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How to use social media wisely and mindfully, it's time to be clear about how social media affects our relationships and well-being—and what our intentions are each time we log on..

It was no one other than Facebook’s former vice president for user growth, Chamath Palihapitiya, who advised people to take a “hard break” from social media. “We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he said recently .

His comments echoed those of Facebook founding president Sean Parker . Social media provides a “social validation feedback loop (‘a little dopamine hit…because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post’),” he said. “That’s exactly the thing a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

Are their fears overblown? What is social media doing to us as individuals and as a society?

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

Since over 70 percent of American teens and adults are on Facebook and over 1.2 billion users visit the site daily—with the average person spending over 90 minutes a day on all social media platforms combined—it’s vital that we gain wisdom about the social media genie, because it’s not going back into the bottle. Our wish to connect with others and express ourselves may indeed come with unwanted side effects.

The problems with social media

Social media is, of course, far from being all bad. There are often tangible benefits that follow from social media use. Many of us log on to social media for a sense of belonging, self-expression, curiosity, or a desire to connect. Apps like Facebook and Twitter allow us to stay in touch with geographically dispersed family and friends, communicate with like-minded others around our interests, and join with an online community to advocate for causes dear to our hearts.

Honestly sharing about ourselves online can enhance our feelings of well-being and online social support, at least in the short term. Facebook communities can help break down the stigma and negative stereotypes of illness, while social media, in general, can “serve as a spring board” for the “more reclusive…into greater social integration,” one study suggested.

But Parker and Palihapitiya are on to something when they talk about the addictive and socially corrosive qualities of social media. Facebook “addiction” (yes, there’s a test for this) looks similar on an MRI scan in some ways to substance abuse and gambling addictions. Some users even go to extremes to chase the highs of likes and followers. Twenty-six-year-old Wu Yongning recently fell to his death in pursuit of selfies precariously taken atop skyscrapers.

Facebook can also exacerbate envy . Envy is nothing if not corrosive of the social fabric, turning friendship into rivalry, hostility, and grudges. Social media tugs at us to view each other’s “highlight reels,” and all too often, we feel ourselves lacking by comparison. This can fuel personal growth, if we can turn envy into admiration, inspiration, and self-compassion ; but, instead, it often causes us to feel dissatisfied with ourselves and others.

For example, a 2013 study by Ethan Kross and colleagues showed quite definitively that the more time young adults spent on Facebook, the worse off they felt. Participants were texted five times daily for two weeks to answer questions about their well-being, direct social contact, and Facebook use. The people who spent more time on Facebook felt significantly worse later on, even after controlling for other factors such as depression and loneliness. 

Interestingly, those spending significant time on Facebook, but also engaging in moderate or high levels of direct social contact, still reported worsening well-being. The authors hypothesized that the comparisons and negative emotions triggered by Facebook were carried into real-world contact, perhaps damaging the healing power of in-person relationships.

More recently, Holly Shakya and Nicholas Christakis studied 5,208 adult Facebook users over two years, measuring life satisfaction and mental and physical health over time. All these outcomes were worse with greater Facebook use, and the way people used Facebook (e.g., passive or active use, liking, clicking, or posting) didn’t seem to matter.

“Exposure to the carefully curated images from others’ lives leads to negative self-comparison, and the sheer quantity of social media interaction may detract from more meaningful real-life experiences,” the researchers concluded.

How to rein in social media overuse

So, what can we do to manage the downsides of social media? One idea is to log out of Facebook completely and take that “hard break.” Researcher Morten Tromholt of Denmark found that after taking a one-week break from Facebook, people had higher life satisfaction and positive emotions compared to people who stayed connected. The effect was especially pronounced for “heavy Facebook users, passive Facebook users, and users who tend to envy others on Facebook.”

We can also become more mindful and curious about social media’s effects on our minds and hearts, weighing the good and bad. We should ask ourselves how social media makes us feel and behave, and decide whether we need to limit our exposure to social media altogether (by logging out or deactivating our accounts) or simply modify our social media environment. Some people I’ve spoken with find ways of cleaning up their newsfeeds—from hiding everyone but their closest friends to “liking” only reputable news, information, and entertainment sources.

Knowing how social media affects our relationships, we might limit social media interactions to those that support real-world relationships. Instead of lurking or passively scrolling through a never-ending bevy of posts, we can stop to ask ourselves important questions, like What are my intentions? and What is this online realm doing to me and my relationships?

We each have to come to our own individual decisions about social media use, based on our own personal experience. Grounding ourselves in the research helps us weigh the good and bad and make those decisions. Though the genie is out of the bottle, we may find, as Shakya and Christakis put it, that “online social interactions are no substitute for the real thing,” and that in-person, healthy relationships are vital to society and our own individual well-being. We would do well to remember that truth and not put all our eggs in the social media basket.

About the Author

Ravi Chandra

Ravi Chandra

Ravi Chandra is a psychiatrist, writer, and compassion educator in San Francisco, and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Here’s his linktree .

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Youth First

Using Social Media Responsibly

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

By Vicki Kirkman, LCSW, LCAC – Feb. 25, 2020

Everywhere you look you see people with their heads down staring at a bright screen, often consumed with the endless communication, information and entertainment that an electronic device provides.  Cell phones, tablets, smart watches and computers are everywhere! 

Kids and teenagers growing up in this digital age are learning how to use technology at a huge rate of speed.  When used appropriately, there are so many positive benefits that come with technology and using social media.  There are also many risks and potential harmful consequences to social media use.

The Oxford Reference defines social media as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”  There are many social media platforms that teenagers use, but some of the most popular among that age group include Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok and Twitter. Facebook, Skype, Pinterest, Vine and Linked In are other popular social media sites that people of various age groups use.

One of the best benefits of social media is it allows people to easily stay connected through messaging, video chats or photographs.  It can provide opportunities to meet people from all areas of the world without even leaving the comfort of your own home.  Social media also provides so many platforms to express feelings, thoughts and opinions. It’s a great way to explore and learn more about various interests and stay informed about current events. Social media and technology can help someone develop or discover a community or support network too.

Along with the benefits of social media, risks and negative consequences can arise.  Too much social media use can result in lower interaction with family, friends, or co-workers.  Exposure to inappropriate content like violence and pornography is highly possible without the use of monitoring and parental control applications.  Inappropriate behavior such as bullying, slander, or sending/posting risky pictures can happen because a social media user has a false sense of security behind the screen.  Often people don’t consider that their digital footprint can last forever. 

Lack of sleep or interrupted sleep is another negative side effect of too much social media use.  Some people report feeling anxious or depressed after using social media. Pictures and stories often depict someone’s “best of the best” or “highlight reel.”  The pressure to keep posts engaging, picture-perfect and time-worthy can add to feelings of anxiety.  It is easy to start comparing your life to someone else’s digital life and feel down or not good enough. 

Young people have the ability to be in contact with friends all the time, thus leaving them with a sense of no privacy and “too connected” with peers.  Despite the constant ability to stay in contact, they can also feel lonely at the same time. Due to apps that share your location or show if a message has been read, it can be apparent if someone is ignoring or not including you.

Listed below are some good reminders about using social media and technology responsibly to make the most of the positive benefits it can offer.

  • Develop and tend to your real life relationships and experiences.
  • Take an honest self-assessment of your use. How much are you using social media and why?
  • Be yourself and be nice!
  • Set limits and take breaks. For example, no posting during homework time, shut phone off or keep in another room during sleeping hours, make “technology free” rules with peers and family members.
  • Don’t share your passwords with friends.
  • Learn about privacy settings and review them often.
  • Utilize social reporting policies and sites.
  • Always think before you post.
  • If you’re a parent, monitor and set limits for your children and teen’s social media use, have honest conversations about the benefits and risks, and model appropriate social media and technology use yourself.

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Articles & Advice > Student Life > Blog

How to Be Responsible Using Social Media as a Student

We all use social media every day and have a level of responsibility as users. Here's some advice for students to learn responsible social media practices.

by Sydney Mathew CollegeXpress Student Writer

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Originally Posted: May 14, 2022

Social media is a tool that has many advantages, allowing you to directly communicate with a large audience, be a member of an ever-present online community, stay connected with friends and family, develop your interests, meet new people, and explore your own identity and opinions. However, if not used safely and responsibly, social media has many disadvantages—and potential consequences. That’s why you should keep these important rules in mind as you navigate your way through the world of social media.

Make sure your pages represent you

Think of social media as a résumé of your character. Do your pages and profiles showcase your passions, hobbies, and friends? Many peers or those you may network with will use social media to get to know you better, so you want to make sure your presence is an accurate representation of yourself. Don’t be overly fake, lie about yourself, or share things that don’t represent your beliefs—this isn’t a true representation of you. 

Never post anything that paints you in a bad light

This is arguably one of the most important social media tips: Don’t post anything that can be used as evidence of unlawful activity. This can lead to you getting in serious trouble with your current or future school and the police. An easy rule is to imagine what a parent, employer, teacher, or grandparent would think about what you’re about to post. Even if you post as “private,” it’s important to remember that nothing is really private in our online world—things can be screenshot and shared in an instant.  

Related: How to Prepare Your Social Media for the Job Search

Stay in control of your content feed

Unfollow and stay away from other social accounts that spread false news, bully others, post insensitive content, or make you feel bad about yourself. Take charge of the media that you are taking in. You want to use social media to uplift your life, stay informed, and connect with your friends. Only follow accounts that are a safe space and promote your growth as an individual. 

