During the last decade, social media has grown tremendously. Most of us are on some form of social media and it almost became impossible to live without one, especially during the pandemic, when everything became digitalized, from school to work.
Because of this growth, the risks associated with social media have grown as well and it’s important for us to know how to properly use social media.
With that being said, today I will talk about how to use social media responsibly and how to be cautious and wary.
1. Track your screen time
Have you ever felt glued to your phone when you scroll down Facebook or Instagram?
Do you feel like time flies so fast whenever you use some form of social media?
You blink and 4h have already flown by! What should you do?
Well, the best solution is to track your screen time. Set a social media time limit and abide by it.
Let’s say: after a long day of studying, you want to look at memes and laugh. But you can’t waste 4h of your life doing that!
Set some limits according to your schedule and be careful to meet them!
2. Don’t overshare
With social media, it feels like the world is your oyster: you can post everything you want whenever you want! It’s like a blog or an online diary, right?
Social media shouldn’t be like a diary: oversharing information on social media can have the reverse effect and it will make you feel worse in the long run.
Moreover, I hate to say this, but some things can be embarrassing and it’s best if you don’t post them online.
These also include the occasional “check in-s” or the vacation pictures posted from the specific location.
People don’t need to know where you are or if you are away from home.
However, if you really want to post those vacation
pictures, post them after you get home. This is how you avoid potential thefts and/or robberies.
3. Be careful who makes your friends/followers list
This is a basic social media rule which everyone should know: only add people you know! Adding total strangers is very dangerous (you know, stranger danger!) and risky.
Unless the person has enough info on their profile which seems genuine, then be cautious.
It is important who makes your friends/followers list, because these people can see what you do, who you are and what you post.
You don’t want people to know things about you while you know nothing about them, right?
The only exception is if it seems like you share a certain interest, but even then, you should take this “friendship” with a pinch of salt.
4. Don’t follow “influencers” who make you think bad things about yourself
With the growth of social media, influencers became a thing.
This can not necessarily be a bad thing, unless you follow the wrong people. So my advice to you is that if a person makes you think bad things about yourself on social media, it’s best if you don’t follow that person.
I recommend you to follow these people who actually teach you something and make you feel good about yourself.
For example, follow people who teach you new skills
, not people who are all about drama and clout. Life is already dramatic as it is, why make it worse?
5. Remember that once you post something, it will be out there forever
As scary as this sounds, this is 100% accurate. Once something is released online, it is there forever and ever!
Once it’s posted, you lost control.
I know this is scary, but this can be avoided!
Be careful with what you post and wonder if that post will be relevant to your future self.
I know I sound like an old person, but the Internet and social media can be dark places if they aren’t used properly.
It’s important to double-check something before you post it, because if you don’t, this can have long-term consequences. I’m obviously not saying to stop using social media whatsoever! Social media can be used for good things, but it’s important to be careful with our personal information, because some things are private and they should stay this way.