You Should Know: Oversharing Online Can Cost You

More than Half of Americans Admit Social Media Remorse

Average Daily Screen Time Nine Hours

The average adult now spends more than nine hours per day consuming media via screen, including smartphone, television, gaming or e-books. Twenty percent of that time is dedicated to social media. As too many of us have found out the hard way, all this time online can come with a price. As we click, scroll and post into 2017, protect yourself and your kids from these social media pitfalls. 


More employers are looking at social media to screen potential candidates and monitor employees. Over 90 percent of employers use social media for recruiting, and three in four hiring managers check candidates' social profiles before an interview. Maintaining a professional social media profile for your chosen career can help you get that dream job as well as keep it. Twenty-eight percent of employers have fired workers because they spent too much work time on social media, and 18 percent because of an offensive post. 

Here are the top seven social media no-no’s for employees:

  1. Make racist, sexist or other offensive comments
  2. Complain about your job or your clients
  3. Share confidential information
  4. Post something inappropriate on company social media
  5. Use personal social media when you should be working
  6. Post drunk photos from work gatherings
  7. Broadcast your job search

Excess Screen Time Equals Health Issues

Screen time, whether in front of a computer, tablet or smartphone, can contribute to health issues in adults and children alike. Many hours spent in front of screens are causing an increase in headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and eye strain.

Staring at a smartphone also creates what doctors call “text neck.” As a person bends their neck to look down at a phone, the added weight causes pressure, pain and strain. Here are some ways to keep your screen time (and your children’s) in check and your body healthy:

  1. Schedule children for regular eye exams.
  2. Take frequent breaks.
  3. Adjust for proper alignment. A digital screen should be centered and positioned about 4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches from the center of the screen to the eyes (for an adult), 18 to 26 inches for a child.
  4. Use anti-glare screens or position screens to avoid glare.
  5. LCD and high-res screens are easier on the eyes. Screen brightness should be adjusted to fit the surroundings.
  6. Blink frequently to keep your eyes moist.

Parents can visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for guidance on how to balance lifestyle with digital media and create a personalized family plan.

When Social Media Turns Anti-Social

Over half of Americans regret something they've posted online.

Over half of Americans regret something they've posted online.

Many people can navigate a healthy social media presence with intelligence and sense, but some are struggling to stay connected while staying safe. Kids are more likely to share personal details without thinking about the consequences, and connect with strangers who may be predatory. Recently, anonymous messaging apps like Kik have come under fire for allowing minors to message with strangers without alerting parents. Check out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) OnGuard Online website for free online security tips and resources. 

Finally, the most important way to protect your kids from unsafe online behavior is to keep the lines of face-to-face communication open. Talk to them about the potential dangers and encourage them to speak to you if they ever feel unsafe online. As reliance on screens increases, so will the need for honest, IRL (your teen will tell you that means "in real life") conversations about what can or should be shared.

This article appeared in our January 2017 "You Should Know" e-newsletter.

Be Careful Because You Never Know Who’s Looking

It only took one unfortunate occurrence for us to realize that we had to caution our clients about the impact social media can have on their cases. Defense attorneys had gone onto a client’s Facebook page and found some damaging photographs and comments that negatively impacted his case and which they used during our client’s deposition. Since then we have been very careful to discuss the use of social media with our new clients. This is what we advise our clients regarding the use of social media during the life of their case:



  1. DO NOT accept future friend requests from any person you do not personally know.  Insurance companies, their attorneys and private investigators who work for them may try to gain access to your social media web sites in order to obtain information that can be used to defeat or damage your case.
  2. YOU MUST tell your attorneys and support personnel at Crabtree, Carpenter & Connolly about your past or a current use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Caring Bridge, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, or any other social media websites. 
  3. Tell us the names of any and all social media websites, blogs, or other online media to which you regularly post or update.
  4. If you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Caring Bridge, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, or any other social media, you should IMMEDIATELY reset your profiles to the highest possible privacy settings.
  5. DO NOT post anything about your claim, your case, or your injuries on any social media web site or blog. 
  6. DO NOT post anything that you would not want a judge or juror in your case to see.
  7. DO NOT delete information about your case or your injuries that you already have posted as this can be discovered—but do not make any further similar postings. 
  8. If you have posted something about your claim, your injuries, or the incident that caused your injuries, YOU MUST tell us about it at once.

In the future you must BE VERY CAREFUL not to place any information about your claim, your injuries, or your lawsuit on the web in any manner because that information is subject to being discovered, and the information might be used to damage your case.

Guy W. Crabtree is a partner with Crabtree, Carpenter & Connolly, PLLC, in Durham, NC.