Day 9 of the BEDM challenge and this time we have to talk about our favourite social media channel!
While I wouldn't say I'm completely obsessed with social media, it definitely plays a big part in my life. There are so many channels now and so many people use at least one of them - friends, family, colleagues and so on - that it's hard not to be influenced by social media in some way these days. Probably my most used of the social media channels is Facebook. Once upon a time I actually used MySpace instead, but over time it became more populated by young teenagers, bands etc and it wasn't the same any more. Not that there's anything wrong with teens or bands, but I am neither of those things and whilst I do like music, that's not all I'm into. So I went and checked out Facebook and the rest is history.
That's about it for me; I know there's tons more (Google+, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube and all the rest) but really I try and limit it to just these three as I don't have time to spend on keeping that many things going. I can easily lose whole evenings just on Facebook alone and I try not to let social media swallow up my entire life, which could happen quite easily if I tried to do everything! Also I try to remember that social media has a dark side. As well as the fact it can easily steal all of your spare time if you let it (time I should be spending with my family!) the internet is full of creeps and weirdos. Sad but true, bad people have access to social media too! Because of this I have my own personal set of social media rules that I follow at all times - most of it is common sense but I will list them here anyway as it is so important to protect yourself when online these days.
1. Use privacy settings correctly. Most of them are set by default to 'open', that is every man and his dog can see what you're doing and saying and uploading. This is fine if all you're doing is talking about how great your latest lipstick purchase is, but not so much if it's something more personal. If you're not OK with random and possibly dodgy strangers seeing that picture of you in your bikini, those settings are going to have to change.
2. Limit the amount of personal information you share, especially if you have chosen to have slightly more relaxed privacy settings that allow strangers to see your activities, or if some of your friends are actually people you don't really know. People have been burgled because they told the world exactly where they lived, then put up statuses letting the world know they were off to work and wouldn't be back for x number of hours.
3. DAMAGE LIMITATION. Watch what you say, do and upload - some things just have no place in social media, and for good reason. Even once you have your privacy settings right, you can still come unstuck and once it's out there, you can't always get it back. Sometimes people get hacked. Sometimes sites change the privacy settings without warning. Sometimes one of your so called friends turns out to be a troll or a gossip monger and before you know it you're in trouble because you said something and it was taken the wrong way, or passed on to someone you didn't want to share it with. I try always to look at what I'm doing and saying and imagine what might happen if that picture got into the wrong hands or if the wrong pair of eyes saw what I'd written. I don't like the answer, then I just don't put it on the internet!