Are you social media smart?

Updated: Apr 3

Are you social media smart?

By Sherrel Johnson

Social Networks more and more are revolutionizing the way we communicate. Not only is it an inexpensive way of communicating with others but it offers a more dynamic approach to staying connected with the world. For this reason, social networks are used today by many to advertise products and services, maintain relationships, and learn new skills.

A quick look at Facebook and Twitter, (two social networking cites), advertisements could be found for anything from beach front property on the Islands, to cars to shoes to updates about political parties. With millions of people logged in daily even while they are supposed to be working, social networks give business owners 24 hour access to customers of every social strata. This kind of social network use is not only good for building clientele but for maintaining cost effectiveness. Our ability to keep the cost of operation low could translate to our ability to operate more competitively in the business arena.

In times past, long distance calls could run an individual into hundreds of dollars a month. For example, sixty minutes of long distance conversation in the 90’s was roughly $60.00. An hour could past pretty quickly when talking to that special someone. Those who live oceans apart, or may work jobs that require them to be away from home on a consistent basis have definitely benefitted from the free call features social networks offer. The stress of being away from one another is no longer compounded by the amount of time it takes to keep connected.

The challenge today however is people aren’t just using social networks for just good. If people today were just exchanging upbuilding jokes, inspirational words and videos with those on their contact list, the world would certainly be a better place to live. However, on social networks gory, heinous, unthinkable acts have surfaced on videos of people having their heads blown off or being butchered with little consequences or regard for the pain it would cause the victims and their loved ones. In many cases, some women and men have had to face the shame of having intimate moments viewed by the world. This destructiveness use of social networks truly illuminates our attraction to evil and that today we enjoy entertaining ourselves at other people’s expense.

What really is at the root of this present day challenge people are having with the use of social networks? Perhaps it is because as a society people today lack the ability to empathize with others. People may also give very little thought to the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, people just don’t get that posting any material that shows another human in a negative light is like like dropping an atom bomb over entire world. The repercussions are just too dire.

People who use social networks should be mindful that often people embellish themselves by posting pictures that have been modified in some way by computer software. Additionally, many times, when you meet computer personalities face to face they are nothing what they purport themselves to be on these social networks. No matter how long you have been communicating with a person on a social network never assume they are your friend until you would have met them face to face. It is convenient to communicate with others through social networks but it is also easy to make the false assumption that those who are on our contact list are really our friends. Being a smart social network user means keeping a balanced view of the role it plays in our lives and relationships. True friends take time to do things together and they never lie about their identity.

Before social media, what did people do? Today people are on phones, tablets and laptops with great intensity. Often a lot of the working day is spent checking post and one’s social network status. For many social networkers, logging out is never a consideration. With social media being a 24 priority for many, setting time limits for use is extremely important. Setting time limits often means the difference between giving your boss an honest days pay or not.

Because of the potential pitfalls social network users face, there is a greater need now more than ever to acquire self-control, discipline and good judgment. If it is a challenge for many adults to acquire these attributes, what do you think about a teenager? Giving a youngsters technology without instructions is like putting a 10 year old in a corvette to drive on the freeway. The results could not only be dangerous but disastrous. For this reason we must ask, are you social network smart?

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