone with sensitive ears or who you would classify as just an “acquaintance,” its best to keep it pretty mellow. Funny memes and recent home renovations only, please.

 

Q. How serious is your subject matter?

A. You only talk about it when you’re feel particularly feisty? No good.

This is a fine line to walk. Some of us feel passionately about issues and we want to shout about them from the rooftop, er, newsfeed, but there’s a time and place, and its usually not social media. We’ve all been there, embroiled in a twitter debate with someone we haven’t seen face-to-face in years, and we usually realize that its not worth the thumb cramps. Trying to convince others of your views on vaccinations, divorce, or the State of Israel over Facebook is probably a) not going to work, and b) just going to come across as self righteous or obnoxious.

On a scale of seriousness, with 1 being a hilarious Buzzfeed article, and 10 being a post encouraging people to cure their cancer with a vegan diet, try to not share anything over a 5. Save the serious stuff for real talks with real friends.

 

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Q. What are other people getting out of my post?

A. Nothing exciting/entertaining/interesting? Ditch it.

This is a big one, and the one that can help you stay out of the “being horribly annoying” zone. Is your FB post a charming travel anecdote from a recent trip? Are you entertaining your friends with a hilarious observation about bus etiquette? Are you trying to collect contacts because you put your phone in the washing machine, (again)?

Or are you just trying to get attention?

Attention seeking posts are pretty obvious. If what you’re sharing is only interesting to you, or possibly just you and your grandma, don’t do it. Keep the humblebrags, vaguebooking, and TMI-ing to yourself. We’ll all thank you.

And speaking of TMI…

 

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Q. Is anyone going to make a face when they read my post?

A. Maybe…? Get rid of it.

Anything from shares about bodily fluids, (parents of toddlers – I’m looking at you), to super closeups of kissing couples can cause this reaction. If there is anything even vaguely distasteful about what you want to post, you’re better off leaving it off social media.

 

There. Hopefully, asking yourself these questions before you post will help you keep friends, and keep social media a happy, engaging, entertaining place for all of us grumpy cats.

Happy Posting!

 




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