Addiction to Facebook and Twitter is a growing social phenomenon. Sometimes the addictions become out of control and you start making decisions that are not so wise. You also start displaying behaviors that could work against you. Before you get caught up in a dangerous trap, read these Golden Rules to ensure you maintain a balanced and healthy attitude when it comes to Social Media behaviors.
1. Be in Control
- Think carefully about what you are going to share and who you’re going to connect with, and how much time you are going to spend on it.
- Have a strategy in place if someone is negative or makes you feel uncomfortable.
- On Facebook you can choose to hide unwelcome posts from your news stream. You can also ‘unfriend’ and/or block contacts (they will not be able to see your profile, and you will not be visible to them when they search for you or look at friend lists).
- On Twitter you can ‘unfollow’ contacts, block them and/or report them for spamming.
2. Act respectful
- Think very carefully before posting other people’s personal information.
- Never discuss private or sensitive information on Twitter or Facebook but rather message others directly and privately.
- On Facebook, don’t tag friends in photos unless they have told you they are okay with it.
- If you share information on Twitter by ‘retweeting’ and the same on Facebook, always acknowledge the source.
3. Be positive
- Talk about fun, interesting and quirky things that are in your life, and ask questions.
- Share helpful and interesting tips and information.
- Connect with people that have similar interests. On Twitter, for example, you can do this by searching for people by geographical area, using hash tags (words that have ‘#’ immediately before them, which signal that they are a keyword) or by looking at the people in the lists of the people you follow.
- If you like what people are sharing, take the time to let them know. On Facebook, ‘like’ people’s status updates and comments, and when you mention someone, tag them (by using the ‘@’ symbol followed by their name) so they will get a notification. On Twitter, you can retweet a post to share it and you can reply to people to make a comment.
4. Protect yourself
- Don’t share too much personal information online, for example where you’re located. Remember that everything you post on Twitter is public. Also, be aware that identity theft is a growing problem.
- Talk to friends and family about how to use the sites safely.
- In Facebook, assign your contacts to different lists to control what they can and cannot see (for example, family, business, acquaintances). Be on the lookout for when Facebook changes the default privacy settings and make the time to find out what it means for you.