It seems like every day there is a news report or article written about someone who flew off the handle on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else is out there, posted something thoughtlessly (or intentionally…), and now has to suffer the consequences. Take Joey Casselberry, a baseball player for Bloomsburg University, who posted a derogatory tweet about Mo’ne Davis and was kicked off the team. Happily, Davis responded in a classy way showcasing a maturity level that exceeds her years, saying that everybody makes mistakes. How about the teenager who posted an expletive-rich tweet about starting her new job at a pizza place and was fired by the owner of that same pizza place via Twitter? The cases keep coming and coming. What is going on?

I didn’t grow up with social media. When I was accepted to college, I was assigned my .edu email address and my friends and I immediately signed up for Facebook (am I dating myself?). Twitter didn’t show up on my radar until 2008 and I find myself asking my younger sister what certain social media apps and websites are. But, despite all that, I’ve talked to enough people, watched enough news, and read enough stories about not thinking before you post something to know what not to do. People, think about it: are you looking for a job? How about an internship? Are you applying to colleges or graduate schools? Looking to switch companies or careers? I’m pretty sure any company or institution has access to the internet and, therefore, to your social media world. Actually, I even have a link to my LinkedIn account on my resume so employers could find me that way. And it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump (if you’ll excuse the cliche) to my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Sure, I was a stupid, impulsive kid once (weren’t we all?), but let me tell you something: if you’re college-age and older, you’re not a kid anymore. People do make mistakes, of course, but you have to take personal responsibility for yourself and your social media presence.

We don’t live in a closed-off world anymore and, whether you love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. It can affect you in many ways, so why not try to be smart about it? If you find yourself wanting to post something you think is funny or witty, take just one minute to think about it. Even better, if you’re angry about something, take five minutes to think about posting your thought. I guarantee you’ll skip the post most of the time.

This post is a bit of a rant, but I’m sick of hearing about people losing jobs and other opportunities because they couldn’t control an impulse. And I’m not saying that I’m perfect! Not at all. But I do know that I think twice before clicking post or send, no matter what it is. Once it’s out there, it’s out there!

social mediaSource.