Today I gave a presentation about social media for the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD), to some new teachers and administrators. I was asked to help DECD staff to better understand what not to do online.
The biggest problem that I see is ‘not thinking’. ‘I didn’t think someone would share my post’, ‘I didn’t think about the other people in the photo’, ‘I didn’t think my boss would see that’. The internet is fantastic and I truly love it, but it is like anything it can be used for good or evil. The vast majority of people use the internet for good or at least are benign.
We usually use the internet in places where we feel comfortable, at home, the office or our favourite coffee shop and this means that we relax and sometimes don’t think as much as we should.
Just as when you get in a car and you take a few precautions, by putting on your seat belt, and not texting while you drive. Using the internet is the same, you need to take a few precautions, put on your metaphorical seat belt and pay attention.
My presentation comes down to 3 points:
1. Don’t overshare – Some of your real friends and family know your deep dark secrets. Those thoughts do not belong online. Keep personal details and thoughts private.
2. The Bus Stop Test – If you would not walk up to a complete stranger at a bus stop and given them the information you are about to post online, then don’t post it online.
3. The Shop Window Test – If you would not want the photo you are about to post online to end up in a shop window, then don’t post it online.
I think these 3 tips will help you avoid the big dangers on the internet. And remember ‘Let’s be careful out there’.
What’s your favourite tip for what not to do online?