Manage your time wisely

The digital world is an easy place to get lost in. Be mindful of how long you’re simply scrolling, especially if you’re not actually getting anything out of it. Set limits on how long you should be on social media apps. Turn off your notifications so it’s less distracting when you have things to get done. Your apps shouldn’t become a roadblock preventing you from completing your daily tasks. This tip is important since it’s so easy to get sucked into TikTok video after TikTok video. 

Related: How to Manage Your Time Intentionally as a Student

Understand the policies

Many schools and workplaces have policies about social media usage. It’s important to understand and adhere to the rules of your institution. Also, be sure to follow the rules of the specific social media platform you’re using. As you’re setting up your account, read through everything (yes, even the fine print) so you understand what rules you need to follow and what you’re consenting to. Go through the privacy settings and change the default setting to something more applicable to you. Also, try to avoid third-party applications. These are often unreliable and are simply used to gather your personal information. 

Keep yourself safe from strangers

Be wary and cautious when following or interacting with people you don’t know on the internet. Even if their profile is friendly or they’re a well-known person on the platform, you don’t know who is truly behind the screen. When conversing with “friends” online, don’t expose any private information. Never meet with a new online friend in person; chances are they are not who they say they are. And don’t respond to any of their requests you’re not comfortable with. 

Related: How to Stay Safe on Your College Campus

Don’t post everything

Do not post about your every move, location, school, town, etc. This information can be used against you. It’s important to maintain a level of privacy between you, your followers, and the digital world. Being careful about what you post and who you interact with keeps you safe from identity theft, privacy infiltration, stalking, and more. The best thing you can do is to keep your accounts private and only let people you know follow you. 

Keep your parents in the loop

Although most of us don’t want our parents seeing everything we’re doing, friend your parents on social media. This will hold you accountable for the content you post and interact with. Plus, having an adult perspective is beneficial as you make decisions about your social media usage. Additionally, this will keep you safer as well as strengthen your relationship and trust with your parents. 

Related: Top 8 College Topics to Discuss With Your Student Today

Social media is an integral part of the average teenager’s daily life. With the endless communication, entertainment, and information these platforms provide, it’s very hard to disconnect from the online world. When using social media, it’s important to remember what Spider-Man taught us: With great power comes great responsibility. With the digital world at your fingertips, it’s vital that you follow these rules to remain safe. 

Check out the tag “social media” to read more articles and advice on networking, smart online behavior, and more.

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About Sydney Mathew

Sydney Ann Mathew is a student at Shadow Creek High School in Texas. She’s an academically successful student, participating and holding office positions in a variety of organizations and clubs. At the age of nine, Sydney won first place in a city-wide invention competition. Her invention currently has a “patent pending” status and is in the process of being approved. Sydney enjoys attending church and singing in the youth choir. She volunteers in her local neighborhood community and was instrumental in starting a chapter of Color Cycle, a national recycling initiative, at her elementary school. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys spending time with family and friends, dancing, and playing basketball, volleyball, and the piano. She also writes and uses poetry to convey her emotions and feelings. After high school, she plans to pursue a career in business.

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why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

Social Media

Social Media/Media Literacy: Responsible Use

Here are some ways you can support the youth in your life to engage in responsible social media use:.

  • Help youth to build up empathy and perspective-taking skills both offline and online. This can empower them to practice good decision-making online, for example taking time to consider how something they post online might be hurtful, respectfully sharing a difference of opinion in a comment, etc.

Talk about safety and privacy online, and ways that youth can protect themselves

  • Privacy, including their social media account settings, as well as their process for who gets access to their page/who doesn’t. Have conversations about what their process is for accepting/not accepting friend requests, etc. These explicit conversations can increase awareness about the importance of privacy, and also support/strengthen good decision-making.
  • They can always block/unfriend, and also report, individuals who make you uncomfortable.  For example, individuals who make inappropriate sexual comments, are aggressive, or bullying them.
  • Be mindful of what they share in terms of personal information (e.g., sensitive information that if on a piece of paper you lost offline you would be concerned about someone else finding). Also, excessively sharing things like location tags, especially for places like your house, places you frequent often, etc.)
  • The permanence of a social media/internet record. While things can be deleted, once posted, there are ways for comments, images, etc. that we post to follow us in the long-term. Once posted, we have no control over where they may end up. For example, sexually explicit images/videos, harassing comments, compromising information about yourself or another person, etc., have consequences socially, legally, etc.
  • Taking online relationships with individuals that they don’t know offline. While most youth are not interacting with individuals they don’t know offline (e.g., research suggests that most youth use social media to keep up with friendships/relationships that exist offline), sometimes, youth connect with peers on social media who share similar interests (e.g., gaming community, etc.). An adult needs to be involved if these relationships are taken offline to ensure safety.

Encourage balanced use of social media:

  • Support practices of “unplugging”, “digital detox”,  or taking time away from social media where you don’t access any social media. For example evening hours/bedtime, as well as periodic “unplugging” for longer durations (e.g., weekends or a certain number of days).
  • Help youth to have greater awareness and control of their social media consumption. For example, removing social media apps from your smartphone and only accessing them from a computer can help with regulating access because it’s often not as easily accessible as refreshing on your smartphone. There are also apps available that help with managing time limits regarding social media access.

Encourage youth to maintain offline relationships.

Support self-esteem nurtured through offline activities and interests., be aware of cyberbullying and some of the potential signs of who might be bullying or getting bullied online including sudden changes in their use of social media., encourage positive aspects of social media such as connecting with like-minded peers around a special/niche interest, open up conversations about challenges with use, cyberbullying, etc. that may be coming., what not to do.

  • Follow youth online without their consent/knowledge. For instance, if youth has social media page/account that is public (i.e., doesn’t require a “request” before people can view content), don’t spend time on their page/account without letting them know. Doing so creates situations where you might learn something about them that they were not ready to share with you, or it creates a monitoring/prying/trust issue that may weaken your relationship.
  • Agree to connect with youth via social media without consideration of what your page/account and activity on social media look like. While some social media allows for settings where you can filter your page out by group so that certain people only see certain content on your page or to share content with subsets of people, it’s important to consider what type of image you’re presenting online.
  • Share pictures/videos, etc. of youth or other identifying content on your social media without getting their consent (along with parent/guardian).
  • Model how not to get caught up in excessive social media use or constant checking when spending time with them.
  • Dismiss or minimize concerns they raise about experiences on social media, no matter how benign the concerns may seem. Instances of cyberbullying may start off with something that appears minor before escalating.

Where to get help

The bigger picture.

24% of teens go online “almost constantly,” facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones.

Aided by the convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smartphones, 92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly,” according to a new study from Pew Research Center. More than half (56%) of teens — defined in this report as those ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often.

Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile devices. Nearly three-quarters of teens have or have access to a smartphone and 30% have a basic phone, while just 12% of teens 13 to 17 say they have no cell phone of any type. African-American teens are the most likely of any group of teens to have a smartphone, with 85% having access to one, compared with 71% of both white and Hispanic teens. These phones and other mobile devices have become a primary driver of teen internet use: Fully 91% of teens go online from mobile devices at least occasionally. Among these “mobile teens,” 94% go online daily or more often. By comparison, teens who don’t access the internet via mobile devices tend to go online less frequently. Some 68% go online at least daily.

African-American and Hispanic youth report more frequent internet use than white teens. Among African-American teens, 34% report going online “almost constantly” as do 32% of Hispanic teens, while 19% of white teens go online that often.

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

From The Blog

The many benefits, comfort and ease, relationship maintenance, expanded timetable, the possible pitfalls, unrealistic expectations, inappropriate public persona.

Gregory L. Jantz Ph.D.

Strategies for Healthy Social Media Use

Despite dangers, social media can provide benefits..

Posted February 17, 2022 | Reviewed by Vanessa Lancaster

  • The redeeming benefits of social media are staying in touch with faraway family members or reconnecting with friends from the past.
  • Having a well-developed engagement strategy with social media is important.
  • You can avoid the perils of social media by incorporating discipline that includes scheduling time limits and time with real-life friends.

Despite the inherent downsides and dangers related to social media , it does offer many benefits. For example, you may use social media to stay in touch with faraway family members or reconnect with friends from the past. If you’re looking for encouragement and solutions to a challenge you’re facing, you can undoubtedly find some resources on social media. The benefits are real.

The challenge, of course, lies in finding healthy, balanced ways to enjoy some of the benefits without damaging your self-esteem , mental health, and real-life relationships in the process. Even with an intentional, proactive approach to social media use, you’re sure to encounter many dangers, which could lead to depression .

Social media is an intoxicating blend of distraction and rewards that can make it hard to ignore. It is easy to get sucked into, despite very real perils to the quality of your productivity , emotions, sleep, relationships, and more.

A healthy, balanced approach to social media is unlikely to occur on its own. Unchecked, it can have a slow-growing, negative impact, compromising your life in ways you never anticipated nor would have agreed to had you known.

If you’re not intentional about applying strategies that can help you enjoy a beneficial relationship with social media, you’ll be left at the mercy of the destructive elements of what is truly a double-edged force in our society.

Actions You Can Take Today

Here are seven actions you can start taking today that will help you engage online in healthy ways and avoid depression.

1. Evaluate your “why.” If you are spending a lot of time on social media, there are reasons why. You are looking for something. Are you lonely or bored ? Maybe it's a surge of dopamine when someone likes your post. Understanding the "why" helps you become aware and find healthier ways of getting those needs met.

2. Pay attention to your emotions. After spending time on social media, how do you feel? Your emotions say a lot about how you're being impacted by social media. Do you feel jealous , inferior, or depressed? If social media has a detrimental impact, pay attention to the messages you're being exposed to online.

