In today’s day and age, social media is everywhere. We go to the store and we see QR codes to add our favorite brands on Snapchat. We apply for jobs, but first update our LinkedIn profiles. We repost cooking videos on Facebook to share with our friends, and we post the recipes that we end up making on Instagram. Being constantly plugged in has many benefits; we are more connected and aware because of our social media use. On the other hand, social networks can get us into sticky situations.

People have been fired from jobs because of inappropriate pictures that have cropped up from their Facebook profile and tasteless remarks made on Twitter. We’ve compiled some tips to ensure that your social media use doesn’t get you into any unfortunate situations.

  • Keep it (somewhat) professional → A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want your boss to see it, you shouldn’t post it. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear professional clothing in your pictures, but use your judgment. Talking negatively about your job, for example, isn’t something to post for others to see.
  • Avoid controversial topics → Try to avoid topics that can offend people. Generally speaking, politics are controversial and there is bound to be at least one person that takes offense or disagrees with a political comment you may make. The easiest way to fix this problem is to avoid it altogether.
  • Remember that what you post is permanent → If you think there’s the slightest chance that you might eventually regret what you post, don’t post it. You don’t want something that you posted years ago to come back to haunt you, or, worse, to prevent you from getting a job.
  • Be careful not to overshare → Social media is yours to do what you please with it and to share as much of your life as you so choose. There is, however, such a thing as oversharing. Some personal details are fine, but getting too personal probably isn’t a great idea.
  • Think before you type → Reflecting on what you write before you post it can save you a lot of trouble. Just like you would go over an essay or an email, reread what you type. Could your thoughts be misconstrued or come off the wrong way? Sometimes our typed words come across much differently than our spoken words, and we don’t want others to get the wrong idea.

If your posts are appropriate, not too personal, and non-controversial, your online presence will show that you respect yourself and others. Oversharing doesn’t usually place us in the most favorable lights, and there are some topics that we simply don’t need to disclose our opinion on. The bottom line: if you’re careful about what you post on social media, you shouldn’t run into any problems online.