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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Social Media: Do's And Don'ts

How many people have social media accounts these days? I guess almost all people, especially the youngsters, have at least one. Many people share their lives through social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can see any pictures, from travelling to their daily activities. People are sharing basically everything, be it general news or private life matters. As a reader, I agree with what my friend said, "if you don't like to read the status or see your Facebook friend's pictures, just skip it." However, I tend to think if we would like to respond to a friend's status, do it wisely and nicely. Well, as much as we would like to have our opinion to be heard, we also have to respect other people opinion, don't we?

Do's and don'ts for the readers:

1. Positive thinking
Pictures can be seen in two perspectives. Someone may see his friend's travelling pictures and feel that his friend simply want to show off by posting those pictures, but others may see the same pictures and get an idea for their next travelling destination. Don't envy, but be inspired instead.

2. Have empathy for others
You may be bored with your friend's daily post about their kids, but please understand that for their mummy, the children are her world. Mothers, especially a stay-at-home mum who spends most of her time with her baby at home, she needs a media to share her life with friends.

3. Be careful with your words
You may not always agree with your friend's status. If you ever decide to comment, choose the right words that will not hurt others.

Do's and don'ts for the writers:

1. Think twice before posting something in social media, especially when your account is open to public. There are some topics that, I think, are quite sensitive and risky to be posted:

a. Uploading pictures of our money
A Facebook friend of mine posted a lot of money she got from her husband after they won the lottery. What if there is a thief out there who is eyeing on her?

b. Uploading personal information
Be mindful not to post our phone number, address, identity card and passport numbers, etc. as it can be misused by others.

c. Uploading our kids' pictures on his/her school uniform
While Singapore may be quite a safe place, I ever read the news about the kid in other country whom was kidnapped by stranger at her school. The kidnapper got information about the kid and her school from her parent's post on social media. Better to prevent this incident from happening rather that regretting it later.

d. Making status that offends other people's ethic, race and religion.
Be sensitive and mindful.

2. Do take note that when you share the news that is still not yet confirmed, you'll end up spreading gossips.

3. You may be angry or disappointed with someone and you want to share your feeling by directly putting up a status about it on social media. I'm not convinced if that is actually okay, but if you do it very frequently, people will get tired of it. Other people will know your personal problem (or you are actually the problematic one) and kindly be also aware that by sharing on social media, your problem will not be solved. You need to settle it directly with the person, preferably without blowing it out of proportion.

4. It's rather eerie, not to mention unethical, to post the photo of a dead person or someone who was in coma or in accident even though he or she is our own family. If the photo is used in order to get donation, that still can be understood. However, if it is only for the sake of sharing, I don't think it is appropriate, considering the privacy of the person on the photo.

5. Share something that will be useful for others, something that will encourage your reader or give them inspiration. People will be more interested to read something that will benefit them.

At the end of the day, social media is just a tool for us to share or to communicate with others. It depends on us as a user to use it wisely. Same like a knife. Knife is very useful when we use it to cut meat, vegetables or fruit (positive way), but knife can also be used to hurt others (negative way). The above tips are just my two cents. I hope it will, in some way, be useful for you.

The social media generation. Oh no, this little girl is just posing for the camera! 

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