Social media is the commonest word being used almost everywhere in the world simply because it has become for most of us a way of reaching out to others, of creating friendships, maintaining relationships, grabbing opportunities for jobs, auditions and participation in different entertainment activities.
There are many social media platforms which are being used to cater to the different needs of people throughout the world such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, WeChat, and many more. There are many good things which have come up as a result of the use of these means such as reunion of family members who either lost touch or were separated from birth, in the case of parents and children, it has also become quite easy to learn how to cook delicious meals for those who are interested in that field, to learn some computer programs or musical instruments, art, basic life skills and many other things that we can aspire to learn that are beneficial to us and to other people.
However, there has been a lot of cyberbullying, hacking, peer pressure even in the use of these social media platforms among others. At times I can post a picture of myself and instead of getting compliments I end up receiving unwarranted criticism, not really because the photo is not good but merely because the person bullying me, also called a troll, does not like me or has a personal grudge against me.
There are also risks of becoming addicted to the internet and social media platforms, I remember one time I used to have my phone with me everywhere even in the bathroom so that I could not miss any posts by my friends. It is also becoming quite common that people are meeting and creating relationships online, others end up in marriage yes but some turn out to be stalkers or so possessive that they request for the password to monitor and see who I am communicating with. There are different forms of abuse online.
Online gaming is quite enticing and yet it too can lead to addiction. If I have not managed to create authentic physical friendships with my peers, it will become so easy for me to immense myself in this other world of gaming as a way of escaping my reality and doing something else.
Pornography has become a very dangerous immoral plague that is ruining our society. It is quite easy even today for any person of any age to have access to it, and consequently there are many youths being lured into participating in the shooting of such immoral videos.
What then can I do to make a difference in my use of the different social media platforms?
- I will evaluate the necessity of having accounts on all the available social media platforms in the world.
- I will choose to use each social media platform for its rightful purpose.
- I will respect the dignity of others and my own in commenting and seeing what to post and not to post.
- I will aim at sharing with my peers information that is building and not destroying.
- I will aim at resisting peer pressure that comes through friends and the different advertisements.
- I will keep in mind this question when posting anything: “Would I be able to say the same things to this person face to face?”
- I will observe what friendship truly is and not just accept all friend requests just to broaden my social network.
- I will make a clear distinction between my life online and physical social life, so as not to live an illusionary life.
- I will be open to new ideas and initiatives, while also paying attention to the risk of predators roaming the different social platforms.
- I will keep private things private and protect my passwords and personal information.
- In case I meet a person online to begin a romantic relationship with, I will take my time to get to know him/her in person before making any long term decision.