, Muskogee, OK

April 28, 2014

Be careful what you put online

— A Muskogee Police officer’s post of a photo showing an open beer can and several rifles in the front seat of a vehicle should be a cautionary tale for everyone.

The photo, which was made public through the social media site Instagram, has led to Officer Chansey McMillin possibly facing departmental discipline.

We aren’t here to harp on McMillin’s choice of posting the photo or the content of the photo.

That’s something that should be handled within the Muskogee Police Department.

We do not know the entire set of circumstances regarding that photo.

We do believe police officers should be held to a higher standard.

But, in a broader sense, we hope this incident will highlight the need for greater discretion by us all.

Anything you put on the Internet is there forever — from the questionable clothing choices you display for Throwback Thursday to your admission you played hooky from work.

Employers routinely check social media sites to look up job candidates.

Singles look up their dates many times.

It would be wise for all of us to realize what seems like an innocent thing you would share with your friends can go global in a virtual instant.

Remember, the first step to protecting yourself from an invasion of privacy is to learn to keep your private matters private.