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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Social Media Guidelines for Legal Clients

It’s better to seem boring than provide evidence for the other side

 


The internet is forever.  Despite your privacy settings, once it’s out there, it’s out there. Your social media posts or comments could end up viral, displayed on any public billboard, or show up in court. It’s also not unusual that social media posts or comments are taken out of context to open Pandora’s box to reveal more issues.

hollywood sign

Stay on the safe side and assume that the opposing side is studying your social media platforms every day to look for evidence against you to support their argument. Let’s be preventative with some dos and don’ts for maintaining a social media presence that will not compromise your legal case.

 

When posting on social media, we highly recommend that clients:

Do

Listen to your attorney’s advice about the type of social media content to post. Stick with content such as animals, nature, and architecture which should not wave any red flags.

Publically ignore negativity or shade directed at you. Doing nothing online will prevent a public scuffle. Inform your attorney.

Demonstrate good digital citizenship and always be kind. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, so if you cannot be kind, then do nothing.

Stay positive or neutral. Again, when in doubt, do nothing.

Ask yourself, “what am I trying to achieve with this post?” Always have an intention with every post since the internet is forever.

Share photos that promote positivity and clean fun.

Keep financial status and material items offline. Overall, maintain a sense of privacy with finances and in general.

Keep your legal situation OFF the internet.

Verify that any “shared” posts are accurate and factual to avoid spreading misinformation.

Consider unplugging to maintain your own peace of mind.  You do not want to be triggered by someone else’s post.

Inform your attorney or police if you are getting harassed, cyberbullied, trolled, etc.

Don't

Think that one post won’t matter and that nobody will see it.  Single tweets have destroyed people’s lives.

Retaliate and start a war on social media.

Cyberbully, troll, catfish, call out, cancel or anything else that will bring negative attention to yourself.

Start or participate in opinionated rants about anything (religion, politics, family, friends, opposing side, people of other cultures, businesses, your community, etc.) that will bring unnecessary attention to yourself.

Overshare, seek too much attention, or post impulsively, especially when emotional, hungry, tired, or under the influence.

Post photos that promote sexuality or anything that could invite unnecessary attention and judgement.

Flaunt a wealthy lifestyle that could be used against you.

Discuss your legal situation online, which could be held against you.

Re-post or share posts from inauthentic or non-legitimate sources.

Impulsively comment on someone else’s post without considering the consequences.

Tolerate any type of cyberbullying, which might mean reaching out to your attorney or local police.

It’s better to look boring than put out a post or comment that could be held against you. We know who “likes” and sends us hearts, but we do not know who is rolling their eyes or misinterpreting the message. Always think before you post or comment!  Less is more, especially when working through a legal situation.

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