Common Sense Media reported back in November 2015, that teens spend an average of 9 hours a day on their social media accounts. That is more time than they spend with their families, or in school or sleeping. Adults spend about 3 to 4 hours daily on social media accounts, checking updates on accounts like Facebook and Twitter up to 17 times a day.
Though it’s called social media, how social is it really? It’s easy to click a button and send a comment off on social media, but what impact does it have on the receiving end? Teens, especially, have become less connected and in-tune with true emotions. In normal social situations, people converse out loud to each other and can see the emotion reactions their actions and comments have on people they are interacting with. For example, if Joe says in social media, “Anyone who wears red shoes just looks stupid,” sure it may receive some comments, but maybe Mary, who is wearing red shoes, now feels stupid and humiliated and doesn’t comment at all. Joe never has that emotional connect with Mary and may never know that his comments were emotionally hurtful to her. Facial expressions are missing from these virtual conversations. Who know what the future holds with Tweens who may never truly grasp human emotions in the way older adults do.
Google is Your Resume
In the latest edition of the book What Color Is Your Parachute, the author Richard Nelson Bolles explains that in this day and age, how you appear on the internet can be interpreted as who you really are. A virtual resume. So if your Facebook page is full of your political beliefs and your YouTube page full of videos of stupid stunts going wrong, these things could be a reflection of you to potential employers. The book suggest doing a Google search on yourself to see what comes up. Some internet housecleaning may be in order.
I’m at the Pizza Place
Using GeoTags to identify your location can be risky business. By letting people know where you are out for dinner, movies etc. is also letting them know that you are not home. Sure, many of us only have close friends and family connected with us, but say you tag a friend of yours who is with you at the movies. Now, maybe you are letting his business acquaintances know that you are not home. Maybe he doesn’t know them that well. If there is any way this person can find out where you live, you might come home to find valuables missing. Farfetched? “In September 2010, three men burglarized more than 18 homes in the Nashua area of New Hampshire simply by tracking residents’ movements online and, when they were away, broke into their homes and took off with more than $100,000 worth of goods,” as reported on digitaltrends.com.
Also, if you have that ex stalking you, you don’t want them showing up at that restaurant as you are entertaining your new love interest. Right?
A Reward is On the Way
If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is. This old adage applies to social media as well. Messages from people saying that you have won the lottery or claiming some hardship are happening way too often these days. Keep in mind, lottery agencies, banks and credit card agencies will not contact you via email to discuss money won or owed. Always call the agency itself before sending anyone money. Other scams include apartment scams for example, “just send me $800 and I’ll mail you the keys to my beachfront home in Malibu” or promises of romance. “I am a lonely girl from the Philippines, I saw your profile and we have a lot in common! Please send me $1,000 for an airline ticket so we can spend some sexy time together.” Don’t fall for it.
There are so many good things that can come from social media, but like everything in life, there is always a flip side. Take it in moderation and be wary of your actions before you hit the “send” button!