When NOT to Tag Your Friends on Social Media

By Ellie Drabnis on April 11, 2018

Social media: a place where anyone can express themselves. And, their friends and family can see those self-expressions.

But, that said: you will run into a mess of conflicting views. That said, please be mindful of directly sharing posts to those you consider to be your besties online and offline.

Here are some instances of when not to tag your friends:

Live in harmony with your friends, even if you do not share the same ideological beliefs.

1. Religious posts.

You do not know everyone’s religion. Unless someone has clearly stated their beliefs to you, then and only then will you know their religious association or lack thereof.

Do not assume beliefs based on a friend’s ethnicity and or stereotypes.

Not everyone believes in the same ideology which is a-okay. What is not okay is making the assumption that everyone must believe in one specific faith.

Respect their personal beliefs and move on.

Support your friends in whatever way you can but, not by outing them if they are not ready to come out.

2. Posts that could potentially out them.

Outing people is insensitive and wrong, especially if they have not come out to the world yet. If you need more proof of this, check out the clip from “The Office” where Michael Scott outs Oscar who is then ostracized (mainly by Angela).

Supporting your friend who wants to come out is great but, if you tag them in a public post, people who may not know they are put could potentially see. Then, you’ll have opened a whole other can of worms.

Your friend will come out to the world when they are ready. If anything, send the posts you want to tag them in publicly to an inbox where others cannot see; perhaps an inbox on another social media platform or through text message. That is the best support if they are not ready for the world to know every detail about them yet.

3. Show/movie spoilers.

This one is mild compared to the other previously mentioned tagging scenarios. However, this is worth paying attention to as well.

Revealing details of plot twist, character deaths and the like is not fair to your friends who have yet to finish a series and or a movie.

I had to wait weeks to see the Marvel masterpiece, ”Black Panther” and it is a wonder that I didn’t get tagged in movie spoilers considering I love one of T’Challa’s specific comic book arcs.

Regardless, don’t tag your friends unless you’re certain they’ve seen the movie or episode of a program.

Do not tag your friends over politics unless you are sure of their views.

4. Political Posts.

This is similar to posts having to do with religion. Unless you are sure of a friend’s political ties, avoid tagging them.

Even then, some people, prefer to stay away from memes or humor lampooning either political party. That might make someone sound like they aren’t fun but, that desire should still be honored.

5. Anything that might make them uncomfortable.

I am afraid of clowns. Yet, I’ve had friends tag me in the comments of several pictures of Pennywise. I might be pretty numb to the image of Pennywise at this point but, that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of clowns or will be eventually.

This is kind of a joke between some of my friends and I but, if someone’s fears are deeply rooted, do not tag them in a picture that may turn the switch of those fears on.

No matter what, respect your friends and respect their likes and dislikes. If their posts are not offering you that same respect, however, either snooze their posts or turn their pages to restricted if you would still like to keep them as a friend. Otherwise, delete them entirely. There is nothing worse than someone who is intolerant of varying beliefs.

-Comm Major with minors in journalism and broadcasting -An aspiring reporter -Mixed and proud ^^ (Russian American on Dad's side,100% Guatemalan on mom's side) -Spanish is my first language

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