8 social media mistakes to avoid

Social networking has changed the way we see life and socialize. We can be closer to friends and family, easily reunite with people from our past, and make new friends. However, this helpful tool is also a double-edged sword if you’re not careful.

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  • Several experts agree that Facebook can affect self-esteem, but it doesn't seem to impact how many people are trying to achieve new heights of "virtual popularity." It seems that people are willing to do whatever it takes to feel good on social media, which is causing some problems.

  • Don't get caught up in this game, and make sure you DON'T do these things online:

  • 1. Post provocative pictures

  • First impressions are everything, so be careful with the images you upload online. It may seem fashionable to post suggestive pictures, but doing so is more harmful than good. Not only are you exposing yourself in ways you may not want the world to see, but you aren't creating a good role model to follow. Many teens are also using these social platforms and are being exposed to inappropriate images that can be used for illegal and dangerous purposes. It's understandable that we want to post pictures where we look good, but choosing a better angle or filter that suits us should be enough.

  • 2. Being friends with strangers

  • From a young age, we are taught that we should not talk to strangers. We need to keep this mentality, even when online. Having many "friends" or "followers" makes you seem very popular in the virtual world, but in reality, it can be extremely dangerous. The false accounts and anonymity offered by the Internet makes it easy for people to hide their malicious intents behind an online profile. Being "friends" with people you do not know in person can open the door to your personal photos and information to be used by a stranger. Don't make it easy for you to be a victim; be smart when you are online.

  • 3. Be indirect

  • We are free to publish what we want in our social media accounts, but writing hints about how you are angry with your boyfriend is immature. If you are having problems, please deal directly with the person involved instead of hinting about it online.

  • Talking face to face is also the way to handle heartbreak and despair. It's fine to find support online, but filling your wall with hints about how you are feeling makes you look desperate.

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  • 4. Harass others

  • Leave confrontation off of the Internet. Whether it's someone you know or a stranger, social media isn't a place to hash out arguments. Remember that it's okay to block others from your page if they are being negative, but also do your part about not obsessing over an online argument. Choose to invest your time in more productive and healthy activities.

  • 5. Avoid privacy at all costs

  • Social networks are a platform where others learn from our life. Whether it's a photo of our workout at the gym, our first day at work, or what we had for breakfast, we publish all sorts of content online. Be sure to draw the line between what you would want your friends to see and what is a personal problem. Believe me, few are interested in knowing exactly why you ended your relationship and who you are so angry with.

  • 6. Do anything for a like

  • I've seen this kind of game on the walls of the young — and the old. Aimed at getting more likes, people post phrases to make their "online popularity soar." Questions like "100 likes and I confess how many boyfriends I've had" is a lousy way to gain popularity. It makes you look desperate and doesn't let you be taken seriously.

  • 7. Have a double identity

  • In order to "stalk" their partner, some girls create fake profiles. Please refrain from doing this. If you are trying to find information about someone, scoping out things online is not the way to find the truth. If you have doubts, it is best to speak with them face to face.

  • If your intention is to attract more followers using fake pictures that really don't represent who you really are — stop. Doing so degrades your sense of worth and doesn't encourage finding happiness in your own life. Remember that we all have good things we can show the world without having to pretend.

  • 8. Always compare yourself

  • Social networks sell us the idea that everyone is happy all the time. Hundreds of wedding photos, gorgeous parties, incredible trips, fantastic meals in beautiful places and happy families are all we see online. Most users are only showing the good in their lives and don't post the bad. This can be confusing if you are spending time online. Remember that what you see online isn't as it seems. Remember what you have, find happiness with your own achievements and stop comparing yourself with what you see online.

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  • An extra piece advice for parents: it is crucial that you know how your children are using social media. Things can appear to be innocent, but peer pressure can push others to get involved in things they shouldn't. Actively talk with your kids to make sure they understand how to use social media safely. Teach them that their self-confidence isn't based on a number of likes or how many friends they have online. And don't forget to practice what you preach by doing the same.

  • This article is an adaptation and translation from the original article, "[Los 8 errores que debes evitar en las redes sociales]". It has been adapted and translated here with permission.

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Lizette Morante is Mexican and graduated from the School of Journalism Carlos Septien Garcia. Her hobbies are reading, writing, sports and she enjoys being with her family and her dog.

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