Friday, December 05, 2014

Responsible Use of Social Media

Social media is a venue where we all come together not only to share our thoughts and ideas but also to share certain moments of our lives. We also feed ourselves with information using social media—it lets us stay in touch with the rest of the world in real time. We benefit so much from this new platform, that’s why it makes sense for us to be responsible users and to keep the online community a good venue for sharing and getting information. Here are a few tips to make our social media experience (as well as that of others) a good one.

Think about what you bring to the site. 

Remember, anything that you share will be seen by all those connected to you. Before posting something, ask yourself if what you are sharing will add any value to the entire online community. The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a great downfall of social media. Make it a self-imposed edit or reflect. If in doubt over a post, or if something does not feel right, either let it sit and look at it again before publishing it, or ask someone else to look at it first. Think twice; you may be cyber-bullying someone with a post or image you are sharing.

Respect the opinion of others. 

Social media is full of people like us who post their opinion on just about everything. Unfortunately, nobody always knows everything and many of us have varying opinions on topics or issues. It’s fun to troll every once in a while, but when it gets out of hand, social media becomes a venue for fighting, and can possibly damage real-life relationships. Respect your audience, as they are your friends, family and coworkers. Understand that your Twitter or Facebook feed will naturally reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. At the same time, don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully.

Don’t tell secrets. 

It's acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community or industry, but it's not right to publish confidential information. These include unpublished details about the technology you use at work, details of current projects, financial information, research, and trade secrets.

Protect your own privacy. 

Be wary of posting information about yourself that you would not want the public to see. This includes your credit card number, employee number, SSS number, passport, bank account and other IDs. Most major social media site update us with privacy improvements but the changes are often too frequent to follow and can get confusing. Review your privacy settings to protect your identity online, and it's best to assume anything you post is fair game — potentially seen by your family, friends, coworkers and even strangers.

Think about consequences. 

The social media is for our own personal use and we can use it sparingly. Yet we have to be responsible for what we post on our accounts, just like how we are held responsible for whatever we do in real life. You will be credited, or worse, blamed for whatever you post. And while using social media can be beneficial in so many ways, we all have seen jobs lost, relationships severed and reputations destroyed through the use of social media. We don’t want to fall victim to that.