In high school and college, the importance of “clean social media” were discussed in lectures, seminars, and assemblies. Many employers check the social media of applicants during the hiring process. Some companies even do checks after you’re hired. While many believe companies that fire for social media posts are overstepping, it is still something that happens. You can still have fun on social media and keep your profile clean. Here’s a few simple ways to have a clean online presence. 

Do not post underage drinking or other illegal activities

You may be the type to post your entire life on social media, but don’t post illegal activities. Even if your parents are okay with you drinking under their supervision, this should be private. It’s best to refrain from participating in anything illegal, but if you do, don’t post it. 

Don’t post anything negative about your company, boss, et cetera

You won’t always have a good day at work or love your boss, but you don’t have to post these things online. If your post is bad enough, you could be sued for defamation. The likelihood of getting sued is low, but it’s still a possibility. Talk to friends and family about your horrible boss or bad day at work, just leave it offline.

Do not post risque photographs

I’m not going to tell you to refrain from posting a beach picture in a swimsuit, but if you work for an extremely conservative company, I’d refrain from posting. My personal rule is: if I wouldn’t send it to my grandmother, I shouldn’t post it online. This more relies on company culture, but refraining from lingerie pictures, itty bitty bikinis, et cetera is usually a good idea.

Have a professional and personal account

One thing I learned in a lecture is the importance of a professional Twitter profile. Having multiple accounts on social media platforms can allow you to keep your professional posts and personal posts separate. Many people make anonymous or “just for fun” accounts for this. 

Know your audience

Your audience on Facebook and your audience on Snapchat are probably different. Keep this in mind when deciding what to post on each platform. It’s okay to keep some accounts more private than others. This allows you to control who can see your content. 

Be aware of the consequences

Technically, you can post anything you want, but there may be consequences. In recent weeks, people have been fired and business locations have been suspended because of many slurs posted by employees. Keep in mind the consequences of your posts when you upload content.

Screenshots happen even when your account is private

You may have a private account with limited followers, a spam account, or a ‘finsta’, but your content can still be screenshotted and spread by followers. You cannot control what your followers do with your posts. They aren’t as private as they seem to be.

Know your company’s social media policy

Many workplaces have policies that require you to refrain from posting certain things. Even social clubs, such as sororities and fraternities have social media guidelines to prevent members from giving the group a negative appearance on social media.

The easiest way to keep your social media clean is to refrain from posting anything that others may view as inappropriate. You are free to post whatever content you wish, but you aren’t free from the consequences of your decision. Keeping your social media clean will allow you to avoid any potential problems with your workplace.

Whitney E

Whitney is a senior majoring in communication at Mississippi State University. When she's not preparing for law school, you can find her online shopping or planning a trip to Disney World. She loves Ronald Reagan, traveling, and all things preppy.