Social media is a platform for us to communicate with people we can't talk to personally, be updated with the world, and, in some way, to express who we are. Some use social media to vent out, while some also use it to make a difference.
But this space has also cultivated hate, bred gossip, and created a "call out" culture. Sometimes we're guilty of spreading this negativity. But if you've found yourself or people you know to be the subject of dispute on the internet, then perhaps you can learn a thing or two from this simple guide. From fact checking to avoiding cyberbullying, here's what you can do to be a better netizen.
1. Get your facts straight.
Sometimes, it's easy to get on with what other people are talking about just because you can see it and read it everywhere. But you have to keep in mind that just because you have read it somewhere, it doesn't mean it's true. Always make sure that before you share something on your social media, you did your research and can confirm that they're factual. If you don't really know what's happening, it's okay to not join the ride especially if you're only going to spew uninformed opinions around.
2. Don't try to be someone that you're not.
One of the most important things that you shouldn't change when it comes to social media is yourself. Your authenticity should be the first thing that people see on your profile than the trending topics or the things our society think is "cool." Social media is made for us to communicate, explore, and have fun, and you don't have to be internet famous while doing so. It's better for other people to love your social media presence for who you are than for somenone you're pretending to be. The day will come that they will see through your pretenses, and the consequences may be damaging.
3. Don't be a hypocrite.
If you post something online about a certain issue or give people advice, make sure you're following your own advice as well. It's not fair if all you do is give your two cents, but don't try to prove that what you're saying is applicable to everyone including you. Having the right values shouldn't only be followed online, but personally as well since how you use your social media says more about who you really are as a person than what other people say about you.
4. Never downgrade anyone just because you don't agree with them.
Maybe you saw someone who posted something about your favorite band that you didn't like or your cousin wasn't as pleased as you with the new series you're obsessed with. Either way, reacting negatively and attacking them personally just because you don't agree with them is something that you should avoid at all costs! It's not anyone's fault if there are things that you don't like but they like, and vice versa. That doesn't make them anything less, and neither do you. Stay in your lane, and don't trigger any unnessecary fights online!
It's okay to give comments every now and then. It's called freedom of speech for a reason. But what's not okay is trying to use social media as a platform to spread hate and fake news. There's a huge difference between trying to put your honest opinion about something and blatantly arguing just for the sake of it.
ALSO READ: In Focus: What To Do When Social Media Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself
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