When it comes to social media, there are a lot of ways that it can enhance one’s life, especially when you are in college. However, you can also get yourself into a lot of trouble if you don’t know how to recognize an online faux pas. There are some things that are acceptable and others that definitely are not. Here are the Do’s and Dont’s for college students using social media.
Do: Connect with People You Like
One of the best things about social media is that it can be a great way to connect with people that you like and admire so that you can develop a relationship with them. This way you don’t have to meet someone in person in order to find out that you might like or inspire one another. You can find each other based on a common interest, and really get to know one another even if you go to Stanford and the other person goes to University of Cincinnati.
Don’t: Post Anything Incriminating
If you are ever at a party or in a place where people are breaking the law in any way, you don’t want to have any pictures of yourself posted online. This could incriminate you in the eyes of several of your friends, family and the authorities. Also, if you call in sick for work but really decide to have a day off, you never want to post anything online that might be seen by your boss or fellow employees.
Do: Have a Sense of Humor
There are a lot of people who just take themselves far too seriously on social media. People are going to make fun of one another and people are going to express their anger about things. This doesn’t mean that you should engage with all of that. At a certain point you have to accept that there are always going to be people who are mean and angry on social media, and if you can’t laugh about it then you are wasting your time and energy on them, which is ultimately what they want.
Don’t: Make jokes That are Racially or Sexually Offensive
You shouldn’t be afraid to make jokes and let your sense of humor shine on your social media accounts. However, if you decide to post anything edgy or risqué on your feeds that is intended to be funny while addressing sex, gender, race or anything taboo, then there’s going to be a good chance that you might offend someone. In fact, whether your joke lands is almost irrelevant – many will find the subject matter offensive and could seriously damage your reputation and relationships. It may not be important to you if those people are randoms that you don’t know, but if those people are your professors, your boss, or anyone that you admire, you could find yourself really regretting that you projected yourself in such a way. If you ever feel like some form of prejudice could be pulled from a joke, ask yourself if the laugh is worth it.