The risks of social media

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The risks of social media

“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.” – Erin Bury

The Internet is a wonderful example of creativity and technology combined. Today, many people use the Internet for education, business and recreational reasons.

The world of social media has grown in recent years; both the young and the old constantly use sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. At its finest, social media keeps people updated with world events, allows users to socialise with friends, attract “followers” and increase awareness of their businesses.

But it’s important to note that, although you may have a lot of friends on social media, you may not know everybody on a personal level.

With this in mind, it’s important that you think carefully about the material you post. Your posts can quickly spread and rumours can easily begin to travel, so you should consider the image you promote online. According to the Pew Research Centre, 13% of teens have felt nervous about going to school after an unpleasant experience on a social network site, while 15% of teenagers say they have been the victims of cruel behaviour.

Expressing your feelings and private concerns is another common activity online. Today, when many teenagers are upset or have something on their mind, they turn to social media instead of talking to somebody in person. But if your loved ones and friends notice this through social media first, this can make them feel unimportant. You may end up distancing yourselves from the people you are close to without realising it.

Remember to use social media to your advantage; do not let it use you through blackmail or false gossip. You can protect yourself by strengthening your privacy and uploading only content that you would want others to see.

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