By Alyssa Townsend, Director of Social Media

“A former colleague of mine posted about how he was going to use up all his sick leave then quit. He posted it at 9 a.m., and was told he didn’t have a job at 11 a.m.”

20 Tales of Employees Who Were Fired Because of Social Media Posts

In today’s day and age, we like to share. I don’t mean benevolence or generosity or what we learned in elementary school. But I’m talking about sharing what happens in our lives … every day. Not only what we see, feel, and do, but what OTHERS see, feel and do as well.

For those who don’t know, my name is Alyssa Townsend. I’m the Director of Social Media with Innisfree’s in-house digital marketing agency. Translation: I oversee all of our properties’ social media presences (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn).

One of my favorite parts of this job is the memories our guests share with us — from the little tidbits (like enjoying a rum bucket at the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach) to the major milestones (which, for some, is enjoying a rum bucket at the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach). It’s also one of the most hilarious and sometimes traumatizing parts (Valentine’s Day was really sweet, and also really sour).

Our guests aren’t the only ones we hear from on social media. We get plenty of posts and comments from employees, too. And that’s why I’m here today.

As new platforms come out and settings and features are updated, security and privacy have become hot topics. People have private profiles, and you can send private messages and your entire social presence can be private. Or so you think. This idea of “privacy” is an illusion. Think about it. How many times have you taken a screenshot of a post? Or shown one to someone on your phone? The six degrees of separation in the world shrinks on social media.

Practicing safety and posting smartly is key — especially when at work. Every day, I read or see someone who got caught up in screenshots or thought something they posted was private and it became public. There’s a saying, “Don’t do or write anything that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of The New York Times.” The same applies for social media. I recommend not tweeting, posting or snapping anything on or about the job that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of your company Intranet.

On the other hand, it can be incredibly beneficial for the things you would love to see on the front page of The New York Times or the Intranet. Social media is integral to building brands — both business and personal. Share all the fun you have on the job or with your team members, but be sure it’s appropriate and represents you, others and the company in a positive light.

When it comes to social media, there are no do-overs, takebacks or undo buttons. It lives forever. So for those with commitment issues, I’m sorry to say there’s one mate that you have to hold, for now and forever more. Sure, you can break up or even see other people, but you and your social presence are forever tied in holy online matrimony.

So if you’re in it for the long haul, make the journey enjoyable. Live your crazy times in the moment instead of on Snapchat, vent to your diary instead of on Facebook, and resolve issues in private rather than on Twitter.

Above all … stay classy, y’all.