In the world of social media where telling your story has fast become the norm, how much information is too much? Is there a tendency to go overboard? When does telling your story put your physical, financial or even emotional safety at risk?
We have to remember that not everyone is on social media to bring good will to all men. Whist we realise being authentic is a must in order to communicate with our audience, we also have to take care to stay safe online.
Here are 8 things to consider when sharing content online.
There is often a sense on social media that one must post details our daily comings and goings in order to depict a transparent, fun-packed and busy life. However, resist the urge to check-in or give a running commentary of your daily movements from start to finish. Credit score risen by 72 points? Good. Keep it to yourself. Hit the jackpot in last week’s lottery draw? Congratulations, resist the urge to make an online announcement.
Be selective when accepting friend requests
Earlier this year Instagram performed a ‘clean up’ of fake accounts on their platform. In 2018 Facebook reported the removal of 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of the year alone. With this is mind, be mindful when hitting that ‘accept’ button – especially when you do not know the person sending a request. Whilst the majority of those who use social media do so with good intentions, bare in mind not all followers are necessarily ‘fans’.
Protect your peace of mind
Many public instagram users speak of the pressure to post in order to keep followers following. As a result it is not uncommon for users to experience a burnout in a bid to keep up. Social media hiatuses are common—taking the time out to regroup is necessary, and those who do take a hiatus report an increase in offline productivity and sense of well-being. Our passion for sharing and creating content need not turn into an energy-depleting exercise; it’s a good idea to take a break.
Enjoy offline life
Remember – you can enjoy the view from your favourite restaurant and share it later. Take time out to enjoy the moment! If having something to post on social media is at the root of your daily comings and goings and shopping trips, then ask yourself—are you living life or are you living for likes? Never feel pressured to post every inch of your life just to prove to others that you are doing something with it.
Search yourself to get an idea of what you’re putting out there to the masses. If you’re unimpressed by what you see, clean up your online profiles and make a mental note to be mindful of what you post in future. If you’re going to post publicly you have to be comfortable with anybody viewing what you post. This includes prospective employers, your boss, clients, strangers, frenemies and exes—anyone with a screen at their fingertips.
Avoid the holiday countdown
Going on holiday? Avoid the public countdown.
As much as the idea of a holiday excites many of us, resist the urge to announce freshly booked holiday plans. Avoid posting holiday countdowns or engaging in online discussion about your length of stay. Two words: home security. Do not assume that because your account is set to ‘private’ that only those on your contact list can see what you post. Resist the urge to post pictures which show the layout of your home and new purchases.
Not all ‘followers’ are ‘fans’…
There are followers, subscribers, fans—and everyone else in between. Don’t assume everyone who follows you is ‘for you’.
The above mentioned topics are by no means intended to put anyone off of using social media but just some ideas on how you can stay safe online and keep your peace of mind. Social media is a great tool for making a positive impact, however in becoming wrapped up in the fun of social media they are aspects that sometimes have a tendency to ignored. Have fun and remember – self-care is a must!
Aisha A. Phipps
Musings of Ms. Phipps
© Musings Of Ms Phipps and Aisha A. Phipps (www.msphipps.co.uk) 2018-2019 Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
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