Facebook this, Tweet that, is there anyone who’s not on some form of social media these days? More pointedly, the landscape of how we connect to one another is rapidly changing; which means we have much more to be aware of.
But, you no longer have to assume anything when it comes to social media, just follow these five simple rules.
Statistics Don’t Lie
1. No matter which social media site(s) you use, rest assured you are not alone in your choice. Just how common is social media in our daily lives? Apparently so common that 35 percent of adults have a profile on a social networking site and 51 percent have more than one profile that’s been created.
According to The Pew Research Center 89 percent of these people use sites to keep up with friends, 57 percent use their site to make plans with friends and 49 percent use the site for the purpose of making new friends.
With those statistics, think!, think!, think! Since what you post on the Internet does not go away, even after you hit the delete button, it’s best to ask yourself, “would I mind my post lingering around for years to come?” Take a step back and analyze what the lasting consequences may be. Would my employer, both current and prospective be happy with this? What bosses think is important and if something is posted that may jeopardize the company’s reputation, it could be considered a conflict of interest. Curbing your impulses is your best bet on this front.
2. So, you had a fight with your girlfriend or boyfriend; this is not uncommon in love relationships. But, what is common is posting the sordid details of the event, some exaggerated. How does everybody know? It’s posted on your Twitter page. As tempting as it may be to embellish situations over the Internet, you should avoid doing so at all costs. The truth will eventually be revealed and maybe for the whole world to see. What many do not realize is that when used in an inappropriate way, social media can actually leave long-lasting negative impressions, some of which include embarrassment. Using your social media site is not the best forum to air your dirty laundry. It’s likely that you’ll makeup anyway, but why take the chance?
3. Your kid’s first day of school was this week and you’ve posted photos all over your Instagram walls to back it up. As unfortunate as this is, there are people out there who stalk their prey before making an initial move; which may pose a safety threat to your kids. Just, to be on the safe side, send photos and other personal information to a select group of trusted individuals, only. Granted, while it undoubtedly may be a milestone in your family’s life, pictures are best shared with those who will not disperse them in a disapproving way.
4. Personal information such as phone numbers and addresses always should be kept under lock and key. Lurking is threats of identity theft and burglaries.
For example, by posting that you are vacationing in sunny Florida for the next week or so will only sound the alarm for thieves. Much to your chagrin, you actually may return to a ransacked home, along with an unauthorized credit card account that has been opened in your name, courtesy of a thief’s visit to your mailbox.
5. Know who you are connecting with on social media sites, before you even accept an invitation. The best way to do this, is to make sure you know exactly who you are adding as a friend to your profile. Moreover, become aware of offensive friends. Sadly enough, many profiles are erroneous and can link to pornographic and/or adult Web sites. Above all else, remember that if a profile on your friends list contains inappropriate material, you may be deemed a promoter or endorser of the content, when in reality you are not. Careful! This may open up a can of worms in terms of legal threats.
As Wise as an Owl
While the presence of social media does make our lives easier, it can keep us on our toes, too. And, though there are different reasons as to why people flock to various social media sites over others, you can’t be careful enough when it comes to using yours to your best advantage. This for your part includes being smart.