Created by Dr. Gregory Jantz

3. Tailor your experience to be uplifting. Social media algorithms tailor your experience based on what you've viewed in the past. Be intentional about what you click on. Choose uplifting posts, and you can begin changing the stream of content.

4. Look for healthy replacements. There are many other things you can do online instead of browsing social media. Research an interesting topic, take an online class, get moving with workout videos, learn a new language, or listen to a podcast.

5. Schedule time with real-life friends. Online communication suffers without the help of nonverbal cues and deeper connection. Real-life relationships provide meaningful interactions that help us feel connected, needed, and known.

6. Limit your time on social media. Try limiting your exposure to social media to specific windows of time, like during your lunch break at work or only after the dinner dishes are done. Also, adding a hobby to your day can lessen the temptation to be online.

7. Implement a social media detox. Consider a social media detox for one week. Start by identifying a friend who can serve as an accountability buddy. Then, delete social media apps from your devices so you won't be tempted. Bring back other gadgets, like alarm clocks and watches, that have been replaced by your phone. A detox doesn't need to be forever, but it does need to be long enough to help you develop some new habits.

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

Social media has the potential for great good. But too much of a good thing can be just as destructive as something we know from the beginning is bad for us. In fact, the legitimate benefits of social media can keep us in denial as we fall victim to its very legitimate dangers.

Take back control of your life by setting very intentional boundaries . Only then can you reap the benefits without losing your joy in the process.

Gregory L. Jantz Ph.D.

Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D. , founded The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, and is a member of the White House roundtable on opioid abuse.

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25 Easy Tips for Using Social Media Responsibly

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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Educator Webinar Attendee

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

Horror stories about teens and social media often include some serious consequences, like missed job opportunities or college rejections. But if students learn to use social media responsibly and in a safe way, it can have some big benefits by helping them connect, share, and learn. So how do you teach your teens to be good digital citizens without lecturing them?

We asked 25 experts for tips to teach kids how to stay safe, positive , and responsible online.

1. You’re in control of your feed. Recognize what’s unhealthy and hit that unfollow button

Lisa Honold, Director of the Center for Online Safety

Lisa Honold headshot

Remember, you’re in charge of your content. You can use social media to uplift your life, connect with friends, create content, and entertain. Or you can get used by it when it sucks you in, and then you feel bad afterward. It’s healthy to manage your feed and unfollow/delete accounts that are consistently false news, negative, mean, rude, or bullying. If you notice you feel anxious or irritated after spending time on a certain app or account, that’s your body’s signal that you should spend less time there. It’s not healthy.

After all, the app’s goal is to hook you and make you want to spend more time there. They do that by suggesting the next video or account to follow, through pop up notifications and sounds, through bright colors and buttons. And it’s not just you, teens, who are struggling. Adults have a hard time too. Ideally, you could have an open conversation with your parents about your family using social media more mindfully.

2. Find a purpose to your screen time so that it doesn’t become a pastime

‍ Josh Ochs, Founder of

Josh Ochs headshot

Brainstorm 2-3 things you want to be known for when people look you up online. This exercise will help you find your screen time purpose so that social media doesn’t become a pastime. Once you know what you want to be known for, it’s easier to decide whether your Instagram post or YouTube comment is going to help you achieve your goals (or hurt your digital footprint).

The majority of your social media posts should be about the 2-3 things you want to be known for. It’s okay to be silly on social media as long as you keep your posts are positive and full of gratitude.

3. Highlight your best self and turn all social media platforms into a living/breathing portfolio

Chad Dorman, Founder, Leonard Andrew Consulting

Chad Dorman headshot

Social media is a living resume that showcases your character. The things that make you authentically YOU? Awards you’ve won? The things you are passionate about? You definitely want to make sure that these are the content pieces that you’re presenting on the Internet for all to see.

You’re already geared towards documenting just about every moment of your life on social, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to share your latest A+ paper or your creation from art class. Showcasing you who are, as well as your activities and interests, is something that colleges are looking for. Make sure to impress them! They want more than just transcripts and an academic ace – they want someone who shows passion, who is authentic, and who will contribute positively to their campus. Post positively, publish proudly!

4. With great power, comes great responsibility

‍ Meredith Essalat, Principal, Author of The Overly Honest Teacher

Meredith Essalat headshot

If students are old enough to have their own social media account, then they are old enough to understand the risks and responsibilities that come with this. I always discuss the perils and risks of social media and other online forums directly with my students. When they chose to make a TikTok at recess and film it in their school uniforms, we talked about voyeurism and the danger that comes from letting their location be known. When they goaded a group of neighboring students into fighting on campus by posting mean comments on an Instagram post, we talked about the impact of language and the ramifications that result in inciting violence.

I teach my students about the vacancy of online anonymity and being certain that the persona they are putting out on social media jives with who they are and how they want the world to know them.

5. Social media abstinence isn’t the way, planning is key

Jennifer Walden, Director of Operations, Wikilawn

As the mom of a tween, I’ve really had to strategize on the best ways to keep her safe. Just telling her she can’t use social media isn’t a solution, as much as I wish it was. It’s the primary means of communication and social validation for her age group, and when all of her friends are using it but she isn’t, that becomes an even bigger issue.

That said, I do worry not just about predators and the usual dangers, but about her posting things she shouldn’t, and the potential for her to be bullied relentlessly. She and I have discussed several instances of cyberbullying, making a plan for what to do if it ever happens to her. She knows to disengage and come talk to me or her dad. The worst thing she can do is shut herself away and let everything they’re saying just exist in an echo chamber.

6. Never post criminal activities

David Reischer, Attorney & CEO of

David Reischer headshot

The most important tip for tweens and teens when using social media is not to post anything that is evidence of unlawful activity. Tweens and teens may not have an appreciation that posting some types of content can be unlawful. Posts that are defamatory, incite violence, or include hate speech are just some examples of posts that can land a young person in trouble.

Posting criminal activities or conspiring with other social media members to riot, protest or loot can also be used as evidence against a tween or teen. A young person that is passionate about social justice or other political cause is permitted to post on social media under the First Amendment Right to Free Speech but there needs to be a consideration when a posting might cross over into a criminal act. Be careful out there on the Internet. Posting unlawful messages or evidence of unlawful conduct can land a tween or teen in hot water.

7. Research apps before you trust them

‍ Ben Taylor, Founder of Home Working Club ‍ My number one tip for parents is to research things before you trust them. The ultimate research tool is right there in your hands in the form of a web browser. That means you can check if a news report is factually correct before you share it, find out if a new app is actually out to scam you, and determine whether that fun new photo game is actually harvesting your personal details. It only takes seconds to check these things out, so don’t just use social media blindly. It doesn’t take much extra time and effort to stay much safer online.

8. Be aware of the content you’re consuming, and what that content seems to want from you

‍ Melanie Squire, Founder of and Therapist with Freedom Counseling

Melanie Squire headshot

Social media can certainly offers numerous benefits, but as a therapist, I have more and more parents expressing concern that digital technology is affecting the emotion and social lives of their children. Most youth and young adults are quick to defend their socially networked lives, claiming that social media helps them feel more connected to their friends and provides critical support during difficult times. These benefits are why it’s so important to educate new social media users about healthy habits.

Use social media to supplement real world interests:

Do you like Hiking? Follow pages that educate you about the activity, and share information about hikes near you.

Is makeup your thing? Find how-tos that you can emulate, and use in your everyday life. Social media is about building communities of interest, but being a part of a community that encourages action of its members is better than one offering passive interactions.

Ask yourself, why do you like a page, or social community?

Do the communities you’re a part of make you want to learn more or participate offline?

Can you have non-digital conversations about these topics? Certainly some forms of social content are for entertainment or important to staying informed.

Not every interaction needs to be pushing you to take some real world action. However, it is important to be aware of the content you’re consuming, and what that content seems to want from you.

9. Focus on what you really enjoy to avoid overuse

‍ Jakub Kliszczak, Marketing Specialist at CrazyCall

Jakub Kliszczak headshot

Oftentimes, people have all of the available apps on their phones. Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , LinkedIn , TikTok , Snapchat , and more. This leads to a constant stream of social media binging – you start with one app to switch to another to switch to another and the cycle continues. Ask yourself what type of content do you really enjoy. Do you care about what your friends post on Facebook? Or do you prefer visual content on Instagram? Maybe you enjoy the more professional content from LinkedIn.

Answer that question and limit your usage to just one or two social media platforms. Surely, you won’t stop using social media but you’ll limit the time you spend on your phone.

10. Think twice before posting on social media

‍ Chane Steiner, CEO of Crediful

Chane Steiner headshot

Start with a conversation and remind your students that whatever they put out there will never go away. Even if they delete it. Even if they unshare it or ask for it to be taken down. The internet moves so quickly that by the time you realize you don’t want it out there, it’s already too late. So think twice before posting something. Are you comfortable living with that choice forever?

Urge your kids to think about what the person seeing it will feel or think. Will their post start a fight? Are they hurting someone? Are they negatively impacting someone’s life? Have your students think about what it would feel like if someone did that to them. If it would make them feel bad, it’s probably not okay.

Finally, it’s important for tweens and teens to understand that they are not as anonymous as they think. The internet leaves a trail everywhere for everyone. If that makes them uncomfortable, they probably shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.

11. Social media can showcase a student’s aptitude

Natalie Bidnick Andreas, Digital Strategy Consultant

Natalie Bidnick Andreas headshot

‍ Don’t avoid having a social media footprint. Parents may “outlaw” certain platforms due to their potential to cause harm, but my research shows that not existing at all online can actually be more detrimental to a student’s future college applications and job prospects. Instead, parents should counsel their children to see social media as a public tool – their “calling card” into the world.

Platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram can showcase a student’s aptitude in sports, creative projects, travel, academic pursuits, and overall communication skills. Students can certainly still post pictures of the homecoming dance and the football game, but space should also be dedicated to their passions. It’s not about being fake – it’s more about showcasing a student’s favorite aspects of life.

If parents are apprehensive about their child’s participation in social media, I recommend working through the “front yard test” as a family. Everything posted on social media should pass the “front yard test”; that is, it should be appropriate enough to put on a large sign in the front yard or other public community space. Parents can ask their children: “How would you feel if all your future teachers and bosses saw this post on our front lawn?” If the child would feel ashamed, it’s not fit to post.

The “front yard test” exercise gets students thinking ahead to college and beyond. After all, no matter how “anonymous” they may try to be online, future schools and employers will be able to access their digital footprint. It’s up to each child and their family to plan ahead and to post accordingly.

12. Follow your children on social media

‍ Betsy Furler, Author and Speaker

Betsy Furler headshot

‍ Responsible use of social media is critical for students today. Students need to be aware that what they post on social media may be available online forever. If they don’t want their grandparents, teachers, or future employers to see something, it shouldn’t be online.

The easiest method of staying safe and responsible online is for parents to follow their children online. This ensures oversight in case there is an issue, as well as a “check and balance” of content.

13. Go through the terms of service with your children

Amy Vernon, Adjunct Professor at New York University ‍ Parents can teach their children digital safety by going through a site’s terms of service, line-by-line, and explaining it to them. Consider reading it verbatim and then explain what each clause means. At the end, explain that if they accepted the terms, they need to abide by these rules, or their accounts could be deleted.

It makes an impression and encourages students to ask a lot of questions. Students will be much more thoughtful about how they use social media and how they behave online.

14. Logging time spent on social media can be eye opening

‍ Dr. Tim Elmore, Growing Leaders

Tim Elmore headshot

‍ Ask to meet and talk about the influence and the hours consumed by social media. Often, logging in the hours a teen spends online can be eye-opening for them. Many spend the equivalent of a full-time job staring at a screen.

You can also do the following:

  • Ask to scroll through their posts with them.
  • ~~This could be awkward, but actually sit with them and look at the posts uploaded both by them and to them. Discuss what you see together.
  • Interpret the tone and content of the posts and what it suggests about their character.
  • ~~This may feel cheesy or cliché, but ask what someone looking at their posts might conclude if they didn’t know them.
  • Discuss how employers, coaches, instructors or mentors might view their sites.
  • ~~Next, talk about how students (grads) have lost their chance at a job because an employer viewed their social media posts.
  • Ask them if they have ever noticed an attitude change in themselves after reading or posting on social media.
  • ~~This requires transparency, but discuss how you, or they, can experience a negative attitude or impulsive reactions online.
  • Suggest they follow this rule: I will only post what I want my reputation to be ten years from now.
  • Finally, give them the long view: What impact does this post have or what reputation will this post give me a decade from now?

15. Start a discussion early on

Varda Meyers Epstein, Kars4Kids

Varda Meyers Epstein headshot

‍ If you teach your teens the following points early on, they will develop responsible social media habits:

Never take over another person’s thread to drive home a point. Don’t go ad hominem when you disagree with someone; always remain respectful and calm. Thank and tag people when you share something they shared first. If you don’t have something nice to say, it’s best not to say it. Vet friend requests carefully – if you can’t see enough information to make an informed decision, it’s best to decline the request and mark it as spam. Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your mom to see and don’t overshare.

16. Teach accountability

Tom Kersting, Valley Family Counseling

Tom Kersting headshot

‍ It starts with parents. Parents must first ask the following question: Is my child ready for a smartphone and social media? Don’t worry if the other kids your children’s age have access to smartphones and social media. Instead focus on your intuition.

Inform your child that there will be consequences right away if there are any social media mishaps. This means taking access away and following through with the rules that were agreed upon. Accountability is the key; it’s how kids learn.

Students must be educated by the school with regards to digital citizenship and there must be consequences if rules are violated. This sends a strong message that social media must be used responsibly.

17. Encourage students to use technology meaningfully

Troy Dvorak, Psychology Professor

Toyr Dvorak headshot

‍ I encourage my college students to text, tweet, and post information they learn during class when we take periodic class breaks. Teachers can create blogs and Facebook pages for their classes and offer credit to students who participate meaningfully. I also encourage students to follow people and organizations relevant to their major. The use of technology in classrooms is ubiquitous now so, rather than police it, teachers should have students make great use of it. If you keep them busy using technology for learning, they don’t have time to use it for other things during class.

18. Remind teens that nothing is private online

Dave Delaney, Futureforth

Dave Delaney headshot

‍ First and foremost, never put anything online you don’t want your educators, future employers, peers, and parents to see. Deleted items can still live on servers. People can take screenshots of posts. Private accounts can be hacked. Nothing is 100% private online.

Students should actively grow and nurture their network on social media. Take time to get to know people and find ways to serve them.

19. Guide students on how to use social media effectively

Kristen Moon, Moon Prep

Kristen Moon headshot

‍ The college admissions process is competitive enough; students need be cautious to not sabotage themselves. Students need to assume that any picture, post, or tweet that is posted will be seen by the admissions officer at their dream college. Teach students to only put material out there that can benefit them. Students should create a LinkedIn page that is interactive and shows pictures and videos of their accomplishments, interests, and passions. Include the LinkedIn profile URL with the college application. This is a great way for students to make their resume come to life and show how they are using social media responsively and productively.

20. Students shouldn’t count on anonymity

‍ Patrick Fogarty, Valley Stream 30

Patrick Fogarty headshot

‍ As simple as it sounds, if students wouldn’t say it in person, they shouldn’t type it. Students can’t count on a veil of anonymity on Twitter or any other social network. If someone wants to find out who you are, they will. Encourage students (and everyone else) to schedule their tweets using an app like HootSuite or Buffer, so they can type out whatever they want to say, then schedule it to send in an hour or two. That way, students have plenty of time to reconsider their posts before they go public.

21. Advise students to THINK about what they are going to post

‍ Matthew Nance, Kiwanis International

Matthew Nance headshot

‍ T – is it Truthful H – does it Help? I – does it Inspire? N – is it Nice or Necessary? K – is it Kind?

Is their post truthful? Does their post/tweet reflect the true nature of the situation? Is their post only telling one side of the story? Does the post misrepresent the situation or leave out details that matter?

Is the post helpful? Does their post/tweet help someone else understand something? Is the post helping their audience understand how they feel? Is the post helping someone get information?

Is the post inspiring? Does the post/tweet encourage and lift up others? Does the post inspire someone to take action? Does the post inspire the reader to be their best self?

Is the post nice or necessary? Does the post/tweet respect others? Is the post an opinion otherwise not being expressed? Does the post put others down? Does the post support others? Does the post serve those who are reading it?

A single tweet or post may not meet all of these criterion. For example, a student might be tweeting in support of their favorite team or wishing someone happy birthday. These tweets may not qualify as a perfect “THINK” post, but they do not violate any of the above questions. Therefore, no harm, no foul.

22. Understand the pros and cons of social media MoniQue Hoffman 12 Easy Tips for Using Social Media Responsibly MoniQue Hoffman MoniQue Hoffman, QtheBrand, @QtheBrand Students have more control over their future than they think when it comes to using social media. It’s important to understand how social media could make or break future educational or professional opportunities. Each student should complete a series of exercises that allow them to define who they are, who they are not, and what their biggest fear is when it comes to being misunderstood or misinterpreted. Analyzing past posts against their answers should put things into perspective for the student. Over time, the pros and cons to being socially responsible on social media become very clear.

23. Become a source of useful information

‍ Ilena Di Toro, Just Movie Posters

Ilena Di Toro headshot

‍ When using social media, be a source that gives useful information to others, not a drain that wastes other’s time. Students can either post an infinite number of selfies, gossip messages, or, worse, hate messages, which drains the viewer. Conversely, they can post pictures of achievements (sports or hobbies) or articles from websites, broadcast, or print media, which are useful sources of information for the viewer. Providing helpful information online benefits the reader and it also boosts your reputation as somewhat of an “expert”.

24. Manage what is posted online

‍ Dan Konzen, University of Phoenix

Dan Konzen headshot

‍ Practicing responsible social media is very simple. Students can easily build a strong, professional online brand by managing what is posted about them online:

Perform a search on yourself to see what your online brand looks like. Start by googling your name and where you’re from. Go back and clean up what you can, making sure to remove any inappropriate posts and pictures from you or about you. Keep head shots as professional as possible, especially on sites like LinkedIn, which can be easily found by future employers. Create an alert to see what is posted about you online and on social media in the future. Ultimately, students should think about what is posted online as a digital face tattoo; even if it is removed, it still leaves a scar.

25. Urge students to question their content before they post

‍ Johnna Ithier, SpeakLIFE

‍ ‍ Urge students to ask themselves the following questions before they post anything online:

  • Is the post TRUE or a rumor?
  • Is the post HELPFUL or harmful?
  • Is the post INFORMATIONAL or gossip?
  • Is the post NEEDED or irrelevant?
  • Is the post KIND or harsh?

If the post is not any of these things, or you have to question it, you probably shouldn’t post it. Once you hit send, post, etc… the message is no longer yours and the receiver can do anything they want with the message.

A lot of responsibility comes with using the internet. Parents and educators should take a proactive approach and help kids find positive ways to use social media before they get their first digital device or social media account. Establishing digital boundaries and open communication from the start could help prevent them from posting something that could cost them a dream opportunity in the future.

