1. Be authentic – use a genuine profile picture, be honest in your bio and always tell the truth in your posts.
2. Understand the social media platforms you use – familiarize yourself with platform-specific features like geotagging and privacy.
3. Be respectful – Your opinion is not always the correct one, be respectful of other people’s views.
4. Report unacceptable behaviour – educate yourself on the dangers of cyberbullying, grooming, deepfake, etc. and learn how to screenshot, report and block!
5. Have fun, responsibly – Social Media platforms exist as a means to help all walks of life keep connected. Be responsible when using the platforms and also when it comes to the amount of time you spend on the platform.
#ThembaSouthernAfrica | 5 Important Do's and 5 Wise Don'ts for the Youth on Social Media Click To Tweet
1. Don’t trust everyone you meet online – groomers and sexual predators exist and are very real!
2. Don’t share sensitive information – your ID number, Bank Account details and precise location shouldn’t be on social media!
3. Don’t be a bully – Cyberbullying is unacceptable and all social media platforms have strong policies against bullying.
4. Don’t be a troll – Just because your friends might want to create drama online doesn’t make it right!
5. Don’t forget to update your apps and platform knowledge – Social Media platforms make changes regularly and often update their policies and t&C’s, keep yourself in the loop and ensure that your apps are in the very best working order to prevent hacking.
The most important thing to remember is that everything you post online makes up a part of your digital footprint which will be online forever: the post you share today may be seen by a potential employer in 5 years’ time!