There are 7.34 billion people in the world and 2.3 billion of them are on social media. It is estimated that social media by 2018 will have 2.5 billion users.
So when you share items on social media you are sharing with a lot people. Things we share on social media are out the for everyone to see and they are out there forever. Here is a list of things you should consider when posting to social media.
1. Why this?
Ask yourself why you’re choosing to share before posting. What is the intention behind the post? It might be to share an important idea, or it could be to make an old boyfriend jealous. Taking a brief pause and really doing some self-inquiry before posting will slow down your process, which is a great practice for being more mindful and less impulsive.
2. Who will see this?
Taking a moment to reflect on who will see your post will help you to discern whether the post is appropriate or beneficial to your social standing. You may have to consider whether your accounts are private or public, or whether it’s a business or personal profile. A post that’s intended for family will also be seen by all of your other followers, so you’ll want to be aware of this before sharing.
3. Would I want this on the front page of the New York Times?
As much as we trust the internet and social media, when you post something it’s out there. If you make the presumption that everything you post could potentially be front-page news, you can really get a sense of what you’re willing to expose. We are a sensationalized culture, and anything shared online is considered fair game. Don’t live in denial that a private account is truly private.
4. How will others feel when they see this?
This is a great question for tapping into a moment of empathy or for being more sensitive. We often post without realizing that there are many people seeing what we’re sharing beyond the people we are holding in mind. Becoming aware of how your post will affect the broader culture may shift what you share.
5. What do I expect?
One of the most depressing moments for many social media posters is not getting a “like.” If you’re expecting people to approve or value your post, then be prepared for disappointment. Getting clear about your expectations before posting is another great way to discern between valuable posts and posts intended for improving your own self-worth.
Before you post anything online, think to yourself, would I want my boss or family to see this? If not, don’t post it. Even if you post something and delete it, doesn’t mean that someone didn’t take a screenshot of it before you had the chance to remove it.
Below are some recommended ways to protect your password security and privacy on social media.
Change your password every few months.
- Don’t use the same password on all the sites you visit.
- Don’t use a word from the dictionary.
- Select strong passwords, with 10 or more characters, that can’t easily be guessed.
- Think of a meaningful phrase, song or quote and turn it into a complex password using the first letter of each word.
- Randomly add capital letters, punctuation or symbols.
- Substitute numbers for letters that look similar (for example, substitute “0” for “o” or “3” for “E”).
- Never give your password to others or write it down.
- Sign out of your account after you use a publicly shared computer.
- Manage your account information and privacy settings from your Settings & Privacy
- Keep your antivirus software up to date.
- Don’t put your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile’s Summary.
- Only connect to people you know and trust, or those you have trustworthy common connections with.
- Consider turning two-step verification on for your account if available