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#SocialMedia Etiquette for #Chistmas - Be Careful What You Post Online

Christmas is a strange time when it comes to social media. It can be very tempting to hop on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram over the festive period to show off your new gadgets or designer gear, but how much should you really be posting online? As referenced in our earlier article covering social media etiquette for weddings and births, it can be all too easy to unwittingly irritate your family and friends with an ill-timed post. Even worse, those Xmas snaps might even end up costing you a small fortune. To help you avoid falling into these common traps, below we take a look at the main areas where you need to display some degree of caution.

Don't be a show-off!

It's one thing to be excited about all your new stuff, a Christmas getaway or an extravagant day out, but boasting about it is only going to make you look spoiled, self-involved or desperate for attention, at best. You could also end up making other people, who maybe find themselves alone at Christmas or have to go without due to finances, feel downright miserable about their own experience. Show a little consideration and dial down your own bragging to something a little more refined, and you can easily navigate around this all too common pitfall.

Empty houses and pricey gifts: An open house for burglars!

This is one of the more frequent mistakes made over the festive period, in fact I wrote about it last year in more detail, but people keep repeating the same blunders. Many people choose to travel at Christmas, whether that be abroad or nationally, but don't shout it from the rooftops. Posting about your excitement waiting for your plane or checking in at the airport or hotel is the online equivalent of putting a banner across the front of your house that reads "Empty house, take what you like!". As so many of our profiles include sensitive information such as an address, one little post can be all a potential burglar needs to know exactly when and where to target you. Even if your address is unlisted or set to private, tech savvy criminals only need to take a look at the geotagging information widely used on sites such as Instagram to locate your residence.
The burglar's time is often made even easier when people, most commonly children and teens, post photos of their presents on social media. Now not only does the burglar know where you live, but you have also given him a list of all your most expensive new gadgets and items. With all this information to hand, all a criminal needs to do is pick their moment and they are guaranteed a successful haul with no interruptions. Talk about making it easy...

Holiday giveaway: Take my QR code!

Another subject we have touched on before is the issue of sharing photos of tickets or documents containing QR codes. These little codes can reveal a wealth of information about yourself, including air miles and future travel plans, in the case of plane tickets. If the ticket in question is for admittance into an event or venue, someone saving that image could be able to use the code instead, effectively stealing whatever you had purchased. In fact, we wrote about a woman earlier this year who had her winnings stolen by a friend on Facebook after posting her betting slip online. So if you get the gift of gig tickets or, if you're really lucky, a holiday this year, keep the codes offline or you may get rather severely stung.

Nobody likes a whiner!

From long travelling times to a distinct lack of snowfall, there are a few little details that may get you down for a while over Christmas, but don't be tempted to hop on Facebook for a essay-length moan. These small inconveniences are the price we pay for a family Christmas done right, and nobody wants their news feed filled with whining messages about largely insignificant issues. Even worse are the people who hop on Facebook to moan about not getting the new £600 phone they wanted. Just be grateful for what you did get and stop acting spoilt! Better yet, log out and enjoy the day. You never know, it might just cheer you up a bit.

The Grinch/Scrooge is even worse!

So you don't like Christmas. Whatever your reasons, some people do, so don't put a downer on their day by flooding your Facebook with typical anti-Xmas statements and rants.This is one sure-fire way to irritate half your friends list in an instant, even if that may be somewhat unjustified. If you don't enjoy the festive season, stick on an old box set to save yourself from all the Christmas specials, and stay off social media. Facebook, Twitter and the like will only wind up the would-be Scrooge even more, as they are guaranteed to be filled with Xmas content and cheery messages throughout the holiday season.

Inebriated imagery: Be wary of drunken photos!

Its only natural over Christmas and New Year's (especially the latter) to end up more than a little bit intoxicated, but there's no need to broadcast it to the world. A constant flow of unflattering drunken photos could cause you a fair share of embarrassment, and in certain lines of work it may even hurt your career. It's fine to take a few snaps as you enjoy your Christmas party but think carefully about which ones to post online, or you may regret it when you look back through them the next morning.


That just about covers all of the major blunders people tend to make online over the Christmas break, but I'm sure you could add to the list. If you think we have missed anything, drop it in the comments section below. Merry Christmas!



Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF


Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com
#SocialMedia Etiquette for #Chistmas - Be Careful What You Post Online Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Thursday, December 24, 2015 Rating: 5

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