We all love the satisfaction of the blue loading bar confirming the upload of your latest Facebook post. And then when you start to fall asleep in class, you watch all the Likes and Loves come in, aiming to beat your record. I’m sure you’ve heard that you shouldn’t post pics of yourself loving on a red Solo cup on social media, but what about things you might not have thought of? You think your emotional post against your ex will inspire others when really, it just stinks of desperation and last night’s tequila shots.
Keep reading to find out 10 things you should never reveal on social media.
1. Failing a drug test
You might think this one goes without saying, but some people would disagree. “I have seen a family member post about failing a drug test not once, but multiple times in a row. It was only for weed, but the stupid thing was posting about it each time he failed,” University of Wisconsin-Green Bay junior Taylor Ponczoch said. Sometimes you might think the best way to get over your dumb mistakes is to commiserate with others. But honestly, do you really think that’s going to help you get a job in the future? Learn from your mistakes and move on. Write about them in your slam book but not for the world to see.
2. Unnecessary hate
Don’t let the social media world reveal your dark side to literally everyone you know; just because you can’t see people when posting, doesn’t mean they can’t see—and misinterpret—your post. If anything, the world of social media can teach us how to stand in solidarity with people with different priorities than us. Maybe you didn’t give a flying rat’s ass when Zayn left One Direction, but your best friend was crying for days. Pretend everyone on social media is your best friend and be kind to one another.
3. Revenge posts
Nothing makes a girl (or guy) madder than a cheating bae (remember when Carrie Underwood took that Louisville slugger to both headlights?). “I’ve seen people expose their S.O. on social media like if they cheated or something. I don’t think that it’s a good idea to post even if you’re really mad at the person. If there is any chance of reconciling, doing something like that ruins it,” Marquette junior Nica Assana said. Take a time-out, have a cry sesh with your bestie and Ben & Jerry’s, or do something productive to channel that anger at the gym. Revenge body beats revenge posts every time.
I’d bet you my dinner that your high school warned you about posting those party pics on social media. Well, just because you’ve progressed past the college application process doesn’t mean that you should take this rule of thumb lightly. “I’ve definitely known a person who got in trouble with her internship because of things she posted online,” Northwestern senior Rosalie Chan said. Keep Saturday night on your personal photo stream and give your friends a good talking to if they tag you in something scandalous. Or change your settings so you have to approve anything that someone tries to tag you in.
5. Relationship status
If you ask around, people definitely have differing opinions on this one. But I speak from experience when telling you that it doesn’t help things to post your status right when you and bae make it official. You don’t want all that pressure on your newfound relationship and random people from freshman year coming up to you asking you how far you’ve gone. Once you’ve settled into your new groove with your S.O., post away—I would wait at least two months. You can still set it to proclaim the date that you two made it official so that neither of you forget your monthly anniversaries.
6. Vacation, Vacation, Vacation!
Yes, I know, you’re pumped that you’ve finally saved up enough money to go to Costa Rica, and you want to tell the whole world about it… but you should probably wait until after you’re back. You never know who’s creeping around on the interwebs going for the big B&E. “I never post about vacationing on Facebook if my whole family is going until after I get back. If someone will be home, then I might post about my trip while it’s happening,” Northwestern senior Basia Gawin said. Unless your cat has a special talent for warding off attackers at home, post the pics when you get back and connect to your home Wi-Fi.
7. Social Security number
This one probably goes without saying. What kind of dummy would post his Social Security number online? Well, have you ever thought about how you could do it accidentally? If you’re the type who likes to inform everyone you’ve ever met of your major life events, you might snap a pic of signing your first lease for your apartment or even something silly like getting a new library card. Make sure all of your personal info stays out of those four lines, or you might have to share your identity the next morning.
8. Apartment info
We all know you want to show your high school friends that you’ve finally moved away from mom and dad. You even have your own key to prove it. “I had a friend post the name of her apartment complex, a picture with her apartment number, and a picture of the thing she hid her key in. I would say don’t share stuff like that,” Southern Illinois University Edwardsville grad student Lindsey Garcia said. Telling people to come over to your new hut at Evanston Place probably won’t hurt, but posting all that info at once could seriously lure some creepers looking for cash. I mean, paying for college is hard, right?
9. Picture of yourself voting
You might have heard how good ol’ JT (Justin Timberlake for the uncultured or youngins out there) got in trouble for snapping a selfie in the voting booth this past November. While we all might aspire to bring sexy back, you don’t want to get in trouble with the law. The rules vary by state, so just be safe and do a Facebook Live on your way in and out (seeing the joy or tears is much more interesting for your adoring fans anyway).
10. Credit card number
If you’re like me, you keep your debit card in a nifty little pocket on the back of your phone. You might ask yourself, how could I possibly take a picture of something stuck on the back of my phone? Well, what about when you pull your debit card out to do some #stressrelief shopping and impulsively decide to take a no-makeup selfie for Insta or Snap? Or what if you’re trying to sign up for some sketchy scholarships and they suddenly ask for your credit card info? Close all tabs immediately.