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I don’t know who said this first, but it’s brilliant. These are three questions you should always ask yourself before opening your mouth to speak:

  • Does this need to be said?
  • Does this need to be said by me?
  • Does this need to be said by me now?

Oh, how I wish I had learned that when I was a teenager. It would have saved me a lot of foot-in-mouth moments in my 20s and 30s. I’m in my mid-40s now and I can still taste my Nikes.

Plenty of us could use similar rules when it comes to posting on social media, especially in 2020. From the pandemic to politics, there are so many issues that have people itching to go off this year. Dr.Chrysalis Wright, a psychology professor at the University of Central Florida who specializes in media behavior, told Well+Good that we should be asking ourselves these questions before posting:

  • Where did I get the information I want to share, and is it accurate? – It’s always a good idea to do some fact checking before you share or post so you’re not spreading misinformation.
  • Why do I want to share this? – Is this post important to you because you have a personal connection to it or is it a subject you want to bring attention to?
  • How can I phrase what I want to share in a respectful manner? – Proofread your words for tone and expression before posting.
  • Am I prepared to receive backlash from my post and defend it and myself, if necessary? – Be prepared for negative feedback and comments, because haters gonna hate.