It seems as soon as everyone hits the age of 13 they all start to get into social media. I’m on both instagram and snapchat so I have seen some good and bad ways of using these tools. I don’t claim to be an expert but I wanted to give you some things you should and should not be doing while using these sites.
When participating in social media here are a few things on my DON’T DO IT list:
Don’t Start Trolling or Hating (make fun of or be mean)
For me social media is about connecting with people of similar interests like PLL (Pretty Little Liars) or LUSH, two of my fascinations. Why would you want to hurt or humiliate someone? This covers making nasty or threatening comments on someone’s feed or creating fake accounts mocking a person. I’ve seen both.
TELUSWise Tip: Block and report threats, abusive or inappropriate messages on your feed or that of your friend’s. Let your parents know so they can help you.
No one likes someone else taking credit for their ideas so why would you do this to someone else? Most likely people will call you out on it and it’ll make you look bad.
Don’t Comment for Follows
“follow for follow” (f4f) “spam for spam” “shoutout for shoutout” (s4s) or “like for like”. One, it annoys people and two it makes you look really desperate for likes. If you’re new to tools like instagram it takes time to grow your account. You want people who actually have an interest in your content not just someone who will reciprocate their ‘like’.
Don’t Buy Likes and Followers
You should earn your followers. People will start following you if they like the photos or things you post. Just know it takes time to build up your reputation but no time to knock it down. And isn’t your money better spend on a new bath bomb at LUSH?
Don’t Share Personal information
It is easy to hide your identity online. Someone may say they are a kid in your school but that could be a lie. Never give out your password, address, phone number, or anything personal. Treat people online like strangers when it comes to sharing content. It seems simple but I always see people posting things that are unsafe.
Don’t Grab Every New App
There always seems to be a new photo-editing app to use for Instagram and many of them are free. I love trying new apps but sometimes they ask to access personal information on your phone or they may be buggy. Read reviews and only look for good sources.
TELUSWise Tip: Talk to your mom or dad about any new apps. Make sure to read the permissions you are giving the app creator before agreeing, like access to your photo gallery or address book. Your mom and dad can help.
Don’t Share Your Location
I’m not sure if this is a feature on all social media tools but on Instagram has a setting where it will tag each photo with your location, like your home or your school. Make sure this (geo tagging) is turned off. This is personal information you may not want everyone knowing.
TELUSWise Tip: Your parents can help you go through your phone’s settings and preferences with what is being shared and visible to people on the social media sites you use.
Using Instagram and other social media tools isn’t all about the bad. There are some DO IT items on my list too:
Do Compliment People
If you like what people post, created, shared, said, tell them. Support positive creativity. You are part of a community. This will also encourage them to hopefully post more content like this.
Do Repost with Credit
If you do repost someone’s image (there are apps for that) make sure you give that person the credit they deserve. They worked hard on it and posted it.
Do Review Your Followers
Even if you don’t buy LIKES or FOLLOWERS, you can end up with spam accounts. You should check your accounts and report/block those that look spammy. It seems the more spam followers you have, the more you attract. The bump in LIKES and FOLLOWERS may look good but sometimes companies like Instagram will check and your account could be flagged and blocked.
Do Connect With Your Followers
Don’t ignore peoples comments if they say “you look beautiful” or “that’s cool”. Thank them as they took time to leave that comment. It also creates connections. I follow @codywren on Instagram. She has 27.8k followers but she still replies to every comment.
DO Google Yourself Every Once in Awhile
You know what you are sharing but do you know what other people are sharing about you? Doing a search I discovered someone was using one of my images on her account, a stranger. I reported and blocked the account.
I love using Instagram. I have discovered some great people (some I’ve even met in real life) and I enjoy taking and sharing photos. Social Media tools like Instagram can be great fun if you know how to use them and protect yourself. Talk to your parents (mine know about my account). These are tips I follow on Instagram but most are probably valid on most social media sites. You can also find lots of great tips about online safety on the TELUSWise website.
As a TELUS advocate and member of Team TELUS I’ll be sharing similar posts like this but as always the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Be kind. Have fun.
Bye for now,