Be Smart About Social Media and the SSD Process Written by Cook, Skeen & Robinson, LLC on August 15, 2018. Posted in Uncategorized Social media is a big part of many people’s lives in modern society. It allows people to connect with close friends, family members, and strangers with shared interests. It’s a tool that empowers you to immediately share personal photos and stories as they’re happening. However, sometimes things can be easily misunderstood on social media, and that can be harmful.If you have a Social Security disability case, be especially careful about what you post on social media. To receive the Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you seek, you need to be seen as trustworthy and credible. Consider why it’s important to be careful on social media while you’re applying for disability benefits. Post Honestly About Your LifeWe should always be honest. However, the things you post on social media may be cause incorrect conclusions for those who do not know the inner workings of your life. For example, someone with a severe disability may post a picture-perfect photo of them enjoying an afternoon on the beach. The picture may only capture their head and shoulders with the scenic backdrop behind them. It may look idyllic.A casual observer of that post may not know that the person was in a wheelchair and had to make special arrangements to go to a disability-friendly beach. The person may have had to go to great effort to find transportation that could accommodate the wheelchair and then may only have been able to stay a few minutes. Try to be aware of the impression that a post can make. If you want to post a photograph that could potentially leave the impression that you aren’t suffering from the disability you face, you may explain a bit about what goes into enjoying things that others take for granted. However, even qualifying a post may not be enough if people jump to conclusions or misconstrue your condition anyway.Restrict Your Social Media Privacy SettingsAdjust the privacy settings on all your social media accounts. You may choose to only allow your followers to see your post on Instagram. On Facebook, you may choose to restrict certain posts to friends only or even only share specific posts with a personally curated list of your closest friends. Try to adjust all your social media pages to be as private as possible.Although it is important to restrict your privacy settings for maximum protection, a good rule of thumb is to consider anything you post to ultimately be in the public domain. Even after you adjust your privacy settings, anything you post online could ultimately be shared with others. People can easily screenshot any text or image you post and then share that screenshot.By restricting your posts to your own circle of friends, it won’t be easy for someone to find if they decide to search for your name online. Since social media posts may be misconstrued, even honest posts may concern claimants.Ask Friends to Avoid Tagging You in PostsLet friends know that you’d appreciate it if they didn’t tag you in posts. You may also request that they not mention you by name. While this may seem extreme, it’s a good idea to protect your privacy. If an online friend won’t respect your wishes, you may opt to unfriend or even block them to avoid such pictures showing up on your timeline.Also, try to communicate with friends in private messages instead of wall comments. This measure is especially important when discussing plans or situations that may not reference the struggles you face each day because of the disability.Consider Deleting Your Social Media AccountsAlthough social media is a fun part of day-to-day life, it’s not a necessity for most people. If you don’t need to have a social media presence for your career, consider whether it’s worth it to delete your accounts. That way, you won’t have to worry about your posts being misunderstood or offering public information that can ultimately be used against you in some way.Finally, keep in mind that it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you think twice about making a social media post, delete it instead of posting it. Contact the Glen Cook Social Security Attorney for help getting get the benefits that you deserve. From your initial consultation through the resolution of your case and beyond, we are here for you every step of the way.