Social media is the simplest yet undervalued medium. Social media enables a netizen to create, share contents, and or to participate in society virtually. Through social media, one can create an “empire” that he can rule and command over. How powerful that is?! Yet some, still underestimate social media’s power and impact.
The question is how do you use your favorite social media? Let us go through these FAQs I had in my mind before you answer the question. Shall we! 😊
What is the use of Social Media?
Based on an article I have read, social media is a collection of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration. It can be websites and applications dedicated to forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and wikis are among the different types of social media.
In the business sector, social media is used for marketing, promoting, connecting to customers, and nurturing new businesses. Social media analytics is vital in gathering data that is used to analyze and understand the behavior of a targeted community or prospects. It helps business leaders tremendously in making decisions that can make or break their brand, products, and overall sales.
In society, social media helps to create and keep connections. It’s a platform that is being used to build relationships among people. For instance, it helps individuals to connect, communicate, and share thoughts and ideas in an instant even though they’re far from distant. Back then, it will take weeks even months to receive a letter from a loved one away from the mail. I bet if you are 90’s kid you know exactly what I am saying.
National and local authorities and other essential agencies can smoothly distribute information when there’s a crisis, outbreaks, or any vital information that needs to be shared in public.
How is social media being misuse?
Despite social media’s positive potentials to our community, it also entails a huge amount of danger when misuse. An article explained that social networking sites are misused in an effort to do activities like privacy invasion, sexual harassment, cyber-bullying, inappropriate time consumption, and worst replacing of personal social gatherings.
Most social media platforms involve personal information such as complete names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, etc. hence it’s easy for hackers to phish information from us. It’s practical for us to be careful and mindful in providing such information. Here are some of the manners I practice to protect myself from privacy invasion.
- Closing of unnecessary accounts unless it’s necessarily essentials.
- Keeping a closed circle of friends in all my social media channels.
- Keeping my privacy setting up-to-date.
- Remembering the concept of ‘receipts’; I make sure that if someone screenshot my post there’s no information that can be compromised as well as when I share some screenshot contents.
- I limit identifying details about myself.
- I’m very watchful to clickbait’s.
- I use genuine security system in my devices.
Most of predators use fake social media account to lure youngsters. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used widespread thus, offenders are taking this opportunity to pacify their urge. Here are the things I practice to protect myself from sexual harassments.
- I don’t share or post provocative images or statements. It may not be provocative in my opinion but it maybe to others. So, to ensure everything is in balance, I post decent images and statements online about me, my husband, family and friends.
- I only connect with people whom I know personally or work with.
- I do background check before approving a connection invite or sending a request to connect. Keep in mind that identity theft is rampant. Offenders can use other’s pictures you might know to connect to you.
Sadly, social media is a predominant breeding ground of cyber-bullying. An offender usually abuses a person through internet to defame and insult them in the public. For them, it is so easy and quick to post a mean and malicious comments against someone or even sending intimidating messages. Here are some of my call to action to such cases:
- I immediately use the report option when I see someone has harassing statements or comments.
- I immediately flag admin or moderators of a group or community if I see contents that entice cyberbullying.
- I ignore and blocked unsolicited messages that lead or entice cyberbullying.
- I immediately ignore unverified contents that may lead to fake news but only promotes cyberbullying or threatening of individuals or community.
Inappropriate Time Consumption.
Time management is vital both to our personal and professional lives. Social media can be addicting that can lead us in wasting so much of our time. I had a previous colleague whom I thought was busy planning and working things out to smoothen our operations. Until one time, I came to his cabin in a rush because of critical matters at one of our projects. Incidentally I saw his laptop window including tabs full of his social media accounts. He was also busy chatting with some people, because I heard notification bells popping up simultaneously. Quickly, I left his cabin with a phrase, oops I’m sorry I just wanted to ask you about _____ but just call me when you are available. It was awkward and unproductive! To avoid social media addiction here are the things I practice as much as I can.
- I limit my screen time.
- Since I blog and have part-time work using social media, I plan and strictly execute it when going through social media.
- Self-discipline is essential for me.
- At times, I take a break from some of my social media channels like Facebook.
Loss of Social Skills.
It seems opposing when we say losing social skills when it is social networking. But the fact is many people today especially youngsters do not recognize what’s their life on social media vs. their actual life.
It makes me sad when I see a group of teenagers in a restaurant or even young adults having lunch together but are not communicating with one another because most of them are on their smartphones. I have seen family or friends that are personally disconnected yet online they are actively connected.
If we continuously misuse social media and lessen our physical interactions, then the next pandemic crisis is people not talking to each other in person. People will become secluded in their little bubble at home with fear from outside. I remember a movie called Surrogates starred by Bruce Willis. The movie featured the widespread use of remotely controlled androids called surrogates enables everyone to live in idealized forms from the safety of their homes forgetting the reality. I’m hoping this is not our future.
In the end, it is in your control. Social media has pros and cons. Some totally dismissed using social media saying it is all gibberish. Some makes monies on it and gain popularity. Some use it for a cause. Some use it for merely connection to family and close friends. But, regardless of how you use your favorite social media it is in your control. Use social media. Think before you click and share. Now, how do you really use your favorite social media?
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