How You Should Really Be Using Social Media
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How You Should Really Be Using Social Media

Advertise your assets, and paint yourself in a positive and beneficial light.

How You Should Really Be Using Social Media
Rachael Crowe

Everybody and their mom is on social media in some format. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, online blogs, and so many more, it's pretty hard not to be involved in the craze. Social media is great; it connects you with different people, gives you access to different cultures, gives different perspectives, and so, so much more. You have the ability to post whatever you want, especially with the first amendment's freedom of speech, and freedom of press. However, as it has been said time and time again, "freedom comes with responsibility."

Start with something as trivial as Snapchat. The whole app revolves around "snapping" friends, by taking pictures, and sending them for 1-10 seconds, or for an infinite amount of time. Then, of course, there are "stories" in which you can post publicly to all of your friends instead of one individual. There are so many things to snap to your friends: selfies, what you're doing at the moment, random questions. But there are also so many other things you could do on Snapchat.

Many people post snaps of them partying underage, being under the influence, and some people send inappropriate pictures. Not only are you giving off a perception that you are immature, and reckless, those pictures NEVER go away. "Oh, I don't do anything wrong on Snapchat." "The pictures go away after 10 seconds." "They're all my friends. No one else will see these pictures." Snapchat keeps a record of all the snapchats that you send, and the photos that you upload through your camera roll and memories.

Oh, and Snapchat isn't the only one you should worry about.

Your friends can just as easily screenshot or save your chats, making your picture even more vulnerable. Straight from the Snapchat website itself. "So, the same common sense that applies to the internet at large applies to Snapchat as well: Don’t send messages or share content that you wouldn’t want someone to save or share."

Instagram is pretty much in the same boat. Your posts may be "deleted," but you've already posted them. Not only have you left your digital footprint on the Internet, but your post has been available to screenshot, send to people, and be looked at by anyone; even if you're a "private user" it is very easy to get access to your account.

Take it from teenagers that scroll through people's Instagram accounts all the time, it's very easy to find someone that follows the private account you want to look at, and then you look off of their account. I don't want to say "no one is safe," but it's the truth. No one is 100% protected by the private setting on an account.

Twitter is yet another very popular social media outlet especially for high schoolers, and college kids. What's better than sharing your stories, snarky comments, puns, or opinions in less than 140 characters? Nothing, obviously. Except, when you are sharing these stories, snarky comments, puns, or opinions, please remember that other people are going to see these. You have to take into account the feelings of others. There is nothing worse than being attacked on Twitter because you said something without thinking. And once something is written and published, it's impossible to take it back.

Please, don't try to hide your account from employers or college scouts. Nowadays, many companies and universities are asking for your social media account names so that they can look at your posts. If they go to your Instagram and they see you in a picture holding a red solo cup, whether you posted it or you were tagged in it, they can easily assume that you were drinking underage.

If you attack someone or make fun of someone on social media, that is the image that you are giving these institutions. Most people post on social media to share their lives, so as these companies or universities are looking through your life, they are making judgments about your decisions. If you look reckless on social media you will most likely not be a good candidate. However, if you market yourself, and use social media to your advantage, you can open so many doors.

Social media is so powerful; you can easily use it to your advantage, but it just as easily can be dangerous. Rather than just posting selfies on Instagram, post group pictures about you doing community service, or being involved with extracurriculars inside or outside of school.

This gives the impression you like to get involved and you like to help out your community. Rather than complaining about things on Facebook, post about things you are doing to help out and change the problem, showing that you are proactive and not just a complainer. Advertising your assets will only help you accomplish more.

Don't use Twitter as a dump for your feelings. It's okay to post about them sometimes, but remember that that is how you are being perceived.

If you paint yourself in a positive and beneficial light, you are more likely to be looked at with respect and actual consideration. Snapchat may not be something that employers or colleges have great access into, but just like anyone else, they can get someone to show them your story. Therefore, it would be best to avoid posting embarrassing photos or videos that could also get you in trouble.

Social media is such a great platform to collaborate on ideas, express opinions, and share your life, but remember nothing is private. As soon as you post something, it's out there and nothing can take it back. Always try to use social media to your benefit and represent yourself in a way that you want people to remember.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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