Before giving your student access to social media, parents can:

  • Download each app and review the Terms of Service
  • Start a discussion early on and consider using a Social Media Agreement
  • Inform students that there will be consequences right away if there are any social media mishaps
  • Remind teens that nothing is private online
  • Urge students to question each piece of content before they post it

‍ Once your students are active on social media, parents can:

  • Follow them on all of their social networks
  • Encourage students to post content that showcases their aptitude
  • Consider setting time limits
  • Become a trusted resource for students when they have questions or feel uncomfortable about content they see on social media
  • Stay involved and ask students what they are doing and who they are chatting with

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Open Education for a Better World

Responsible Use of Social Media

Social networks are one of the major modes of communication today and although their basic idea is built on the concept of connecting with friends and family; the impact of these websites have far outweighed their initial uses. These are forums where people can find friends and adversaries; get connected with like-minded individuals and lead the world to change in both positive and negative ways. The world has become very small due to the advent of these forums and levels of connectivity which was hitherto undreamt of; has suddenly reached everyone’s fingertips. People are still coming to terms with the vastness of the internet and getting used to knowing everything about everyone through these websites. In the meantime, the private corporations which built these social media are regularly collecting large amounts of personal data from unsuspecting users around the globe. This vast amount of data is then used for two things – firstly, to tailor content according to each user’s individual taste. The algorithms are set to understand the liking and disliking of every user and machine learning helps to improve on the advertisements and recommendations individually. Secondly, from all the files leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013, we now know Facebook, Amazon, Google and others work with the world’s governments in providing them with all this personal data so they can snoop on everyone under the guise of terrorism prevention.

This course will be designed to create digitally aware citizens who can utilize social media in a positive way and stay safe from addiction and breaches of privacy in the modern world.

The project is divided into three modules:

Module 1: Our Secrets, Their Secrets The first part explores the area of Social Media Intelligence or SOCMINT. The surveillance and collection of user’s personal information on social media and monitoring their posts and data to predict future behaviors and manipulate them for marketing and profit. This breach in privacy is possible because users are readily giving away their data unsuspectingly. So, the first part will guide students to: 1. Be aware of what they’re making public and limit the websites from monitoring personal data. 2. Be aware of the policies of social media sites and how to block cookies and extensions to ensure no additional information is given out. 3. Engage in Security and Privacy Check-ups provided by Google, Facebook and the like. 4. Familiarize themselves with all account settings, especially group settings so no potentially sensitive information is shared among a large crowd without realization. 5. Be aware that privacy has to be spread among friends and family too so they don’t make mistakes by sharing personal information without their knowledge.

Module 2: Eat, Breathe and Drink Content This will consist of the meaning, symptoms, causes and effects of social media addiction and how it has become an all-pervading problem in the modern world. The increase in sharing personal pictures of moments with friends brings into fore new disorders which include the likes of “FoMO” or Fear of Missing Out (added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014). This leads to people going through a constant fear that something is happening and they’re missing out. Similar cases of “Cybersickness”, “Facebook Depression”, “Online Gaming Addiction” etcetera have become rampant. This part will cover: 1. The negative effects on mental health of addicted users and the categories of disorders that have newly developed because of this. 2. The negative effects on physical health of addicted users and how one can slowly destroy their body by getting consumed more and more. 3. How to overcome the obsessive need of checking social media constantly, avoiding selfie deaths, handling and reporting cyber bullying and ways to survive in the cut throat world of cowards hiding in anonymity behind their screens with evil intentions.

Module 3: Becoming Digital Celebrities The third part will cover the positive side of social media. Social media, if used properly; can become a powerful tool for performing democracy. It gives everyone a chance to voice their opinions and start direct dialogue with big corporations and government officials. An individual can harness social media to popularize his art, craft or skill without needing to get discovered by anyone. This part in the course will show students how to: 1. Customize and create content that attracts more viewers. Sharing is easy but one has to make a user click on the content and make sure he gets the important information at a glance. This will be possible by customizing and reformatting a single content for different social media. 2. Use social media to showcase their talents and connect with people or businesses to advance their careers. How to create free websites, create and manage Facebook groups, free blogs and pages to share content among potential audience will be shown. 3. Connecting with like-minded people, groups and such to get important messages across peers and spreading awareness about social issues. If one can generate a movement to ban single use plastics across the world; it might prove to be incredibly more effective than any government speech or conference. This will start with understanding various hashtag activism movements that have empowered people through social media in the past.

Sayantan Mukherjee, OE4BW mentee

Sayantan Mukherjee

Sayantan Mukherjee is a teacher and professional video editor based in Kolkata, India. He has edited numerous feature length documentary films, short films and corporate films. He is a part of the organization "Bichitra Pathshala" where he regularly mentors’ students and teachers of schools and institutions on how to integrate technology and cinema into their teaching/learning designs. He is a technical consultant for various institutions and has been around the country for Vigyan Prasar- the Science Communication Department of the Government of India; exposing the uses of moving image and internet in a classroom situation. He is the visiting faculty of video editing in Aliah University and teaches B.Sc. students of Media Science how to craft their own films on the editing table. He works for EMMRC, St. Xavier's College as anchor and editor for numerous MOOC programmes made under the Swayam platform for UGC, India.

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

Subha Das Mollick

A media teacher and a documentary filmmaker, Subha Das Mollick has made more than 50 documentary films on a variety of subjects, most of which have been aired on the national television. A post graduate in Physics, she switched over to media after more than ten years of teaching Physics at the undergraduate level. She has been the head of the Film Studies and Mass Communication Dept. at the St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and nurtured the twin departments at their stages of infancy. She has also been the head of the Media Science Department at iLEAD Institute. She has been the principal instructor for two online courses on the SWAYAM Platform. Presently she is a visiting faculty at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, Viswa Bharati University and at Aliah University. As the founder secretary of Bichitra Pathshala, she has been developing the pedagogy for effective use of moving images in teaching learning designs.  Her recent independent productions “Calcutta Sonata” and “Dwelling in Travelling” have been critically acclaimed in the festival circuit and bagged some prestigious awards.

why is it important to use social media responsibly essay

Andrea Niosi

Andrea Niosi is a Marketing Instructor in the School of Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada.

Feb 15, 2023

6 Example Essays on Social Media | Advantages, Effects, and Outlines

Got an essay assignment about the effects of social media we got you covered check out our examples and outlines below.

Social media has become one of our society's most prominent ways of communication and information sharing in a very short time. It has changed how we communicate and has given us a platform to express our views and opinions and connect with others. It keeps us informed about the world around us. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have brought individuals from all over the world together, breaking down geographical borders and fostering a genuinely global community.

However, social media comes with its difficulties. With the rise of misinformation, cyberbullying, and privacy problems, it's critical to utilize these platforms properly and be aware of the risks. Students in the academic world are frequently assigned essays about the impact of social media on numerous elements of our lives, such as relationships, politics, and culture. These essays necessitate a thorough comprehension of the subject matter, critical thinking, and the ability to synthesize and convey information clearly and succinctly.

But where do you begin? It can be challenging to know where to start with so much information available. comes in handy here. is an AI application built exclusively for students to help them write essays more quickly and easily. provides students with inspiration and assistance on how to approach their essays with its enormous database of sample essays on a variety of themes, including social media. is the solution you've been looking for if you're experiencing writer's block or need assistance getting started.

So, whether you're a student looking to better your essay writing skills or want to remain up to date on the latest social media advancements, is here to help. is the ideal tool for helping you write your finest essay ever, thanks to its simple design, an extensive database of example essays, and cutting-edge AI technology. So, why delay? Sign up for a free trial of today and begin exploring the worlds of social networking and essay writing!

Want to learn how to write an argumentative essay? Check out these inspiring examples!

We will provide various examples of social media essays so you may get a feel for the genre.

6 Examples of Social Media Essays

Here are 6 examples of Social Media Essays:

The Impact of Social Media on Relationships and Communication


The way we share information and build relationships has evolved as a direct result of the prevalence of social media in our daily lives. The influence of social media on interpersonal connections and conversation is a hot topic. Although social media has many positive effects, such as bringing people together regardless of physical proximity and making communication quicker and more accessible, it also has a dark side that can affect interpersonal connections and dialogue.

Positive Effects:

Connecting People Across Distances

One of social media's most significant benefits is its ability to connect individuals across long distances. People can use social media platforms to interact and stay in touch with friends and family far away. People can now maintain intimate relationships with those they care about, even when physically separated.

Improved Communication Speed and Efficiency

Additionally, the proliferation of social media sites has accelerated and simplified communication. Thanks to instant messaging, users can have short, timely conversations rather than lengthy ones via email. Furthermore, social media facilitates group communication, such as with classmates or employees, by providing a unified forum for such activities.

Negative Effects:

Decreased Face-to-Face Communication

The decline in in-person interaction is one of social media's most pernicious consequences on interpersonal connections and dialogue. People's reliance on digital communication over in-person contact has increased along with the popularity of social media. Face-to-face interaction has suffered as a result, which has adverse effects on interpersonal relationships and the development of social skills.

Decreased Emotional Intimacy

Another adverse effect of social media on relationships and communication is decreased emotional intimacy. Digital communication lacks the nonverbal cues and facial expressions critical in building emotional connections with others. This can make it more difficult for people to develop close and meaningful relationships, leading to increased loneliness and isolation.

Increased Conflict and Miscommunication

Finally, social media can also lead to increased conflict and miscommunication. The anonymity and distance provided by digital communication can lead to misunderstandings and hurtful comments that might not have been made face-to-face. Additionally, social media can provide a platform for cyberbullying , which can have severe consequences for the victim's mental health and well-being.


