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Social Media: Do's and Don'ts

Social media. We all do it. Whether we are tweeting, liking or sharing, most of us are active on a social network every day. With the likes of Facebook central to so much of who you are and what you say it is worth taking a moment to think about your online image. Have you ever considered the importance of protecting your online reputation? What sort of image do you project in cyber space? Get social media savvy and learn the rules of engagement today.


Think before you post
We all know somebody who has been left red-faced by a comment made on social media. Whether they were angry, in love, under the influence or just not thinking, inappropriate comments have cost people friends, boyfriends and even their jobs. The rule? Think very carefully before you post. It is important to remember that among your followers and friends you have people from very different backgrounds, religions and countries. What might seem harmless to one person might be deeply offensive to the next.

Never post when you are upset or have had too much to drink. If you are not sure about a comment follow your instinct and don't post it!

Don't over share
When it comes to social media remember that less is more. Your friends and followers are probably overwhelmed with a constant stream of input on social media networks. If you constantly post, comment, like, tweet and share you will only irritate and bore them. Make one thoughtful post a day instead of five and make it a post that really makes people think or laugh or hit share. Aim to make your friends and followers sit up and take notice.

Watch your tone
As with all other forms of electronic communication you need to watch your tone. The reader cannot see the smile on your face, read your body language or hear the sarcasm in your voice. Make good use of emoticons to convey emotion.

Be discreet
Tread lightly when it comes to other people's reputations. If you want to comment on a sensitive or private matter don't post it on a friend's wall - rather send them a message. It also goes without saying that you should never post embarrassing pictures of people online. Lastly, always check with your ex before you change your relationship status.

Respond and interact
Mind your manners. If you post a comment and a friend takes the time to respond always try to acknowledge his/her comment. Don't leave people dangling they will eventually just start ignoring your posts.

Friend me?
Be selective about the friend requests you accept on Facebook and don't send friend requests to people you don't know - it only makes you look desperate. Remember that the number of friends you have is not an indication of how popular you are.

Safety tips

  • Never share personal details like telephone numbers or your address on Facebook 
  • If you plan to meet somebody that you met on a social network in person do so during the day and meet in a public spot 
  • Never accept friend requests from strangers 
  • Check your security settings and restrict access to your profiles  

Final word
Take the time to cultivate the right image on social networks. Remember that how people perceive you on social networks is just as important as the image you project in real' life!

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