Things to consider when posting online – Part 3: Questions to consider

Sharing information on social media can be overwhelming. Take the time to consider what you post online.

According to the 2014 Pew Research, 87 percent of adults were online and 74 percent of those adults were using social media tools. With a large portion of the population using different social media tools, it is important to take some time to consider boundaries and who you “friend” online. It is also important to consider a few questions before posting information online.

The previous two articles in this series looked at boundaries and who you should friend. Taking the time to consider our boundaries and who we friend online allows you to more easily be aware of who you are connected to in the virtual world, which can lead to a better understanding of where you stand on sharing information online. While some posts can be black or white, if you should share information online, unfortunately there still can be a gray area in many online posts as each individual has different opinions on what they consider to be appropriate and not appropriate. Michigan State University Extension recommends the following questions to help you consider what might be appropriate:

  • Is this post or story necessary? Is there a real benefit to this post – is it funny, warm-hearted, teachable – or am I just making noise online without purpose?
  • Have we resolved this issue? An issue still being worked out, or one that is either vulnerable or highly emotional, should not be made public.
  • How would others feel about me posting this information online?
  • Is it appropriate? Does it stay within my personal boundaries?
  • Will I stand by my posting?
  • In 30 minutes, how will I feel about my post?
  • Can I stand before my peers and defend my post?
  • How might my posting be perceived?
  • Have I considered issues of confidentiality?

Keeping these questions in mind will save you from headaches and make gray areas of online information sharing a little easier to decipher.

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