Social media, the hub of the 21st century can to a great extent be seen as the driver of most of the internet. From Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat, to twitter, and rest of the others, the list keeps growing every day.
But how vulnerable can someone be, when on these social media networking sites? The answer: very vulnerable indeed.
In fact, social media provides a great platform for all forms of cyberbullying, with its attendant negative consequences.
The fear of being exposed online and on social media is a major reason why some people totally decide to stay away from these platforms.
So many faceless and cowardly individuals have successfully used online social media platforms to wreak havoc and terror on innocent citizens and individuals. Some of these events have even resulted in the loss of lives, which in itself is very disheartening, as well as pathetic at the same time.
But, the reality of the situation is that social media is here to stay. Therefore, there has to be a way to engage on these platforms both in a healthy, as well as in more productive ways.
It’s even being postulated that social media could have a negative effect on mental health, including on that of teens and adolescents.
Becoming more active on social media by posting links to my blog’s article was a huge step that I had to take. For months, I considered the impact posting content online would have on me.
I was initially apprehensive, especially when I read about some of the negative consequences of social media. And that fear actually played a part in while I delayed in posting content online for a long time.
But, with some months of consistently posting on the internet and social media, I have learned some best practices, which I adhere to. And these practices make me stay safer, and reduce my vulnerability, while still continuing to remain active.
Reducing your vulnerability on social media: key points to remember
- All that glitters online is not gold. I have learned that not everyone that poses to respond to your posts is actually real. There are so many fake accounts out there, with fake pictures or even lifeless or non-living pictures. No matter how radiant or dazzling someone’s response or comment is to my post, I first treat everyone as though they aren’t real. That is my first protective barrier before I proceed to engage online.
- Don’t be deceived by profile pictures. They do not tell the character or sincerity of the person or persons posing as such. I have learned stories of people getting in trouble because they were lured by online communications that later ended in disaster.
- Be careful about the amount of personal information you exchange between a social media contact. Like I mentioned earlier, many of those people are not real. Too many fake accounts are out there.
- In trying not to re-echo what our President frequently says, but there is also a lot of fake news out there. Not all news on social media is truly trustworthy or even true. I have learned to do my own research whenever possible.
- As for the cyberbullies, they are the cowards and so you shouldn’t pay them any attention. Why would you take seriously the words of someone who you do not know (or know) because of what they have posted online? If they are confident enough, they should be bold enough to stand in your face and say those things directly to you. If they cannot do that, then treat them as cowards and pay them no attention. Or, you can just go ahead and keep blocking them as they come.
- And for the ones that troll you, I wouldn’t say much about those, but read my article about dealing with social media and online trolls here.
- Don’t allow yourself get depressed by all the fanfare and flowery pictures you see your friends (or associates) posting on their social media accounts. A lot of that is fake because living a fake life is what a lot of people tend to do these days.
In wrapping this up,
Social media is the new game of the 21st Century, and it is here to stay. Getting a grind on how to use it wisely, without exposing oneself to a whole lot of vulnerability should be the rule of the game.
And if you must remember only one thing from this post, it is the fact that a lot of what is being featured online by others is fake. That should be your first guard of defense because it would safeguard how you relate and conduct yourself while on these online/social media platforms.
All the very best!
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