Watch Out Trolls Are About
Social Media Can Be Fun But Not Always
Social media is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.
It can be fun, time consuming, entertaining, informative and much more including dangerous.
Dangerous you ask, yes dangerous
Consider your social media activity in relation to these questions
- Are you self aware on social media at all times?
- Do you really know who the people you interact with are?
- Do you accept all friends and followers requests?
- Is your time-line fairly open or protected?
- Do you spend too much time online?
- Are you a member of lots of groups on Facebook, too many to keep an eye on
Are You Self Aware On Social Media?
Self awareness is important in the real word as well as in our virtual one.
It can be all too easy to respond to an Internet troll who is trying to get a rise out of you.
If you respond badly deleting your response may be too late even if you act quickly.
There are websites available such as waybackmachine that may still contain your deleted response.
The latest threareader ap can unroll long conversations highlighting every person who commented or liked.
But also remember a troll may have quickly grabbed a screenshot of your comment and tucked it safely in a file for future use.
Who Are These People?
If you are active on social media you may already have hundreds if not thousands of followers and or so-called friends but who are these people?
If you take a look at these people on social media you are bound to find some fake accounts, the odd troll and people who you added a long time ago.
Time moves on and so do you
People who were active on your social media account may no longer be or may now have nothing in common with you.
Have a look now to see what I mean.
Not All Trolls Fit This Description
Do you really want to accept every friend or follower request on social media?
It is easy to be trusting or love the idea that you have thousands of people on your social media account.
As I said above who are these people?
Remember old adages such as quality not quantity and less is more.
Open Or Locked Down?
Is your timeline fairly open or protected?
Do You Spend Too Much Time Line?
Guilty as charged on this one sadly.
As a political activist and blogged in the United Kingdom the Internet and social media offer great ways to network, interact and campaign but activism has its problems.
Spending too much time online is not good for physical or mental health.
When you are tired, irritable, cross or unwell your self awareness online takes a hit.
Limiting your social media activity is a great idea and for many reasons.
Never forget there is a big wide real world out there.
Social Media Groups And Forums
Social media groups and forums can be great fun and informative but they or rather the members can also be intrusive, abusive, annoying and so much more.
Just as it is all too easy to gather to many friends and followers online it is all too easy to become a me er of too many groups.
Over time a group may change direction and become a bad place to be; a place you really never want to be associated with.
Will Your Social Media Activity Come Back To Haunt You?
In the United Kingdom political trolls are a real threat.
Some are just individuals with an axe to grind or time to waste while others have a real political agenda.
A Facebook friend, note not a real person, asked for advice re social media as she embarks on what she hopes will be the start of a career in local politics.
Having used social media for a few years now, and witnessed abuse this the advice I offered based on my experience online
- Make sure your tweets are protected
- Never engage with trolls
- Check your friends list on Facebook and other social media websites and ensure the members are all who they claim to be or seem
- Ditch those in doubt
- Regularly check your list of friends and followers
- Check your list of groups and which you have joined
- Look out for groups you have been added to without your knowledge
- Open groups can be dangerous places where your comments and interactions are easily grabbed by those with malicious intent
- Leave any groups which have been targeted over recent months, or longer, by trolls as they are not safe
- If the admin of such groups has not been able to address trolling issues after some time they never will
- Huge groups may be less safe as they are difficult for administrators to control
- Bear in mind some trolls use software and or a thread reader to see what you have liked, commented and shared over a long period of time
- Screen shots from a long time ago can and will be shared
- If in doubt close your account and start again
- Alternatively temporarily deactivate your account
- Keep your personal account just that
- Set up a political campaign account and monitor closely
- Protect your tweets and lock down your social media account for the ultimate safe environment but remember even this is not 100% secure
The above list is not exhaustive but offers ideas for you to consider.
In the U.K. various political careers are falling at the first hurdle and in too many cases the reason is careless commenting or interactions on social media.
Make sure that does not happen to you.
The Long Road
Already people are being caught by something silly they liked or commented years ago.
Imagine your Internet and social media activity 10 years, 20 years or even 40 years on.
The key is self awareness at all times.
If you say something online you would never say to a person’s face ask yourself why?
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© 2018 Ethel Smith