In conclusion, the impact of social media on relationships and communication is a complex issue with both positive and negative effects. While social media platforms offer many benefits, such as connecting people across distances and enabling faster and more accessible communication, they also have a dark side that can negatively affect relationships and communication. It is up to individuals to use social media responsibly and to prioritize in-person communication in their relationships and interactions with others.

The Role of Social Media in the Spread of Misinformation and Fake News

Social media has revolutionized the way information is shared and disseminated. However, the ease and speed at which data can be spread on social media also make it a powerful tool for spreading misinformation and fake news. Misinformation and fake news can seriously affect public opinion, influence political decisions, and even cause harm to individuals and communities.

The Pervasiveness of Misinformation and Fake News on Social Media

Misinformation and fake news are prevalent on social media platforms, where they can spread quickly and reach a large audience. This is partly due to the way social media algorithms work, which prioritizes content likely to generate engagement, such as sensational or controversial stories. As a result, false information can spread rapidly and be widely shared before it is fact-checked or debunked.

The Influence of Social Media on Public Opinion

Social media can significantly impact public opinion, as people are likelier to believe the information they see shared by their friends and followers. This can lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, where misinformation and fake news are spread and reinforced, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

The Challenge of Correcting Misinformation and Fake News

Correcting misinformation and fake news on social media can be a challenging task. This is partly due to the speed at which false information can spread and the difficulty of reaching the same audience exposed to the wrong information in the first place. Additionally, some individuals may be resistant to accepting correction, primarily if the incorrect information supports their beliefs or biases.

In conclusion, the function of social media in disseminating misinformation and fake news is complex and urgent. While social media has revolutionized the sharing of information, it has also made it simpler for false information to propagate and be widely believed. Individuals must be accountable for the information they share and consume, and social media firms must take measures to prevent the spread of disinformation and fake news on their platforms.

The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health and Well-Being

Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of people around the world using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay connected with others and access information. However, while social media has many benefits, it can also negatively affect mental health and well-being.

Comparison and Low Self-Esteem

One of the key ways that social media can affect mental health is by promoting feelings of comparison and low self-esteem. People often present a curated version of their lives on social media, highlighting their successes and hiding their struggles. This can lead others to compare themselves unfavorably, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

Another way that social media can negatively impact mental health is through cyberbullying and online harassment. Social media provides a platform for anonymous individuals to harass and abuse others, leading to feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression.

Social Isolation

Despite its name, social media can also contribute to feelings of isolation. At the same time, people may have many online friends but need more meaningful in-person connections and support. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.

Addiction and Overuse

Finally, social media can be addictive, leading to overuse and negatively impacting mental health and well-being. People may spend hours each day scrolling through their feeds, neglecting other important areas of their lives, such as work, family, and self-care.

In sum, social media has positive and negative consequences on one's psychological and emotional well-being. Realizing this, and taking measures like reducing one's social media use, reaching out to loved ones for help, and prioritizing one's well-being, are crucial. In addition, it's vital that social media giants take ownership of their platforms and actively encourage excellent mental health and well-being.

The Use of Social Media in Political Activism and Social Movements

Social media has recently become increasingly crucial in political action and social movements. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have given people new ways to express themselves, organize protests, and raise awareness about social and political issues.

Raising Awareness and Mobilizing Action

One of the most important uses of social media in political activity and social movements has been to raise awareness about important issues and mobilize action. Hashtags such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, for example, have brought attention to sexual harassment and racial injustice, respectively. Similarly, social media has been used to organize protests and other political actions, allowing people to band together and express themselves on a bigger scale.

Connecting with like-minded individuals

A second method in that social media has been utilized in political activity and social movements is to unite like-minded individuals. Through social media, individuals can join online groups, share knowledge and resources, and work with others to accomplish shared objectives. This has been especially significant for geographically scattered individuals or those without access to traditional means of political organizing.

Challenges and Limitations

As a vehicle for political action and social movements, social media has faced many obstacles and restrictions despite its many advantages. For instance, the propagation of misinformation and fake news on social media can impede attempts to disseminate accurate and reliable information. In addition, social media corporations have been condemned for censorship and insufficient protection of user rights.

In conclusion, social media has emerged as a potent instrument for political activism and social movements, giving voice to previously unheard communities and galvanizing support for change. Social media presents many opportunities for communication and collaboration. Still, users and institutions must be conscious of the risks and limitations of these tools to promote their responsible and productive usage.

The Potential Privacy Concerns Raised by Social Media Use and Data Collection Practices

With billions of users each day on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives. While these platforms offer a straightforward method to communicate with others and exchange information, they also raise significant concerns over data collecting and privacy. This article will examine the possible privacy issues posed by social media use and data-gathering techniques.

Data Collection and Sharing

The gathering and sharing of personal data are significant privacy issues brought up by social media use. Social networking sites gather user data, including details about their relationships, hobbies, and routines. This information is made available to third-party businesses for various uses, such as marketing and advertising. This can lead to serious concerns about who has access to and uses our personal information.

Lack of Control Over Personal Information

The absence of user control over personal information is a significant privacy issue brought up by social media usage. Social media makes it challenging to limit who has access to and how data is utilized once it has been posted. Sensitive information may end up being extensively disseminated and may be used maliciously as a result.

Personalized Marketing

Social media companies utilize the information they gather about users to target them with adverts relevant to their interests and usage patterns. Although this could be useful, it might also cause consumers to worry about their privacy since they might feel that their personal information is being used without their permission. Furthermore, there are issues with the integrity of the data being used to target users and the possibility of prejudice based on individual traits.

Government Surveillance

Using social media might spark worries about government surveillance. There are significant concerns regarding privacy and free expression when governments in some nations utilize social media platforms to follow and monitor residents.

In conclusion, social media use raises significant concerns regarding data collecting and privacy. While these platforms make it easy to interact with people and exchange information, they also gather a lot of personal information, which raises questions about who may access it and how it will be used. Users should be aware of these privacy issues and take precautions to safeguard their personal information, such as exercising caution when choosing what details to disclose on social media and keeping their information sharing with other firms to a minimum.

The Ethical and Privacy Concerns Surrounding Social Media Use And Data Collection

Our use of social media to communicate with loved ones, acquire information, and even conduct business has become a crucial part of our everyday lives. The extensive use of social media does, however, raise some ethical and privacy issues that must be resolved. The influence of social media use and data collecting on user rights, the accountability of social media businesses, and the need for improved regulation are all topics that will be covered in this article.

Effect on Individual Privacy:

Social networking sites gather tons of personal data from their users, including delicate information like search history, location data, and even health data. Each user's detailed profile may be created with this data and sold to advertising or used for other reasons. Concerns regarding the privacy of personal information might arise because social media businesses can use this data to target users with customized adverts.

Additionally, individuals might need to know how much their personal information is being gathered and exploited. Data breaches or the unauthorized sharing of personal information with other parties may result in instances where sensitive information is exposed. Users should be aware of the privacy rules of social media firms and take precautions to secure their data.

Responsibility of Social Media Companies:

Social media firms should ensure that they responsibly and ethically gather and use user information. This entails establishing strong security measures to safeguard sensitive information and ensuring users are informed of what information is being collected and how it is used.

Many social media businesses, nevertheless, have come under fire for not upholding these obligations. For instance, the Cambridge Analytica incident highlighted how Facebook users' personal information was exploited for political objectives without their knowledge. This demonstrates the necessity of social media corporations being held responsible for their deeds and ensuring that they are safeguarding the security and privacy of their users.

Better Regulation Is Needed

There is a need for tighter regulation in this field, given the effect, social media has on individual privacy as well as the obligations of social media firms. The creation of laws and regulations that ensure social media companies are gathering and using user information ethically and responsibly, as well as making sure users are aware of their rights and have the ability to control the information that is being collected about them, are all part of this.

Additionally, legislation should ensure that social media businesses are held responsible for their behavior, for example, by levying fines for data breaches or the unauthorized use of personal data. This will provide social media businesses with a significant incentive to prioritize their users' privacy and security and ensure they are upholding their obligations.

In conclusion, social media has fundamentally changed how we engage and communicate with one another, but this increased convenience also raises several ethical and privacy issues. Essential concerns that need to be addressed include the effect of social media on individual privacy, the accountability of social media businesses, and the requirement for greater regulation to safeguard user rights. We can make everyone's online experience safer and more secure by looking more closely at these issues.

In conclusion, social media is a complex and multifaceted topic that has recently captured the world's attention. With its ever-growing influence on our lives, it's no surprise that it has become a popular subject for students to explore in their writing. Whether you are writing an argumentative essay on the impact of social media on privacy, a persuasive essay on the role of social media in politics, or a descriptive essay on the changes social media has brought to the way we communicate, there are countless angles to approach this subject.

However, writing a comprehensive and well-researched essay on social media can be daunting. It requires a thorough understanding of the topic and the ability to articulate your ideas clearly and concisely. This is where comes in. Our AI-powered tool is designed to help students like you save time and energy and focus on what truly matters - your education. With , you'll have access to a wealth of examples and receive personalized writing suggestions and feedback.

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The Responsibilities of Social Media Platforms and Users

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Scott Campbell , PhD, joins this episode of Michigan Minds to discuss how social media platforms are reducing disturbing content, ethical strategies users can practice online, and media mindedness. Campbell is the Constance F. and Arnold C. Pohs Professor of Telecommunication in the Department of Communication and Media at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. His research focuses on investigating how to change the dynamics between self and society in a digital context.

