We live in a world where social media rules: it’s everywhere from the television to our phones and beyond. But, what do we really know about this omnipresent form of communication? To help you get up to speed on all things related to social media, we’ve gathered some valuable information that everyone should take into account when using these platforms. From understanding how algorithms work, how profiles are ranked, and why it is important for your safety online — here are 7 essential things you need to be aware of!
Influencers Are Not Your Friends
Social media influencers are everywhere these days, promoting products, destinations, and lifestyles. But what is a social media influencer, and why should you be aware of them? At its most basic level, an influencer is someone who has amassed a large following on social media due to their interesting content and relatable personality. Many influencers have turned their passion for blogging, photography, or travel into a full-time job, earning money through sponsorships and collaborations. However, you need to keep in mind that despite their carefully curated feeds and seemingly perfect lives, influencers are not your friends. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and forget that what you see on social media is only a small part of their lives.
Algorithms Are Always Watching
Have you ever wondered why your social media feed seems to show the same types of content over and over again? The answer lies in algorithms: complex sets of mathematical rules that consider a multitude of factors to create a personalized experience for each user.
With factors ranging from your interactions, preferences, and even the amount of time spent on a post, algorithms are a powerful tool that enables social media platforms to cater to our individual needs and interests.
Due to the rise of social media, people are more connected than ever before. Yet, unfortunately, it also means that cyberbullying has become a growing problem. Cyberbullying refers to any form of harassment, humiliation, or threatening behavior that takes place online.
While it may seem harmless to some, the effects of cyberbullying can be severe and long-lasting. Especially if you are a teenager navigating the web, it’s essential to know that cyberbullying is not okay and should be reported immediately.
Personal Information Could Be Used Against You
We’ve all heard horror stories about people’s personal information being used against them online. Whether it’s hackers accessing financial information or employers finding incriminating photos, the reality is that what you post online can have real-life consequences.
Be mindful of what you share on social media and remember that once something is posted, it may never truly be erased. Think twice before sharing personal information, and consider the potential impact it may have in the future.
Every post, comment, like, and story we make is a part of our digital footprint, leaving a trail that can impact our future employability and relationships. It’s like having a permanent record that showcases our personality, beliefs, and behavior.
Employers, romantic partners, and even friends might search for us online before deciding to work with us or form a relationship. Therefore, you want to think twice before posting anything that could reflect negatively on your character.
Impact on Mental Health
Social media forms an integral part of the daily lives of billions of people worldwide. Sure, social media platforms can be an excellent way to keep in touch with people but it comes with a massive downside. Excessive use of social media has been linked to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. The constant need to compare oneself to others on social media, the fear of missing out (FOMO), and the pressure to present a perfect image online can all contribute to deteriorating mental health.
Unfortunately, fake news is a pressing issue that cannot be ignored. The ease of sharing information on social media platforms has made it incredibly simple for unverified news to gain traction. It is up to us as responsible citizens to ensure that we double-check the authenticity of the information before sharing it with others.
Circulating false news can have severe consequences and lead to panic and confusion. Let us make a collective effort to combat this problem and ensure that we only share verified news, thus contributing towards the betterment of our society.
Being informed about the inner workings and potential pitfalls of social media platforms can help us navigate them safely and responsibly. As users, you want to know the influence and impact our online presence can have, both on ourselves and others.
If we are mindful of our digital footprint, skeptical of unverified information, and promoting a positive online environment, we can contribute to a healthier digital community and ensure that social media remains a tool for good rather than a source of harm.