Social media is a platform that has given us an endless opportunity to connect and engage with people from around the world – but, it must be used wisely.
Thanks to the mighty internet, we can now share our thoughts and experiences, get access to endless information, network professionally, and much more.
However, let’s not overlook the importance of using social media responsibly.
Being a responsible social media user is essential if you want these advantages without compromising your reputation or personal data.
Even one careless click can lead to something that you can NEVER be taken back.
This, what you might think is an innocent click, could lead to the ruin of your reputation, the demise of your business, or even interrupt your dinner because the FBI is knocking on your door. It can happen!
More about the FBI to follow…
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how being mindful before clicking any link or instigating any activity on our social media platforms can save us enormous time and energy over the long run in terms of protecting ourselves online.
The moral of the story – think twice before you click!
Let’s get started!
Generation of Millennials – Synonymous with Using Social Media Platforms
Gone are the days when everything requires manual labor and the painstaking waiting game to obtain the information or results that we desire.
Everything is literally one click away now.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, just to name a few, are some of the most popular social media platforms that we use on a daily basis to channel our daily activities.
Whether it’s as eventful as announcing your engagement, or as mundane as venting out your frustrations over a slow internet connection.
Social media platforms have indeed colonized our daily lives in so many ways possible.
The use of social media accounts has evolved rapidly within a short period of time and along with its evolution comes a different purpose to its users.
What started out as a simple outlet for sharing pictures and videos online has become a vicious tool for spreading misleading information, malicious hearsay, sexually provocative videos, and of course cyber bullying that accounted for numerous innocent deaths, and damaged the reputations of different people and even brands.
Suddenly, everyone is vulnerable.
We become our own perpetrators and victims without consciously realizing it.
The gravity of words that we share online can either bring us popularity and approval or plague us with hatred and bashers.
Responsible social media usage has unfortunately gone astray.
It’s a stigma that we need to halt.
Responsible Use of Social Media Accounts in Business
Logging on to social media platforms these days is like entering a unique universe – one full of opportunities, connections, conversations, and fun.
It’s also an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and organizations when used properly and responsibly.
Social media usage has the potential to boost engagement with your customers, generate leads, and create brand awareness that reaches far beyond traditional marketing methods.
However if not handled properly, it can have serious negative implications for businesses of all sizes.
Thankfully, by following some basic guidelines you can be a responsible social media user effectively while protecting yourself from devastating pitfalls.
While social media usage is a popular choice nowadays to rant about our frustrations, it’s wise if you skip the impulse to impulsively post harsh words when you’re angry.
After all, once it’s seen, it cannot be taken back.
Stay away from online dramas and deal with your frustrations by talking to actual people who can really give you sincere counsel.
Try your family, for starters.
Don’t Be a Gossip-Monger
Another thing that you should never do is to spread rumors.
If your intention is to harass or bully someone that you dislike, then you better think twice about it.
Get your act together!
Know that: “you will reap what you sow,” so better be an ambassador of goodwill.
Choose Your Battles
Do not patronize public feuds.
Public display of abomination is not worth your time, it’s very pointless and unscholarly.
It’s for people who have nothing to do with their time and people recklessly looking for a fight.
Choose your battles and choose them well.
Less is More
Last but not least, do not post or share nude or sexually provocative photos!
Unless you dream of becoming a stripper or a porn star, then maybe that’s your thing.
Keep your private photos private, and provocative videos to yourself.
Again, once they’re on the Net, they are out there forever. Even if you delete them soon after, they’ll be somewhere to be found.
Self-respect is something we owe to ourselves.
Your idea of sexy should be – less is more, the less you reveal, the more people will wonder.
And, for the younger generation, the less possible trouble you could be in with your parents, or other authorities.
Fake News – It’s a Real Problem
We’re living in a world where information is at our fingertips.
But not all information we receive is true, and that’s the reality.