Campbell provides insight from a paper he authored, Re-Conceptualizing Solitude in the Digital Era: From “Being Alone” to “Noncommunication,” explaining the evolution from previous theories. As solitude is quite the opposite of communication, which is his expertise, Campbell shares that investigating the contrasting side to communication is what sparked his interest in this research. He notes that previous research on solitude was published before the rise of digital and social media, and wanted solitude to be rethought as a matter of social aloneness rather than physical aloneness.

“It’s important when we start thinking about solitude as social aloneness and physical aloneness, and the fact that we can connect anytime anywhere now with our mobile phones in our pockets. It helps us realize that there are a couple of different versions of solitude and that some of it is going away.” SCOTT CAMPBELL

In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal , Campbell details how the continuous circulation of disturbing viral videos harms social media users. With social media being widely accessible, he shares that there’s a much lower threshold for who can participate in public communication, but also how people participate. Campbell explains how a social media user shared a video they took of a fatal fall that occurred at an amusement park, which spread widely on platforms. He emphasizes that these videos have negative impacts on people’s wellbeing, and how important it is for social media channels to have community standards.

He explains what social media platforms are doing in an effort to reduce traumatic content that’s circulating and what has changed over the years. He says that overall, researchers are seeing more diversity and cleaner spaces across social platforms, which can be a result of online community standards. When comparing platforms, Twitter has lower community standards where people are not as accountable compared to a platform like TikTok, where disturbing content is taken down more quickly. Although social platforms are responsible for establishing safe online communities, Campbell adds that it’s also the users who must practice ethical communication and social engagement as they would in person.

“There’s ethics on our part too, and we have to be ethical users. It’s for our own well being, but it’s for the well being of others to be ethical in our mindset of how we’re using social media—and so some of the responsibility lies on the individual too,” he says. 

Campbell discusses freedom of speech on the internet and relates it to the importance of democracy. He says that to have ethically functional conversations online, people must be responsible for their words and actions, and think about how their communication will be interpreted before they post. “We have to bring our own set of ethics and principles to the table, it’s just as important that we do in terms of not just what we post, but what we report, what we don’t report, what we look at, etc.”

Media literacy and mindfulness are also important elements to using social media platforms. Campbell refers to this as “media mindedness,” which he describes as a unified effort to care about how we use social media instead of using it as a place to harm or create conflict with others. 

“We need to have a higher sense of media mindedness so that we can turn on our media literacy skills, and that means that we have to really care in a way that I think that instead of caring, we tend to take our media for granted,” he says.

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Why Social Media should be used Responsibly

  • >> Why Social Media should be used Responsibly

Twitter is a fantastic social media tool. Anyone can use it and you don’t have to be an IT guru or SEO whizz in order to get your voice or business heard in an increasingly crowded forum. However social media brings its own level of responsibility and internal monologue checks. In the past several years I have learnt to ask a useful question of myself before I post anything online.

Am I comfortable saying this to someone’s face or in a room full of people?


I learned a useful lesson several years ago after I wrote a blog sharing details of a night out I’d been on with a friend. At the time I didn’t see any harm in it. In fact I thought it showcased my ‘amazing wit’ and ‘sophisticated style’ of writing. The reality was that it just made me look like an insensitive moron who didn’t stop to consider whether or not the person I was writing about was comfortable about me writing about them. (Look how sophisticated that sentence was!)


Why we should use social media responsibly

Social media is full of people sharing their opinions along with some of the most intimate details of their lives. I used to do the same. I got sucked into the web of seeing how often my posts were liked or shared by people I either barely knew or hadn’t physically spoken to in years. It’s addictive! A while back I realised (after I’d logged into Facebook for the umpteenth time in an hour) I was wasting a lot of my time. Instead of completing work and actually going outside, I was checking out which of my friends had liked my latest update or post. I would go on rants about news that had annoyed me or people that irked me before I realised how easy it was to do this online instead of to someone’s face.

I’m not saying we should censor ourselves completely online; the web has opened up communication in a way no one thought possible 20 years ago. But we should always try and ask ourselves what we would be comfortable saying in a room in front of people. Remember that what you post online often stays online even if you think you’ve deleted it. If you’re comfortable sharing EVERYTHING about your life and SAYING ANYTHING YOU WANT on social media than go for it. Just remember that there are always consequences to what you write and share online…good and bad. Do you really want to be remembered for some comment you made or picture you shared on Facebook 6 years ago that seems embarrassing now?

Think of it like this; say you’ve called someone you hate a ‘see-you-next-Tuesday’ on Facebook. Would you be comfortable saying that to their face? There are probably a few smart arses reading this who will say ‘Yep! I would.’ But in all reality they are in the minority and most of us wouldn’t do it.

Where the dark side can take you

Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms can be very useful tools. They provide me with an opportunity to keep in touch with friends who live far away and network with professionals I want to work with. However there is a darker side that I have nearly succumbed to on several occasions (I can hear Darth Vader breathing behind me). Under the nice bright bridge of the social media rainbow there are trolls lurking ready to pull you into their grubby little world of bullying and pointless argument.

For example; Twitter is full of some really nice and genuine people. Twitter is also full of nasty malicious people who for some reason have nothing better to do then spend their time saying horrible things that 9 times out of 10 they wouldn’t have the guts to say to someone in public. I’ve seen users say things that are racist, bigoted, sexist and just plain mean in order to get some attention. It is terrifying and as we know has caused people to commit suicide.

Troll Warning social media

Trolls are not clever and they’re not cool . They’re just cowards and creeps. Which is why it is even more important that we exercise a little caution on what we say online (Donald Trump should pay attention). Privacy controls are improving and it is possible to block malicious users though they can still find a way to stalk you like a creep.

Sharing is caring…responsibly

Social media is a day to day reality. Like it or loathe it, it’s moved into our lives and put its feet up on our sofas. It shows no signs of leaving. This means we need to exercise some control when we use it (just like I try to do when I’m tempted to binge watch Star Trek instead of doing work that needs doing – damn you Netflix!).

Remember that what you say and share online can be found by anyone who looks hard enough for it. What you say can affect your chances of finding a new job or finding a date. It can also hurt your friends or family without you even realising.

The next time you’re online and your fingers are twitching to tweet, ready to launch into a witty diatribe about what colour a celebrity’s pants are or what someone you met in a bar the other night was like, or how you didn’t like your Mum’s cooking, remember to ask yourself:

Would I say this in a room full of people?

You never know who might read what you’ve written.

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Responsible Use of Social Media: Think Twice Before You Click!

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Social media  is a platform that has given us an endless opportunity to connect and engage with people from around the world – but, it must be used wisely.

Thanks to the mighty internet, we can now share our thoughts and experiences, get access to endless information, network professionally, and much more.

However, let’s not overlook the importance of using social media responsibly.

Think Twice Before You Click | An Advocacy Towards Responsible Use of Social Media

Being a responsible social media user is essential if you want these advantages without compromising your reputation or personal data.

Even one careless click can lead to something that you can NEVER be taken back.

This, what you might think is an innocent click, could lead to the ruin of your reputation, the demise of your business, or even interrupt your dinner because the FBI is knocking on your door . It can happen!

More about the FBI to follow…

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how being mindful before clicking any link or instigating any activity on our social media platforms can save us enormous time and energy over the long run in terms of protecting ourselves online.

The moral of the story – think twice before you click!

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Generation of Millennials – Synonymous with Using Social Media Platforms

Gone are the days when everything requires manual labor and the painstaking waiting game to obtain the information or results that we desire.

Everything is literally one click away now.

Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram , just to name a few, are some of the most popular social media platforms that we use on a daily basis to channel our daily activities.

Whether it’s as eventful as announcing your engagement, or as mundane as venting out your frustrations over a slow internet connection.

Social media platforms have indeed colonized our daily lives in so many ways possible.

The use of social media accounts has evolved rapidly within a short period of time and along with its evolution comes a different purpose to its users.

What started out as a simple outlet for sharing pictures and videos online has become a vicious tool for spreading misleading information, malicious hearsay, sexually provocative videos, and of course cyber bullying that accounted for numerous innocent deaths, and damaged the reputations of different people and even brands.

Suddenly, everyone is vulnerable.

We become our own perpetrators and victims without consciously realizing it.

The gravity of words that we share online can either bring us popularity and approval or plague us with hatred and bashers.

Responsible social media usage has unfortunately gone astray.

It’s a stigma that we need to halt.

Responsible Use of Social Media Accounts in Business

Logging on to social media platforms these days is like entering a unique universe – one full of opportunities, connections, conversations, and fun.

It’s also an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and organizations when used properly and responsibly.

Social media usage has the potential to boost engagement with your customers, generate leads, and create brand awareness that reaches far beyond traditional marketing methods.

However if not handled properly, it can have serious negative implications for businesses of all sizes.

Thankfully, by following some basic guidelines you can be a responsible social media user effectively while protecting yourself from devastating pitfalls.

Endless Communication

Properly Communication

While social media usage is a popular choice nowadays to rant about our frustrations, it’s wise if you skip the impulse to impulsively post harsh words when you’re angry.

After all, once it’s seen, it cannot be taken back.

Stay away from online dramas and deal with your frustrations by talking to actual people who can really give you sincere counsel.

Try your family, for starters.

Don’t Be a Gossip-Monger

Don’t Be a Gossip-Monger

Another thing that you should never do is to spread rumors.

If your intention is to harass or bully someone that you dislike, then you better think twice about it.

Get your act together!

Know that: “you will reap what you sow,” so better be an ambassador of goodwill.

Choose Your Battles

Do not patronize public feuds.

Public display of abomination is not worth your time, it’s very pointless and unscholarly.

