How to Use Social Media Responsibly
Social media is considered a double-edged sword in our society these days. Because it possesses qualities of both a blessing and a curse.
Because it provides opportunities for productivity and convenience, educational institutions and businesses have been maximizing its benefits.
However, because it also provides opportunities for destructive activities, parents and religious organizations seek ways to moderate its usage more effectively and responsibly.
Although the developers of these social media platforms do not intend to make this world a dangerous place for active users, there will always be some cons to look out for.
Here’s how to use social media more responsibly:
1. Use it to build healthier and stronger social connections, not to spread hate and destructive messages.
From gaining access to innovative communication platforms to receiving messages within seconds, social media has always brought communities closer despite the distance.
Some couples have dated for years now, and their relationships only started with a simple hi on Instagram. Many communities, fandoms, etc. have survived for decades because of consistent communication among members.
These circumstances have proven how social media positively impacts long-distance relationships.
However, despite these benefits, some people cannot help spreading hate. Because of the differences in views, values, and cultures, tension can easily build up in the online world. Division then follows.
One way to become a better social media user is by not joining the crowd of negative people and spread positivity and understanding in your own way instead. Being a part of the good force yourself can already go a long way.
2. Use social media platforms to support people during this pandemic.
Social media has fostered community development and growth amidst the threats of the current health crisis.
It has helped organizations survive through efficient and stable communication. However, it is undeniable that some people exploited its benefits and used them in destructive ways.
Because of heated arguments due to the differences in beliefs, values, cultures, mentality, and opinions about today's health crisis, social media users have been tempted to express hatred towards other people whose thoughts are not aligned with theirs.
Some rebellious organizations have been spreading fake news, misleading users with wrong information about political motives and health facts. Authorities should take necessary actions on this matter to avoid further consequences and damages.
Before sharing anything online, make sure that the information is coming from a verified source to avoid helping the spread of inaccurate information.
3. Think before you post.
Sometimes, we post according to how we feel at a particular moment. It might be at 4 AM when your hormones are raging, and you become more emotional than during the daytime.
It might be at 6 AM when your mind is clouded with worries, and you just cannot get up for work. You may also post a status on Facebook at noon after being caught in an argument with a coworker, and you cannot help but post a status that relates to your current situation. It’s understandable as expressing it instantly online can really unload the burden. It’s okay to do so if it’s not harming you or others in any way, but it can become problematic if it ends up either harming your own image or that of anyone. Just be more mindful as to the posts you publicly express and avoid doing or posting something that you might just regret later on.
4. Use it to spread awareness and practice fact-checking.
Whether it is mental health, environmental, and political awareness, people should exhaust all online platforms for informative purposes instead of misleading, one-sided thoughts about a particular issue.
It is always important to check facts before posting or sharing something to avoid facing legal consequences or spreading inaccuracy.
We can utilize our Instagram feed to promote environmental activities that can impact the world positively. We may also use our Twitter accounts to post relevant bits about political campaigns that might inform people about the upcoming election. You’re free to promote a cause or spread helpful information, but just do your best to make sure the sources are verified.
5. Obtain permissions.
Always be cautious about posting ideas that are not entirely yours. The same rule goes for posting pictures, videos, artwork, and any intellectual property you might have found somewhere else.
Whether it was posted decades ago or recently, it is highly encouraged to consider knowing the original source and acknowledging the author's intellectual rights. Legal actions might be conducted against irresponsible social media users who have violated laws that protect a person's IP.
Copyright, patent, trade secrets, and trademark duplication are a big no-no, and if you don’t want any trouble, it’s better to just toe the line.
6. Password diligence
It’s important to update your password frequently. Dormant or inactive accounts are more prone to hacking, so if you don’t want to be a victim, it’s better to keep your account more secure by simply taking the time to update your passwords frequently.
7. Consider how much time you’re spending on social media
If you do not consciously keep track of how much time you’re spending on social media, your valuable hours could get sucked away in a snap. You can use apps to track your screen time and set limits for yourself. Social media has a lot of pros, but if not used moderately, your productivity will suffer big time. If you don’t want your real life to get negatively affected, better start taking an inventory of your social media usage today. You’ll thank yourself later.
Social media platforms are undeniably beneficial to the users because of their evident positive impact on our economy and industry. Photos, videos, and thoughts are instantly shared, and it has even helped brands advertise their services and products easier than ever before.
To maximize the perks and minimize the trouble, strive to use social media responsibly. Through responsible advertising, posting, and communicating, social media platforms will become a better and healthier place for everyone.