It's a cliche, but evidently it bears repeating: What you do on Facebook (and other social networks) can come back to bite you big time.
Don't believe it? Consider these three real-world examples, all of which happened in the last month.
[ See also: How to murder a Flash cookie zombie ]
A jury of none. Deliberation schmeliberation. Juror Hadly Jons already knew who was guilty in the trial she was impaneled for. So the 20-year-old Detroit native posted a Facebook status update talking about how "fun it was going to be to tell the defendent they're guilty."
The update was found by the son of the defense attorney, who brought it to the judge's attention. Ms Jons was quickly dismissed. I guess that's one way to get out of jury duty. Unfortunately for the ex-juror, she may be facing contempt of court charges. The next thing Jons may be posting about is how fun it is to fold prison laundry.
When Goofy is your best man, your problems are only beginning. Lynn France knew her husband John had secrets. The 41-year-old mother of two from Cleveland didn't quite realize how secret, though, until she began scouring Facebook. There she discovered photos of John France at his wedding -- his other wedding. To his other wife, Amanda. At Disney World.
It was literally a fairy tale romance. John was dressed as Prince Charming, and Amanda was Sleeping Beauty.
Charming's defense? Thanks to a "typo" in the wedding certificate, he was never legally married to Lynn France in the first place, despite having two kids together -- so his Disney World marriage was the one that was legit. Hey, if there aren't at least three dwarves in the wedding party, it doesn't count. That's the law.
Lynn is now trying to get custody of her kids back -- on Facebook, of course.
T is for Teacher, U is for Unemployed. Give high school teacher Dr. June Talvitie-Siple credit for speaking her mind. Now subtract 20 points for choosing Facebook as the place to do it.
It seems the parents in Cohasset, Mass, did not appreciate being called "arrogant and snobby," having their children referred to as "germ bags," or Talvitie-Siple's late-summer lament: "So not looking forward to another year at Cohasset schools."
Well, she got her wish. As a result of her too-candid updates on Facebook, Talvitie-Siple got canned from her $92K a year job as a math and science instructor.
Talvitie-Sipie's problem? She thought she'd set her Facebook status updates to private, so only her friends (presumably all nonsnobby and germ free) could see them. She was wrong. And now she's unemployed.
In this case, though, it turns out Facebook itself was at least partly to blame. Per CBSnews:
"As for her privacy settings on Facebook, she says she had them set to block out students and the wider Facebook community, but when Facebook made changes to its privacy settings recently, she was defaulted to a more open setting."
Remember folks: When you post to Facebook, other people can see it. Those privacy settings can be your friend, once you get your head around them. If you're going to get married at Disney World, we recommend costumes with full head gear. Mickey and Minnie, Quaismodo and Esmerelda, Bedknob and Broomstick -- there are many options to choose from.
And, as always, Thank You For Not Sharing.
ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan has never been arrested, divorced, or fired for saying the wrong thing on Facebook, but there's still time. Catch his brand of juvenile snark at eSarcasm (Geek Humor Gone Wild) or follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech.