Author, Azleen Abdul Rahim
The best part of being a quiet observer on social media is that I am able to learn many things from many people. Be it local buddies or foreigner friends, I can clearly see that everybody is so in love with social networking. I can also see some of them are online almost 24/7. Amazing, just like 7 Eleven’s operating hour. While some are trying very hard to do whatever it takes online to ensure their chances of success, the others are simply there to connect with friends with no specific purpose.
Taking the behind seat also enables me to see people are sharing a lot of things. There is a copy-paste content, a daily cocktail of selfies with the same face but different clothes, the food they’re about to eat, locations they’re at, documents in hand, happy family members, gathering and many others.
While there is no right or wrong on things to share on your favourite social media, there are a number of things that you not supposed to share out. Did you realise that those friends that you have online are the people you’ve never met before? While it is totally natural for you to spill your guts to strangers about what’s going on with your personal and professional life, it doesn’t mean that you should share everything.
People, it is time to use a little bit of common sense when sharing things. Here are the nine things people are sharing which to them are common, but in reality, could harm them without realising it.
Your personal and professional life slumps. The last thing that you want the world to know is how bad your life is. It doesn’t matter whether it is your personal or professional life, it seems that both aren’t as planned. Your spouse’s not as good as you’re expected, the company is terrible, your boss doesn’t understand you, your colleagues aren’t friendly, your mother-in-law smells, how terrible your neighbour’s pet is and so on. Your complaints list is bottomless. Everything around you just sucks. Or perhaps it is you who’s suck, and not those people.
Your temper. Someone pisses you off and you’re upset. The situation somehow turns nasty. Then you decided to take a revenge by hitting that person out with your long-winded status and post it out on your favourite social media. All your friends are backing you up because they simply want to be on a good term with you. You think that the problem is solved by turning yourself to social media and let the world know your problem. You never thought of what will happen if the person that you’re mocking on your status, retaliate. A World War 3 will erupt and believe me, your life will go haywire. Why? Simply because you didn’t see it coming.
You share private and confidential documents. As a wealth advisor, nothing beats the feeling of securing a new customer who agrees to pay a huge amount of money for that investment or insurance you’re proposing. The king of the world, that’s what you are at that moment. Well, being on top of the world doesn’t mean you can snapshot and share the whole image of the cheque given to you. Even though you said that you’ve blurred all the important numbers there, the act is simply unacceptable. Do you think your customer will approve the sharing if you were to tell them? As a respected wealth advisor, you should know the line between what can be shared online to the public and what isn’t supposed to be shared. If I am your client, I will fire you right away and complaint the act to your agency.
Your children and family members’ names and details. There are many kidnapping cases happening everywhere in the world and the source of information those kidnappers are taking advantage of is social media. There is no harm snapping pictures of your kids but please ensure that you put your social media account in private mode first. With this, only closest friends are able to see all your private stuff.
Instant messaging texts exchange. Did you know that there is an app that you can use to create fake WhatsApp conversations with another person as if that is real? It is an old tactic, an open secret that almost everybody knows. Sure, the conversation could be real, but still, to many people, this way of promoting products is irritating. In most cases, it doesn’t work and personally, I hate it too.
Your current location and your residential area. Quite a number of people love to tag a location. It doesn’t matter whether they’re at home or outside doing some grocery shopping, for lunch or dinner and sending kids to school. They love to tag the location they’re at in real-time, just to keep up with the feature of their favourite social media. This is crazy and dangerous. Many unimaginable things can happen if you continue with this bad habit. When people know where your house is, where your kids are schooling, what time they’re going home from school, what time you’re normally not in the house, what time you’re going to sleep and what are your daily routines in detail. These strangers can predict accurately based on the information given. The worst thing is, that information is given by you.
Which political side you’re on. If you’ve got nothing to lose, then, by all means, it is okay for you to reveal which political party you’re on and the level of hardcore-ness you’re at. However if you’re looking for a job, being employed by an organisation that is clearly inclining on one political side, or perhaps running a business which is yet to stabilise, then better don’t take the risk. There’s no harm to side in any political party however it doesn’t mean that you can showcase your grievance online too obvious. It would be helpful if you can keep it natural.
Real-time update that you’re on vacation. Nobody cares whether you’re on vacation or not, but there are some hidden eyes wandering around the social media keeping their tab on your getaway in real-time. Once they can see that you’re on vacation, they’ll know that there’s no one in your house. So, it is better to be careful than regret.
Your negative comments and thoughts. Spare your negative aura only to yourself. Nobody appreciates negativity around them except those constructive ones. You may play the devil advocate role but please associate it with a potential solution to that.
Please use common sense when sharing something on your social media. If you don’t have better things to share, just keep your mouth shut. It’s better this way.
Azleen Abdul Rahim is the co-founder of NSE