Everyone from your best friend’s baby sister to your lola’s barkada is on social media.
Twitter’s #TitasOfManila and #TitosOfManila try their best to talk the Millennial lingo, while Facebook’s proud mommas and stage dads spend their time sharenting each milestone. And unless you’re running a secret Tumblr account or an extremely private Instagram account with friends you can count on one hand, it’s inevitable that everybody will go up on each other’s business.
Here’s a piece of advice for you who’s constantly switching between social media platforms: be mindful and stay positive.
Think About Who Could Be Watching
Let’s be honest. You’ve stalked a cute guy, your girl crush, or that twice-removed cousin you’re about to meet for the first time at least once.
Maybe it hasn’t crossed your mind, but while you lurk in other people’s profiles, there are people looking through yours. It could be a friend, a relative, or a person who runs in the same social circle, but isn’t exactly a buddy. Either way, people are watching your social media activity and your posts may affect them more than you think.
Before posting a photo or sending a Snap, put yourself in other people’s shoes. What opinion would you have of yourself if you were them?
Social media is a way for you to express yourself, but it is also a medium to connect with people, so whatever you put up – public or private – influences how people perceive your image. This is not to discourage you from being yourself. Rather, it is a reminder that you should be mindful about what you allow the online community to see.
Not all of them know you personally and to a certain degree, after all, and it might cause misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
Cut Down on the Negativity
Scroll through your Facebook timeline. Check out what you’ve been tweeting the past few days. If they’re as bleak as majority of the headlines of 2016, girl, you seriously need to chill.
We’ve all had our fair share of bad days and horror encounters, so nobody’s going to judge you for being brighter than sunshine one day and gloomier than the Grim Reaper on the next. But do you really have to give a blow-by-blow online narration of every single thing that you take personal offense to?
Rather than complaining pointlessly, try to find the silver lining and share that with your friends and followers instead. For example, instead of ranting about how the food sucks in a restaurant you recently tried, just share your amusement with how easy it was to find a parking space because not a lot of people go there.
Apart from sparing people from a stressful 37-second read, you are saving yourself from reliving a headache-inducing memory.
On another note, everybody appreciates a good take on a relevant issue, but clear your mind before sharing your thoughts with the world. Are you contributing to a fruitful discussion or are you just adding fuel to the fire? Remember: freedom of speech is more effective with critical thinking and constructive criticism.
Social media has become such an integral part of our lives, to the point that some people take for granted how it can affect personal relationships, organization involvement, and careers. If you want to stay away from mindless gossip and pointless online spats, watch what you’re posting.
Keep it natural but be sensitive; leave a mark with class.