Social Networking- the good and bad!
In our last article, we saw how Social Media especially Facebook has become a necessary evil in our lives. We had also talked about Facebook-a-holic- a person who is addicted to Facebook or any other social networking site. In this article, you can read more about social networking, a few matters of concern and few tips by which you can get over the addiction.
Social Networking Sites and a few concerns that need attention!
One of the many concerns that is posed by social networking sites is addiction. By being socially active over the internet, you are making a compromise with your privacy. You are also mixing between your professional and personal lives. Thanks to the advancement in the technology, the networking sites these days allow you have your own privacy settings. However, clicking on cleverly-disguised malicious links can allow hackers to gain access to our accounts.
The dynamics of inter-personal and group relations is not free from the clutches of the social networking world. Taking a simple example of add-requests- You may receive add-requests from people you are not interested in interacting with, but end up adding them all the same, so as not to appear rude. Apart from this, it also makes a person vulnerable to people with unhealthy intentions, including sexual predators. As such, minors who are on social networks need guidance and supervision, as do those who are new to the internet or networking.
You might have heard a lot of incidents and cases related to cyber bullying in the last few months. Since social networks exist in the same realm where other social institutions (such as schools and communities) exist, people can be victimized by somebody’s online activity. We have heard of notorious “fake profiles” that have been built. People who carry out such activities also publish malicious, derogatory content, causing immense trauma for the person who is being imitated.
Here are a few ways by which you can get over the addiction and most importantly, be safe too. Read the below mentioned pointers:
There are things you can do besides log on into your social networking site account. Make a quick list of those things and give priority to these tasks over logging in to your account.
� Keep a record of the time you spend online on a networking site. Ask yourself if the time spent is really worth it. If you think it is too much, try to cut down on it.
� Many social networks, Facebook included, allow you to appear offline to selected people. Use this option to limit yourself to chatting with only those you wish to. Very often, you may receive an online message from someone while you are busy, but have to reply to it so as not to appear rude. Staying offline solves the root of the problem. If someone really wants to talk to you, they have an option of leaving a private message or posting on your “wall”.
� Designate “Facebook-free” areas or periods or hours. For example, do not log in from work, or do not go on social networks on certain days of the week or at certain time of the day. You could also try abstaining from interacting online with people you meet in person every day or those you can speak to over the phone. Comment chains on photos of family members or friends you meet just about every day is really a waste of time.
� Take up a hobby or indulge in other activities that you like to do, outside your house so that you are away from your system for a while. Alternatively, read a book when you are alone or when you feel the urge to check your updates.
� Abstain from using your phone for social networking. Being available online all the time distracts you from your work and interactions with “real” people. There is nothing so important that cannot wait. If there was, there’s always a phone number you can be contacted on. Besides, social networking isn’t for urgent needs, it’s for leisure.
� Stay net-safe. Utilize your privacy settings to the maximum. Avoid leaving photographs and personal information open for everyone to see. Avoid putting up phone numbers on your profile. If somebody badly needs it, they can send a private message asking you for it. Do not click on suspicious links. As cleverly as they may be disguised, one can always distinguish a malicious link from a real one. Real ones come with a personally-addressed note from the person who posted it. If you do not see it addressed to you, ignore it.
Be it anytime of the day, on which ever social networking site you are on, safety is always better and like the saying goes, too much of anything is always too bad. Too much of Facebooking also had its ill-effects on mind and health. Stay connected with the people you know but always remember to draw a line and know what you are posting and with whom you are interacting in the web world.
Happy Facebooking folks!