What would we do without social media? Social media has become so much a part of our lives that it really has become hard to imagine life without it. How many people would we lose contact with? How many events would we miss? How many birthdays would we forget? Social media has become so integrated and normal in our lives that is is easy to forget that there are many hazards that come with it. Here are just some of the hazards of social media.
With Tweeting and posting on people’s ‘walls’ being so easy it is not surprising that malicious people have taken to social media in order to bully or ‘troll’ people online. This is the act of sending vulgar messages, picture or videos to other people in an attempt to deliberately upset them. It is a punishable-by-law offence, but there is no doubt that with social media as it is that many cases of bullying will go unnoticed by authorities. This is common amongst both children and adults alike and whereas it’s a good idea to block social media websites from your children until they are of a suitable age, it’s harder for adults to avoid and remain connected. If you end up on the receiving end of a bully or ‘troll’, consult the authorities. This is a part of Social Media that needs eradicating.
It’s great to log into Facebook after a night out to see the photos of your drunken antics. It’s great to post your opinions for everyone to see. It’s not great, however, when these things could give a very different impression of yourself than maybe you would want to give someone who didn’t know you, such as an employer or boss. It’s not uncommon for recruiters and businesses to search for a potential employee on social media to try and see what sort of person they are thinking of hiring or have already hired. There have been many cases of people losing out on jobs or losing the job they already had due to their behaviour on social media. It’s very easy to forget when you’re posting on social media that it’s not as private as you think.
We often feel that our social media accounts are secure, that the only people who have access to our profiles and posts are our friends. Largely, and in practical terms, this is often true. However, how many times have you noticed things being advertised to you that were strangely relevant to a conversation you were having previously with a friend on Facebook? Facebook uses what you post, what things you ‘like’, what you look at, and use algorithms to focus their advertising and sponsored content for you. This can be great for you to find what you need or what you’re interested in, but it shows that everything you do is not your own, that it is not within the safe walls of your friend list or followers.