Avoid Social Media Blunders in 2014

Computer-keyboard(CNN) — OK, so you’ve resolved to lose weight, travel more and organize your finances in 2014. That’s a good start.

But what about your virtual self? The dawn of a new year is also a good time for a digital makeover: a savvier, more disciplined approach to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms.

Given that 73% of online U.S. adults are active on social media,according to a new Pew survey, this could have a bigger impact on your life than cleaning out that overstuffed closet.

May we present these seven resolutions — suggestions, really — for better social-media use in the new year.

Don’t post pictures of all your meals

Sure, the tuna tartare at that fancy restaurant sure looks pretty. But interrupting your dinner to Instagram it is rude to your dining companions, not to mention obnoxious for other people sitting nearby who have to endure your camera flashes and “which filter looks better?” questions.

Some restaurants have even witnessed food “photographers” climb atop their chairs to get a better camera angle. Don’t be that person.

Try limiting your food pics to special items like a customized birthday cake or maybe that famous 2-pound burger you must finish to earn a free T-shirt and your photo on the pub wall.

Think before you tweet

OK, this one may seem obvious. But it’s amazing how many otherwise smart people blast out thoughts on Twitter without pausing to consider the sheer stupidity of what they’re saying.

In August, TV’s Dr. Phil McGraw sparked a backlash after a tweet posted on his verified Twitter account asked whether it’s OK to have sex with a drunk girl. The tweet was quickly deleted but not before the Internet erupted in outrage.

Then there was Justine Sacco, the PR executive who posted this on Twitter this month before boarding a flight to South Africa: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” The tweet went viral while her plane was in the air, and she was fired soon after.

It takes only a few seconds to compose a dumb tweet. The damage can last much longer.

Don’t tag people in unflattering photos

Hey, buddy! I tagged you in this party pic! Yeah, I know your eyes are closed, your stomach is sticking out and your tongue is caressing a bottle of tequila, but it’s hilarious, right! Right?

No? Oops.

Ask permission before posting questionable photos of people online. It’s just common courtesy.

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