Keeping Yourself  Safe

Social Media platforms allow us to connect to friends and loved one, involve ourselves in communities of like minded people and find useful information or entertainment. Social Media use has become a part of our daily life and can enrich our lives and bring us closer together. But when Social Media use becomes overwhelming and you find yourself ” addicted” to checking your apps and platforms – it may be time to reduce or limit the time spent on social media until you find a good balance for you.

FloSocial Smartphone

Social Media and Self Esteem

If you feel you re struggling to cope or experiencing anxiety it may help to talk to a supportive friends, counselor or health care professional 

If you feel you need to to chat to someone contact Headspace here

Over use of Social Media or using it for the wrong reasons may be damaging to self esteem

When it is time to review your Social Media habits?

  1. You mindlessly open your  social media apps multiple times or with a high frequency. The average social media user will engage with the platform around 12 times a day ( and that’s still a lot ) if you find yourself feeling compelled to check your apps or accounts or do it without even noticing you have done it – it may be time to review this habit
  2. You feel anxious when you haven’t check social media for a short period of time
  3. You feel distracted during social events and situations because you can’t access your social media apps
  4. Your social media use takes priority over time with friends and family
  5. You are experiencing a break up or relationship challenge and you are using social media to check up on your partner or ex and it’s upsetting you
  6. You feel upset or anxious after using social media

If you feel your use of Social Media is out of balance or you are not using the platforms is a way that is positive or helpful for you it may be time to take a break or limit your use.

How to break the overuse of Social Media habit

If you feel like your usage of social media is getting out of hand and you want to reevaluate your relationship with it, reducing the time you spend on the platforms and creating better habits around your use will help.

  • Move you social media apps on your phone to a new folder or location – to break the habit of mindlessly opening them

  • Delete the social media pps from your phone and allocate a set amount of time to check your platforms from desktop

  • Have a digital detox day and take a full break from social media, spend time with friends or family and try and leave your phone at home

  • Set limits or times when you don’t use Social Media – like no phones in the bedroom or no checking after 7pm at night

  • Get the support of your friend or family, have “no phone catch ups” and ask them to keep you accountable if you do reach for your phone

  • Use the activity timer on Instagram to remind you when you have passed you daily usage limit

Upsetting Images and Sensitive Material

FloSocial Smartphone Guy

All of the Social Media channels have smart screening software designed to scan images and content when uploaded to prevent harmful or upsetting images appearing online. However this is not a fool proof system and sometime thing slip through the crack and appear on our feeds. There are a number of safety measure you can take to remove, reduce or prevent images and content that you don’t want to see on your feed.

  1. Unfollow or Snooze – if you want to stay connected with someone on Facebook but don’t want to see their post in your news feed then you can “unfollow” or just take a break from them by  “Snoozing” their posts for 30 days
  2. If you want to stop seeing posts or adverts from certain accounts you can block them on social media
  3. If you feel a post is upsetting or breaks the community guidelines and needs to be removed you can report it, this will flag the post with the platform moderators and they will be able to remove it if they feel it is inappropriate and breaks the platform standards

How to report an inappropriate image on Social Media

At the top right corner of posts and adverts on Facebook and Instagram you will see 3 dots – tap on these dots and it will open a post menu that you can use to hide, snooze, block or report the image you see.

You will receive a notification from Facebook and Instagram after they have reviewed your request and made a decision on how to treat the reported post, they will also offer follow up advice.

Threats and Personal Attacks

Sadly some people think that Social Media gives them the right or power to say whatever they want to another person. Hurtful comments and  negative feedback  or as it’s called ” Being Trolled” on social media is all too common. In the previous module there are details on how to remove or prevent comments on social media or block nuisance  or repeat offenders.

Despite the anonymity people may feel on social media the comments made online and on social media platforms are still subject to the law and you can report threatening or defamatory  behavior to the police and pursue it via the legal system

Revenge Porn is a deeply upsetting situation when someone threatens to post intimate photos of you online without your consent. Facebook has a pilot scheme in place working in partnership with authorities, advocacy groups and charities to help prevent distribution of intimate photos using it’s sophisticated screening software to track the image assigning it a numerical value, if that value is scanned when someone tries to upload that image, it is blocked and the offender prevented from posting.

If you are being seriously threatened, stalked or blackmailed on social media –  contact the police.  Take screen shots of the behavior and report it!