Social media: use responsibly
Sensitive social media scenarios are rooted in modern life and they need careful handling.
Imagine this scenario. You've just had a terrific day at the beach. Smartphone in hand, you decide to show your friends and family on Facebook and Whatsapp what you've been up to.
What's wrong with that? Nothing. You're having a bit of harmless fun and you're sharing the moment with persons near and dear to you.
Now imagine this. You suspect your boyfriend or girlfriend is interested in someone else.
Plan of action? Post a picture of yourself with your boyfriend or girlfriend in a compromising position. Within minutes, you get the message out -- your partner is taken. What's wrong with that?
Well, just as quickly, a personal and private of you image has been circulated and becomes a permanent record for all to see.
And by 'all' we mean anyone within clicking range -- your employers and prospective employers; your parents, siblings and sometimes your horrified children and their friends.
Not worth the embarrassment, right?
Now, think of this. Someone does something that angers you. Your react immediately and thoughtlessly on Facebook or whatever that you feel like to taking a gun and . . !
Of course, murder and mayhem was just your knee-jerk reaction; you didn't mean it. But once you post it online, the toothpaste is out of the tube.
Online tirades are a definite no-no. Think of the negative message you're sending about yourself to clients, colleagues and friends.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador and Executive member of the National Youth Council, Eardley Pierre highlighted the need to use social media properly and beneficially.
First, he notes that one must remember that though information is available, it is not necessarily accurate and should be researched before being accepted and posted.
He urges youths to post portfolios of achievements as opposed to "portfolios of detriment" because positive portfolios can open up career opportunities while negative ones can destroy them.
For instance, social media can be used to highlight and advertise one's comedic skills or artistic skills and showcase an unusual talent, like being a playwright or videographer.
Commenting on modern day employers' inclination to check out employees profiles on social media, he noted that having a vibrant social media presence can open many doors.
If you have an upbeat, vibrant social media profile and you interact with interesting persons ort groups, companies may even tap in to your skills to promote their businesses, he said. Pastor Mitchel Jean Jacques noted that many adults, to their detriment, do not discipline themselves when it comes to using social media.
He warned against persons posting and sharing intimate pictures of themselves online when they are in uncommitted relationships because this can backfire when the relationships get sour.
Many persons will recall of the downfall of New York senator Anthony Weiner whose career nosedived after he foolishly circulated photos of his genitals to females via social media.
Pastor Jean Jacques also warned persons to be careful about posting statuses indicating that they are dealing with negative emotional issues.
And he warned that if one wants to connect with important organisations and institutions, such connections can be affected by irresponsible posts that reflect poorly on your character.
Yep. Your irresponsible posts can come back to haunt you.
Furthermore, there is no place for social media at the family table, he added.
Here are some tips about online posts that you should remember:
Do not criticize your place of employment or your employer on social media. Also, do not post confidential information about your place of employment or their clients. And by all means, avoid sarcastic references to your place of work.
Do not criticize your teachers, parents, or friends on social media.
Do not post anything objectionable or hurtful about your friends or schoolmates
Do not post confidential information about yourself; others can use this to their advantage
Never post pictures of yourself when you're drunk and don't post a lot of pictures of yourself with alcohol. Never post pictures with sexual content. Angry posts threatening violence are a no-no; posts lashing out emotionally at others will hurt you too. Both send the wrong messages about you.
Avoid posting pictures of yourself in overly sexy poses (such as bending over etc). Think of what the image will convey about you to others who might be in your group, classroom, family, place of employment, church, children etc.
Post responsibly in relation to controversial issues such politics, race, religion and homosexuality. Lashing out can affect you negatively in the long run.