A scholarly Dutch guy called Erasmus once said something about women – can’t live with them, can’t live without them. I guess if proven true, then social media could be a woman.

One minute it’s restoring our faith in humanity, the next, making us wish that an asteroid would just wipe us out already. This thing called social media is a double-edged sword that empowers fluffy puppies and hate speech at the same time.

Let’s face it. Haters gonna hate, and there’s always going to be that one person who has to comment on like, everything. Social media can be a tricky place to navigate, but there are ways to avoid the landmines. So here are a few things you might want to think about before you post something new.

1. Are you airing your dirty laundry?

You may not realise when you click “post”, but there comes a time when a Facebook what’s-on-your-mind habit devolves into a full-blown therapy session that will leave psychological scars when you look back on life (or your Timeline) at 62.

Posting about your tragic break up one hour, then reminiscing all the good times you shared together in the next … that’s like a Days of Our Lives plotline. And come on, nobody in this social media generation watches soap dramas, right?

social media, digital age, modern times

2. Are you becoming the master of spam?

The only type of spam people fancy these days is spam fries, served on a golden platter of mayonnaise. Even if you were a Kim Kardashian with a 28 million stalker count, it doesn’t mean you ought to be updating your status as continuously as a baby salivates. It’s like those taunting pop-ups that keep congratulating you as today’s lucky winner of an iPad 2. You just want them to go away.

social media, digital age, modern times

3. Are you penning a TMI autobiography no one wants to read?

Nothing criminally or morally wrong with wanting to chronicle your life story, but publicly declaring that you finally decided to wash your hair after a week or that you did five calf presses at the gym today isn’t really necessary… Nor is it impressive. As for those who like announcing their relationship issues of the week, there’s something called a diary, guys.

social media, digital age, modern times

4. Are you creating a nuclear firestorm the world doesn’t need?

One man’s meat is another man’s poison, but there’s a difference between saying “I don’t like cats” and “People who like cats are dumb” (Except that neither requires much thought). In an era of keyboard warriors and the human ability to take offence at almost anything, the struggle for virtual peace is very real. When it comes to matters of personal opinion, tread carefully. FYI, cats do look evil.

social media, digital age, modern times

5. Are you blackmailing yourself?

It’s a bold move for sure, but complaining about how much you hate your job and your penny-pinching boss is no different from committing career suicide. Sharing those compromising photos of your wasted self lying on the sidewalk isn’t going to help get your foot in the door of an Ivy League school or Yale-NUS either. Some deep dark secrets are better left unshared…

social media, digital age, modern times

For the sake of the 732 friends whose News Feeds are at your mercy, think before you type and pause before you post.