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Dangers of social media

Manage your online presence like a boss

Did you know that many recruiters and employers will go onto your social media platforms to see how you conduct yourself on a social level before offering you an employment contract? You may be thinking that you are still a few years away from looking for a full-time job, but the truth is that recruiters can tell a lot about you, by reading your posts. They can also go right back to when you first opened your social media accounts – and review posts you have long forgotten. Yes, you can set them as private but make no mistake – that doesn’t guarantee you full privacy.

The dangers and risks of social media

Using social media comes with a number of risks. Here are some potential dangers that you need to keep in mind:

  • Danger 1: Oversharing

The more you share about your life online, the more people get to know about you and your life. It opens you up to cyberbullying, tells strangers important details about you like where you live, what you do during the day, where you go to school and who your friends are. In the wrong hands, this information could be used in a way that will harm you. ‘Quizzes’ that seem like fun which ask things like the name of your favourite pet or what street you lived in when you were a child, can be used to hack passwords.

  • Danger 2: Expressing opinions that offend

Sharing content or making comments that are racist, gender-based, political, or demeaning to people from a different religion, culture or even sexual orientation will land you in hot water. Not only are they hurtful and socially unacceptable they can have legal kickbacks too. Sharing content like unresearched medical theories can result in people becoming very sick and in some cases, even cause death. Words and images on social media can do a lot of harm if you aren’t careful.

  • Danger 3: Being tagged in embarrassing photos or videos

You may be able to control what you post but what happens when you get tagged behaving badly at a party? It happens regularly and once posted, can be seen by all the wrong people before the post gets removed – if it gets removed. People can also take screen grabs and circulate them.

Teens also regularly post content by accident, leaving them embarrassed. Then there’s the other side of the coin. Your friends could upload pictures or videos of you by accident – or without knowing your circumstances – creating a false and embarrassing impression of the truth. It happens all the time and can be very damaging to your reputation. Check the settings on your accounts and ensure that you have them set to approve any tagged posts before they are added to your timeline.

  • Danger 4: Social comparison

Everyone – adults and teens – only post their best selfies, pics of them having the most fun, the highlights reel of their lives. This puts a heavy burden on those who don’t fit in and those who don’t have the money to live up to these posts. It also makes you look like someone you are not. It can give many people a different perspective of who you are – and it could also damage your reputation.


So, how do you manage your online presence?

To manage your social media presence like a boss, you should seriously think about following these valuable tips:


  • Clean up your feeds regularly: take some time to go through all your posts and delete anything that can hurt or offend, anything that makes you look like a party animal or like you are desperately looking for a hook-up. Also remove posts that give away too much of your personal information.
  • Ask yourself these two important questions before posting: will a recruiter still employ me after seeing this post? Would my parents be embarrassed or disappointed if they saw these pictures or comments? Is this something that I will look back on with pride?
  • Limit your screen time and your posts and comments: the more time you spend on social media, the more you will post, comment and compare yourself with everyone else. It is not healthy to be addicted to social media. Rather set aside some time each day – and then go outside and enjoy the sunshine and face-to-face time with family and friends.
  • Don’t ever accept a friend request from someone you don’t know: the profile could be fake, and the person could be trying to get information out of you. The profile picture may be a handsome young man or a beautiful girl but in actual fact, it could be a jealous friend waiting for some information that they could use against you.
  • Limit your connections to your inner circle: the more people you friend, the higher the chance you could be exposed to risky situations. Keep your contacts to a minimum. You should have enough confidence to know that your popularity isn’t measured by the number of friends and likes you get. That’s a false reality.

Social media is not all bad. Yes, there are risks and dangers but if you are careful, follow the tips and use social media for the right reasons, it can be fun and positive!

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