As much as social media has made it easier for us to access news, it has also given way to fake news – false stories or hoaxes circulated on social media platforms.
The consequences of this can be very dangerous, as people often take these fake news stories as facts and spread them further.
This can lead to widespread panic, chaos, and even violence.
So what can we do about it? The responsibility lies in each and every one of us to fact-check information before sharing it on social media.
We should also avoid spreading rumors or unverified news (fake news), as it can have serious consequences.
Let’s use our voices on social media for good, not for spreading false information.
FBI Dinner Interruption
NOTE: This story made the local news, so for his protection, I will not be revealing how long ago this took place, the city, state, social platform, the official, or any additional information that could lead to discovery.
We all know that there are some people that simply enjoy harassing or inserting their opinion towards the person for their wrongdoing, so we’ll keep this private.
Here’s the story…
I have a friend that told me a story where her son shared his unvarnished opinion about a government official.
At the time, his mother was not aware of what he did, until there was a knock on the door.
Her, soon-to-be 18-year-old son at the time, decided to share his opinion about a government official on a social media platform for others to read, thinking that what he had to say was funny.
It very well may have been hilarious, but… let me ask a question, do government officials have a sense of humor? I didn’t think so!
Little did he know, what he thought was funny, was considered a mild threat to the government official.
After a day had passed, receiving some responses to his post with some laughter, and some negative feedback intertwined, he decided to delete the social media post.
Unfortunately, the damage was done – his post was Flagged by the federal government.
Unfortunately for this young man, this meant a visit was inevitable from the, all too well-known, 3 letter acronym of the federal government.
But, thinking that he caught it in time, he wasn’t too worried.
One night, just a few days later, while he was enjoying dinner with his mother, a knock came at the door.
Guess Who it Was?
With his mother at a loss for words, because she has no idea what he did, and beads of sweat starting to form on the young man’s forehead, the FBI was cordially invited in and the interrogation began.
After the FBI left saying they’ll be in touch, and for a nerve-racking few months, he and his mother, feared the worst, thinking that he might do some prison time because their minds were in overdrive thinking he might be treated as an adult for his crime.
Because he was a few days shy of age 18 when he posted and showed remorse for his post, he received a slap on the wrist.
The government, not known for letting people off the hook with a warning, was given community service for a simple click of his mouse, that he couldn’t undue.
Moral of the story – choose wisely when sharing your opinion about government officials, or anyone for that matter.
Something to keep in mind – from what I understand, and it may be worth researching for yourself, the government has an algorithm to monitor everything (understandably so after 9/11).
There are several artificial intelligence, algorithms that scour the Internet (keeping our privacy intact), flagging specific keywords, and monitoring your text messages doing the same, along with an algorithm that listens to your phone calls to pick up specific words.
So, watch what you click to go out on the Internet, the text messages you send, along with what you say while talking on the phone!
The safest thing you can do is to NOT share something that you think might possibly get you in trouble.
If you’re not 100% sure, don’t put it out there!
Regardless of what platform you use, it’s very important that we all take responsibility for what we share on the Internet.
Privacy Settings aren’t made without purpose, utilize them properly.
If you are really fond of using social media, then keep it fun, interesting, and smart.
As we can see there are many risks when it comes to using social media, making it important to make socially responsible decisions.
We should think twice before we click and take advantage of the good that comes with a platform like social media while also protecting ourselves from its potential harm.
We must be conscious of our actions and strive to put an end to cyberbullying, spreading malicious rumors, or providing opportunities for identity theft.
At the same time, we can use the power of these platforms to find genuine connections, spread positive messages, and engage in meaningful conversations.
Thankfully, most social media platforms have features available to help protect users’ privacy and security and we must continue advocating for the responsible use of social media so that every user can benefit from this technology in a thoughtful fashion.
It’s our collective responsibility to be mindful of how we use these tools of communication as they become ever more intertwined within society’s core fabric each day.