Would You Show That Photo To Your Grandmother? Strange question huh? But I mean it. When you take a photo and start to share it on a social media site you need to stop. No matter what site it is you are going to share it on, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or any number of others.
As a business person you need to stop. The photo might be funny. It might be of some fun thing that happened while you were out on the town with friends. It might be of a friend doing something stupid. But as a business person you need to stop and think before you post it anywhere online.
Now look at the picture. Look carefully. Is that picture something you would show to your grandmother? Is it something you would show your child? What about your best client, would you show it to them?
I know what you are thinking, “But those people are not on my Facebook account. They don’t even know I have an Instagram account.” That may be true. But once something is on the internet it is forever. It will never go away. And you instantly have no control over it or over where it will go.
Yes there are copyright laws. And technically no one can take your photo and do anything to it without your consent. But how will you know before it is too late? Depending on the photo it could go viral. Someone could download it and put some saying on it and re-upload it. They could add it to a collage with other photos and make yours mean something completely different.
And that one photo could change a prospective customer’s mind about you. Or maybe it isn’t even a photo of you. Maybe it is of your friend. So take all of those potential consequences and place them on whoever is in the photo. Do you want to potentially subject them to that?
Besides…do your clients need to see photos of you out drinking on Friday night? I agree that you are entitled to a personal life. You are not running for office after all, are you? But what you do still matters. Or at least what parts you document do.
Things change. Time changes all. And photos you are uploading tonight will come back to haunt you in the future. Future employers will be able to find them. Future potential investors in your company, your charity, or a foundation you set up will be able to see you how you were at 35, when you are 65.
Would you want the things you did at 18 or 21 posted online for everyone to see now that you are in your 30’s or 40’s? I know I wouldn’t. So what on Earth makes you think you will want the things you did when out on the town at 37 to be public record when you are 50? Think about it.
If you wouldn’t show a picture to your grandmother, don’t post it online. Your prospects don’t care how much you can drink. Stop and look at every single photo (or video) you are thinking about posting online. And try to look at it as your grandmother, child or prospective client. Then decide if it is still a good idea to post.