Social Media Tips

  • Social media can be a great way to connect with friends and family and gives people an outlet for self-expression and entertainment. Social media can also get you in a lot of trouble. Here are a few tips and advice to remember when using social media. 

    Think about what you post. Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause you problems later on. Even people you consider friends can use this info against you, especially if they become ex-friends.

    Passwords are private. Don’t share your password even with friends. It’s hard to imagine, but friendships change and you don’t want to be impersonated by anyone. Pick a password you can remember but no one else can guess. One trick: Create a sentence like “I graduated from King School in 15” for the password “IgfKSi15.”

    Don’t measure your own life based on what others post. People typically post happy photos and stories online and don’t usually share their boring or sad moments or unflattering photos. Don’t assume that others have better lives than you do, based on what they post.

    Don’t post or send anything you would be embarrassed for certain others to see. Think about what your family, friends, future employers, or college admission decision- makers might think if they see it. How would you feel if that statement or picture was forever tied to your name and your identity? Does it really represent who you are? Remember, your keyboard may have a “delete” button, but once online it is often impossible to remove.

    Do be considerate of others when posting and interacting. If you message someone and they do not respond, or if someone messages you and asks that you not post about them, take the hint and move on. Also don’t post pictures of others without their permission. And if someone asks you to remove a picture, post, or to untag them, do so immediately. It’s what you would want if you asked someone the same thing.

    Don’t vent or complain, especially about specific people or organizations, in public spaces online. People will negatively judge you based on your attitude, even if your complaint has merit. Employers, schools, and others have access to social media, and they are looking. Is that spiteful comment about your boss or co-worker really worth losing your job over? Or sharing with those who may have an awesome opportunity to give you in the future? Be careful, too, about complaining in seemingly private environments or sending direct messages to others you think you can trust. You just never know who might eventually see your posts.

    Don’t post or respond to anything online when you are emotionally charged up. Step away from your device. Close out of the site or app. Take a few hours, or even a day or two, and allow your brain some downtime to think through the best action or response. Responding quickly, based on emotion, almost never helps make a problem go away, and often makes it much worse. Pause before you post!