In the past decade, social media has become a major aspect of everyday life. Many people think of these sites as a modern-day phenomenon; however, some have actually been around for more than 20 years.
Six Degree is considered the first recognizable social media site. Created in 1997, it allowed users to upload a profile to connect with other people online.
Nowadays, people use social media for many different reasons. Some of the main functions include connecting with friends, business marketing, and staying up to date with current news and events.
When used correctly, social media can serve as a great tool. Consider these 25 Ways You’ve Been Using Social Media Wrong for Years.
Sharing without Crediting the Owner
Yes, it is true, even after college, it is important to cite your sources. Once you hit send on a post, that content is immediately available for public consumption. It’s hard to distinguish which material on your social media is actually your own if you’re not giving credit where it’s due.
Whenever you’re unsure whether you should cite the source or not, just put yourself in the artist’s shoes. Would you want someone else to pass something you created as their own?
Sharing Personal Information
If you’re not sure what your social media privacy settings are, check those right now. Oversharing personal information isn’t just annoying for your followers but it is also extremely dangerous.
A good way to ensure your safety is by uploading pictures or videos only after you have left the physical location where they were taken. You should also never share your phone number, address, or any other sensitive information online.
Using It to Complain
Every now and then, it’s okay to complain on Facebook or Twitter about your horrible day. It’s actually a good way to release stress and help you reflect on what happened.
However, taking your frustrations out on social media shouldn’t be something you do regularly. For one, people have their own problems and shouldn’t have to hear about your issues every day.
Also, social media should be a place people can visit for positive vibes and helpful information.
New publications have been changing over the past few decades. Physical newspapers are becoming obsolete with more and more Americans turning to social media to get their news. As scary as that may seem, ethical journalism is still alive.
Companies like Fox and CNN are adapting to the times and are creating social media accounts to post breaking news. No matter where you are getting your current events, it’s always a good idea to fact check with multiple sources before sharing “news” online.
Over-Editing your Pictures
There are certain times when it’s acceptable to over-edit your photographs. If you’re trying to be artistic or creative, then posting content with a lot of effects can be fun.
However, if you’re only uploading pictures of yourself with heavy filters, this could be misleading for your followers. Everyone is different in their own beautiful way. When people overly use these popular filters, it just makes everyone look the same.
Being a Cyber Bully
No matter how much you disagree with someone over social media, you should never be rude or offensive. Adolescents are in the majority as far as people who are affected by cyberbullying.
Researchers have discovered that more than one in three young people experienced some form of bullying online. It’s important to always be respectful to others because you never know what someone is going through and how your words could affect them.
Not Promoting Yourself
If you’re not using social media to promote yourself, you’re missing out on so much. Social media was built as a platform that allows people to showcase themselves while making new connections.
If you meet someone you would want to connect with, don’t be afraid to add them on social media. While trading phone numbers can be a good way to stay connected, you get a better picture of who someone is by looking at their social media accounts.
Focusing on Quantity over Quality
Every post on your social media account should be meaningful. At the end of the day, what you post is a reflection of who you are as a person. If you are posting just to post, think about what message you are sending to your followers.
Thoughtful posts are so much more meaningful than a rambling string of tweets. Limiting your posts also forces you to share only the best content with your followers.
Sharing Too Much of Your Life
We are all familiar with the one person who likes to share every aspect of their life. You know what they ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner … and everything they did in between. Those kinds of social media users can be exhausting and downright annoying.
If you’re the kind of person who can’t help but post every aspect of your day, try to cut back your posts in increments. Instead of uploading your daily gym selfie you could post a healthy dinner recipe.
Connecting with the Wrong People
Some people can get a bit carried away with the ability to have an unlimited amount of followers. However, it’s important to remember quality over quantity. If you’re connecting with people just to build your followers, you’re doing it wrong.
Instead, try to request and accept followers who are interested in the same things you like to post about. New connections with similar interests will be more likely to comment on your posts and like your pictures.
Not Using it to Market Yourself
When utilized correctly, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be excellent tools to help market your business. One of the best parts about this is that they’re free. All you have to do is put time and effort into creating an account.
Even if you don’t have a business, you can still use social media to market yourself. LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented service that helps professionals network and market themselves.
Not Expressing Your Own Personality
Social media is the ultimate place where people can truly express their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Whether you are using your social media platforms to promote your business or yourself, it’s always a good idea to add some personality to your posts.