It’s for people who have nothing to do with their time and people recklessly looking for a fight.

Choose your battles and choose them well.

Less is More

Last but not least, do not post or share nude or sexually provocative photos!

Unless you dream of becoming a stripper or a porn star, then maybe that’s your thing.

Keep your private photos private, and provocative videos to yourself.

Again, once they’re on the Net, they are out there forever. Even if you delete them soon after, they’ll be somewhere to be found.

Self-respect is something we owe to ourselves.

Your idea of sexy should be – less is more, the less you reveal, the more people will wonder.

And, for the younger generation, the less possible trouble you could be in with your parents, or other authorities.

Fake News – It’s a Real Problem

We’re living in a world where information is at our fingertips.

But not all information we receive is true, and that’s the reality.

As much as social media has made it easier for us to access news, it has also given way to fake news – false stories or hoaxes circulated on social media platforms.

The consequences of this can be very dangerous, as people often take these fake news stories as facts and spread them further.

This can lead to widespread panic, chaos, and even violence.

So what can we do about it? The responsibility lies in each and every one of us to fact-check information before sharing it on social media.

We should also avoid spreading rumors or unverified news (fake news), as it can have serious consequences.

Let’s use our voices on social media for good, not for spreading false information.

FBI Dinner Interruption

NOTE : This story made the local news, so for his protection, I will not be revealing how long ago this took place, the city, state, social platform, the official, or any additional information that could lead to discovery.

We all know that there are some people that simply enjoy harassing or inserting their opinion towards the person for their wrongdoing, so we’ll keep this private.

Here’s the story…

I have a friend that told me a story where her son shared his unvarnished opinion about a government official.

At the time, his mother was not aware of what he did, until there was a knock on the door.

Her, soon-to-be 18-year-old son at the time, decided to share his opinion about a government official on a social media platform for others to read, thinking that what he had to say was funny.

It very well may have been hilarious, but… let me ask a question, do government officials have a sense of humor? I didn’t think so!

Little did he know, what he thought was funny, was considered a mild threat to the government official.

After a day had passed, receiving some responses to his post with some laughter, and some negative feedback intertwined, he decided to delete the social media post.

Unfortunately, the damage was done – his post was Flagged by the federal government.

Unfortunately for this young man, this meant a visit was inevitable from the, all too well-known, 3 letter acronym of the federal government.

But, thinking that he caught it in time, he wasn’t too worried.

One night, just a few days later, while he was enjoying dinner with his mother, a knock came at the door.

Guess Who it Was?

With his mother at a loss for words, because she has no idea what he did, and beads of sweat starting to form on the young man’s forehead, the FBI was cordially invited in and the interrogation began.

After the FBI left saying they’ll be in touch, and for a nerve-racking few months, he and his mother, feared the worst, thinking that he might do some prison time because their minds were in overdrive thinking he might be treated as an adult for his crime.

Because he was a few days shy of age 18 when he posted and showed remorse for his post, he received a slap on the wrist.

The government, not known for letting people off the hook with a warning, was given community service for a simple click of his mouse, that he couldn’t undue.

Moral of the story – choose wisely when sharing your opinion about government officials, or anyone for that matter.

Something to keep in mind – from what I understand, and it may be worth researching for yourself, the government has an algorithm to monitor everything (understandably so after 9/11).

There are several artificial intelligence, algorithms that scour the Internet (keeping our privacy intact), flagging specific keywords, and monitoring your text messages doing the same, along with an algorithm that listens to your phone calls to pick up specific words.

So, watch what you click to go out on the Internet, the text messages you send, along with what you say while talking on the phone!

The safest thing you can do is to NOT share something that you think might possibly get you in trouble.

If you’re not 100% sure, don’t put it out there!

Regardless of what platform you use, it’s very important that we all take responsibility for what we share on the Internet.

Privacy Settings aren’t made without purpose, utilize them properly.

If you are really fond of using social media, then keep it fun, interesting, and smart.

As we can see there are many risks when it comes to using social media, making it important to make socially responsible decisions.

We should think twice before we click and take advantage of the good that comes with a platform like social media while also protecting ourselves from its potential harm.

We must be conscious of our actions and strive to put an end to cyberbullying, spreading malicious rumors, or providing opportunities for identity theft.

At the same time, we can use the power of these platforms to find genuine connections, spread positive messages, and engage in meaningful conversations.

Thankfully, most social media platforms have features available to help protect users’ privacy and security and we must continue advocating for the responsible use of social media so that every user can benefit from this technology in a thoughtful fashion.

It’s our collective responsibility to be mindful of how we use these tools of communication as they become ever more intertwined within society’s core fabric each day.

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Blogging since 2010, John has found his true calling as TheBlogPilot . He's a serial entrepreneur and business owner, who's mission is to help ambitious individuals find financial freedom through blogging - to start, grow & build a sustainable, money-making blogging business!

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How can you be more responsible on social media? Here are some tips

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How can you be more responsible on social media? Here are some tips

CONFUSING PLATFORMS. The CIVID-19 forced senior citizens indoors, where they had to ask the help of younger members of the family for tasks, like shopping and bill payments, that they had formerly done.

MANILA, Philippines – Now that the internet is widely accessible to most people, how can we be more responsible on social media? What can people do to promote a safe community on social media? 

In the third session of MovePH’s media and information literacy training series, experts highlighted that digital citizens must know and exercise their rights and responsibilities online. This is to help promote a safe and responsible digital environment. The webinar featured World Bank consultant Bernice Soriano and content creator Mona Magno-Veluz (also known on TikTok as Mighty Magulang).

Here are some ways for people to be responsible digital citizens.

1. Know your digital rights

Not all social media users are aware of their digital rights. Soriano emphasized that a citizen’s rights offline should also apply online. 

“Digital technology should provide ways to exercise human rights. But what happens usually, these are being violated online…I think a lot of women, LGBTQIA, [and] other marginalized communities would actually echo these. It’s always been said that just because you were bashed online–then it’s okay because it’s just online… No, your rights were still violated and that shouldn’t happen,” Soriano said in a mix of Filipino and English. 

Given the lack of or limited laws on digital rights, hatred, anger, and shaming tend to get normalized on social media. This especially applies to how we usually perceive cyberbullying and online violence as passive and harmless. 

To learn more about digital rights and how we can help translate these into action in our communities, here are some resources you can check: 

  • United Nations Secretary Roadmap for Digital Cooperation 
  • Declaration of European Digital Rights and Principles 
  • Philippine Declaration on Internet Rights and Principles

2 . Be mindful of how you use social media

Responsible digital citizens are savvy social media users. According to Soriano, responsible digital citizens are encouraged to educate and empower people by creating, consuming, and sharing content. This can be done simply by helping a family member protect their social media accounts, or it can be as complex as utilizing social media to spark movements and advocacies to reach more people.

“You have a lot of information available to you. The web, the internet is there. We consume a lot of information, but what’s key is [to] apply the literacy skills to know which information I need, to apply critical thinking, and eventually be able to act as a person that can make good judgment,” Soriano said.

Veluz echoed this, citing how false information is at times created faster than the ability of the platforms to react. Thus, the need for social media users to be careful about what they share and how they interact with posts online. 

“If you keep watching accounts that propagate fake news so that you can get angry and leave nasty comments, you are being anger-baited and you are helping drive up their social media relevance. So, the lesson to that is to just stay calm,” Veluz said in a mix of Filipino and English. 

People should know what issues to prioritize, and what are the things that should be left ignored. When dealing with conversations online, Veluz suggested practicing a three-strike rule: leave a conversation after three exchanges of debates to avoid further flooding and engaging with internet trolls. 

“No matter our purpose for being in social media, we must be upstanding social media citizens…Social media should be a reflection of our values and issues that matter to us,” she added.

3. Engage meaningfully

Disinformation breeds hatred and violence. With heightened conflict on social media, online citizens can easily act like internet trolls without being aware of it, especially when they come across posts that are different from their views. 

“We cannot confuse the right to speak with being right. We cannot confuse opinions with facts,” Veluz said.

To sustain a healthy discourse online, citizens should be open to facts and criticism. As opinions should be grounded on facts, people should not be shamed for changing their opinions on certain things, especially when they find better information and evidence on something they once believed in.

Veluz added that it is important for us to be careful in our approach when dealing with disinformation. 

“We have to periodically review our tactics to engage people. We have to pivot when the results are telling us that whatever we are doing is not working. We have to continuously innovate on how to share lights, because the darkness will be doing exactly the same thing,” she added.

4. Practice empathy

Empathy can go a long way and is one of the key factors to building trust, persuade, and sustain meaningful relationships with the people around you. 

When correcting a relative or friend, Veluz shared that her personal technique is to ask questions politely to understand where they are coming from. By doing that, you are not making it appear as if you are better or smarter than someone else. It is important to acknowledge what they know before you slowly guide them towards the correct information.

On top of that, she also advised the current generation to break the chain of name-calling, bashing, or speaking without sense or reason as it may only hinder people from listening to you.

“I want to believe that people I talk to online and even offline are capable of compassion and kindness, even if we do not always agree…I always tell my kids never write anything down or say anything online if you cannot say those exact words to that person’s face,” Veluz said. 

“As a genealogist, I always tell people that 100 years from now, our social media presence will be the primary evidence on what kind of human beings we were,” she added.

The five-part media and information literacy series aims to bring together teachers, students, and leaders who will learn – and talk about – how to be critical and discerning online. This was launched by the #FactsFirstPH initiative , through Rappler’s civic engagement arm MovePH, along with 25 participating schools and organizations in the Philippines.

Participants may register for the media and information literacy series here for free . –

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