The use of social media has become commonplace amongst so much of our population that it is hard to ever imagine a world without it. It is no longer only young adults posting pictures on Facebook of their late night partying antics, or celebrities tweeting about the fashion designers they are wearing to movie premieres. People of all ages and stages of life use different methods of social media. Grandma keeps up to date with her Grandkids, family members on different continents can keep up to date with photos and accomplishments online without ever picking up a phone to speak. For a growing amount of the population, social media on tablets and smartphones is the last thing they see or post too before falling asleep at night, as well as the first thing they do in the morning.
Everyday mundane subjects that few of us would talk about on a regular basis if the person was in front of us, suddenly become status updates or Instagram photos. How many pictures of your cousin’s dinner have you seen go through your feed? I bet you know what Aunt Barb is doing this weekend, or what your next door neighbor is up to during his European vacation. The problem is that so many have grown so accustom to posting, tweeting, pinning and more that the line has been blurred between what should and should not be shared. People have been fired over posts where they are ranting about their job or coworkers. Relationships have ended because somebody posted a photo that others should not have seen. Parents have caught their teens up to no good when their son or daughter made comments they did not think their parents could see.
The point is, while you are free to use whatever social media platform you wish, you are subjecting yourself to comments you may or may not like. Your friends may not tell you your new hair cut is terrible, but the chances are someone online will. If you are going to tweet it, post it, or share it, you need to take some accountability for it. When you share the political meme that came through your feed, you are making a statement about what you believe in to your audience, whether you intended to or not – and once it is out there, it always will be.