I thank my lucky stars every day that social media wasn’t around when I was younger!  I have done things and said things that I wish I hadn’t.  You have too.  You are probably smiling while reading this, but know it to be the absolute truth.  Every post, every e-mail, every tweet, every Facebook comment may come back to haunt you.  I’m not saying this to scare you, but to help you to be cognizant of your social media presence.

Personally, I am very active on social media.  I know a majority of the readers of this post are too.  I also know a large percentage of people around the world will have nothing to do with social media.  The anti-social media people know the repercussions and know how dangerous social media can be to your career and potentially to your personal life.

Last week, I watched the NFL draft in dismay.  On one hand, I was very proud to watch my alma mater, the University of Mississippi, have 3 first round draft picks.  On the other hand, however, watching Laremy Tunsil with a gas mask on smoking weed was nothing short of an utter embarrassment.  I am very proud to be an alumni of Ole Miss and to think that one individual could do so much damage to a school is infuriating.  Tunsil was predicted to potentially be a #1 draft pick.  He fell all the way to #13 and it cost him somewhere between 15 and 20 million dollars for his “little” mistake.

I don’t think Tunsil thought about repercussions the day he wore a gas mask and videoed himself smoking marijuana.  He did something extremely stupid.  I bet you, he wouldn’t have thought in a million years that video would go viral on Twitter 15 minutes before the NFL draft though.   I certainly wouldn’t have thought that would have happened either.

You see, that is the world we live in today.  It is frightening, right?

My good friend Steve Levy said it best in an interview on CBS news last week, “What you do on social media follows you to the grave”.  This goes much farther than just absolute stupidity like Laremy though.  This goes for people talking out of frustration.

Think about the upcoming Presidential election.  There are so many opinions about the candidates and the opinions widely differ.  You don’t know who you are offending when you say something.  Are you for Trump or Hillary?  Be careful!  What did your parents teach you not to ever talk about around mixed company?  Wasn’t it religion and politics?  WHY would you say something on social media that can’t ever be taken back?  WHO KNOWS what your future holds for you!

dak-prescottWhat about who wins a football game?  Well, the next job offer you may have may come from someone from the opposing team.  Watch what you say.  The Dallas Cowboys drafted a Quarterback Dak Prescott from Mississippi State in this year’s draft.  He tweeted in 2012, how Tony Romo blew a game.  Well, it is 2016 and now Tony Romo is his teammate.  I bet he didn’t think about that when he was in college hanging out with his college buddies drinking a cold one.  I bet he never thought that would haunt him.

Relationships?  Oh boy.  What if the next employer happens to know the person you are badmouthing on Facebook?  Crap.  You just pulled a Laremy Tunsil.  Also, venting about an ex or giving play by play details about a fight can make you appear unstable or immature.  Remember the internet is one big web.  We are all connected to someone.  And that someone just might be someone who determines your future career.

Tunsil is now a celebrity.  People know his name.  People may not know your name today, but they may know it in the future.  Remember what police say when they arrest you?  “Anything you say can and will be used against you”.  Same goes for social media.

So, I get the anti-social media people.  I do.  The longer I am on social media and the more I am exposed, the more careful I become.  Social media can be a blessing or a curse.

Social media has helped my business in more ways than I can count and it is the number one lead generation tool for me obtaining customers.

I just don’t do bong hits. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t post it on social media.  Think before you hit “send”.