Lets Talk Social Media
Part of my job here is to run Visyon’s social media, mostly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Quite often I hear people complaining about how bad social media is, how dangerous it can be and how all people ever see on there is filth. Social media isn’t all bad. It has a lot of positives if it’s used in the right way, so let’s talk about those.
Social media is a great way of getting back in touch with people you’ve lost touch with in your past: that person who moved to the other side of the world; that person you haven’t seen since high school; or even that family member you haven’t spoken to in years.
Social media can bring you back in touch with all those people in a fast and effective way without you having to spend money on posting letters half way across the world, then having to wait a month for a response. This is an amazing thing, all those people who go on holiday and you don’t know how they are or if they’re safe, now you know! You can stop worrying, you can talk to them and you can see what they’re doing. Social media is an amazing communication tool and that is often overlooked.
It’s a great place to keep track of all the amazing things you’ve done over the years. Having an Instagram account full of pictures or a blog talking about all of your journeys and experiences is a good way of remembering your life. Gone are the days of keeping a box full of old developed photographs in your loft, never to see the light of day again. Seeing a picture can often bring back many more memories of a day or an event and it’s all at the touch of a button.
Social media has a place for everyone. You, me, your neighbour, small companies, big companies, absolutely everyone. The way you use it is up to you, but something it has done, is taken the power away from big companies and given voice to the individuals.
However, even with all of the amazing things social media does do, it can also affect your mental health. It is a place you can be bullied, it is a place you can see bad things and it is a place where people can steal what you’ve made. Sometimes, it’s better to take a step back from social media and look after yourself first. If you need some advice with self-care then you can check out Jamie’s top tips here. As far as being safe on social media is concerned, here are some tips of mine, to give you the tools to look after yourself online.
1) Facebook friends are not a competition. The amount of friends you have doesn’t matter. If you don’t know someone, then don’t add them. It’s that simple. Having the wrong people on your Facebook could lead to cyber bullying or worse. The clue is in the name, ‘friends’.
2) Twitter, YouTube and Instagram work differently. Anyone can follow you, they all work like a blog. If you create good and engaging content then you will start to gain followers who you don’t know and that’s okay. If they start commenting on your content inappropriately then report them and block them. There’s no shame in losing a follower or two if it keeps you safe.
3) Be careful what pages you like on Facebook and who you follow everywhere else, you could end up seeing some content that you don’t want to see. If that’s the case, again, report it! You could be preventing someone else from seeing the same content, do them a favour.
4) Generally use your best judgement. No-one can tell you exactly what to do on social media, because each platform is so different. There is no harm in asking for advice from your family, friends, teachers, colleagues, the police and even us. If you need advice, always ask. Do not be ashamed.
Personally, I think social media can be good for young people. There are so many people now who blog or vlog online and have become role models for young people who might say the same. Social media can be dangerous if you don’t know how to be safe, but it can be a great tool if you know how to use it. Look what people like Zoella have done. They’ve made it their jobs and they’ve done well from it. If you use it right there’s a whole host of positives in it, even a good career. Speaking of jobs… I wouldn’t be doing mine if I didn’t ask! Go check us out on social media, and like us, or follow us. Or go check out another blog post!