Monthly PC Tips

Think Before You Post

April 2013 – by Per Christensson

It only takes a few seconds to post a message online. Whether it's a comment on a Facebook page, a post in a (web forum), or feedback after an article, the Internet makes it easy to share what you're thinking. Sometimes, it's too easy.

Posting comments on the Internet is different than writing a message on a piece of paper. Everything you publish online is stored digitally. While you can throw out a hand-written note, comments you make online are permanent. In some cases you can delete them, but even then, your comments may not actually be removed from the server. A deleted comment might simply be labeled with a "deleted" flag, which prevents it from appearing to other users.

This information isn't meant to scare you, but to cause you to think before you post something online. Would you be OK if your friends, parents, or employer saw what you posted? What about if people saw your posts ten years from now? You shouldn't overthink every comment you post online, but at least take a moment to ask yourself if it is a good idea.

Typically, if you have second thoughts about posting something online, the best choice is to refrain from publishing it. Without this discretion, you may end up regretting what you typed. Worse yet, you could become one of those people who shamelessly posts every thought or idea he or she has on Facebook. Nobody wants that.

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