Giving your followers a glimpse into your day-to-day routine can make you seem more relatable. It’s also a good way to keep your followers interested and engaged.
Posting Irrelevant Content
When it comes to social media platforms, the majority of them are all about outreach. You should always remember that your profile accounts are a reflection of yourself. That said, whatever you decide to post should be connected with what you stand for.
Keeping up to date with what’s going on around you can help you make sure that your posts stay relevant. It could also attract more people to your page and more attention to organizations you support.
Not Respecting the Privacy of Others
Respecting a person’s right to privacy should be common sense. However, for some reason, the Internet makes it very easy to cross that fine line when it comes to other’s privacy.
Before you Snapchat your bartender pouring your favorite drink, make sure you get their permission first. Also, try to consider the other person’s perspective before deciding to post anything that isn’t about you.
Spying on Your Significant Other
Using social media to spy on your significant other is a big no-no. If you’re feeling suspicious about something in your relationship, talk to them about it rather than browsing through their social media accounts behind their back.
If you ever find yourself being tempted to log on to their profile, first ask yourself, “How would I feel if they were spying on me?” Then try to understand the possible reasons for your lack of trust.
Everyone has experienced the fear of missing out (FOMO) at least once in their life. That icky, anxious fear of missing out on something fun and exciting is often triggered by seeing posts on social media.
If you find yourself experiencing FOMO, try to focus on being present in the here and now. It’s also important to accept the fact that you can’t be everywhere all the time and there will be events you simply can’t make it to.
Letting It Define Your Happiness
It can be easy to get lost in the world of social media and start comparing your life to others. More and more people are looking to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find the latest trends and see what their favorite celebrities are up to.
That’s why it’s important to realize early on that what you see on social media isn’t real life. Most people post only the content they want their followers to see. You should never let social media define your happiness.
Using It as the Only Means of Communication
The rising popularity of social media has provided people with a whole new way of communicating with one another. Instead of calling your friend to tell them about your day, platforms like Snapchat allow users to send videos in real-time.
This way of communicating can be fun but it shouldn’t be used as your only way of communication. Nothing beats having face-to-face interactions with the people you care about the most.
Auto-posting across Social Profiles
We all have that one friend who automatically posts the same videos and pictures to all of their social media accounts. It can be annoying seeing the same post you originally saw on Facebook also on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
Different content works better for different social media platforms. For example, a 10-second video clip of you singing is probably more acceptable for Snapchat than it is on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Using It to Show Off
As tempting as it is to post every second of your dream vacation, it probably isn’t the best thing to do. People who are constantly showing off on Instagram and Facebook can appear superficial at best.
Instead of using your profile to boast about your cool job or your recent trip to paradise, try using it as a place to spread awareness for things you believe in. It’s okay to show off every now and then but don’t make every post all about you.
Not Gaining Followers
At the end of the day, social media is used as a platform to express your thoughts and beliefs. If you’re not adding people to your account, then you’re limiting the amount of exposure you will get.
If you start to think of social media as another way to network and meet more people, you may be more inclined to accept and request more followers. You never know how many new connections you can make simply by reaching out.
Using It to Kill Time
Time is one of the most valuable assets a person has. People can always make more money but they can’t make more time. As addicting as aimlessly scrolling on social media can be, it is not beneficial.
A lot of things can be accomplished in the amount of time you spend on social media. If you find yourself losing track of time while surfing the web, try limiting yourself to no more than a couple of hours of screen time a day.
Failing to Personalize Privacy Settings
It’s completely understandable to be a bit intimidated by the Internet. Knowing that your social media account could potentially be viewed by thousands of strangers is kinda creepy.
That’s why it’s important to set the right privacy settings for your accounts. If you want to share your social media with close friends and family only, there are ways to control who views your profile under the privacy settings.
Not Updating Regularly
Social media is used as a platform to help share aspects of your life. Most people use their accounts to keep their extended family up to date about their everyday lives.
If you’re not updating your profile, what’s the point of having one? You don’t have to update it every day if you don’t want to. However, you should at least try to update your profile every few weeks or months.
Some of the most successful social media influencers like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are consistent posters. While posting a lot may seem like a good thing, the goal is to actually post sporadically.
Instead of strictly posting during a certain time, try spreading your posts out throughout the day. This will ensure that your followers won’t forget you, but they also won’t get tired of constantly seeing your content.