Social media has been a fantastic tool for people in the past decade or so. But, as a student, you need to be careful about how you use it, for a variety of reasons. In today’s guide, we’re going to go through some of the ways social media can hurt, damage, or even end your university life. Think this might be a little over the top? It isn’t. Be aware that many students in the country have felt the negative effects – and many more will do so in the future. Let’s get started with some of the basics.
Don’t be a bully
Bullying on social media is something of a hot topic in the media these days – but it’s always been present in schools and universities. The consequences of bullying incidents can be devastating. Depression, suicide, violence, and many other social issues are all common. And, as a student, you need to be aware that online bullying will come back to haunt you. Using hurtful speech on social media can lead to criminal prosecution -not just disciplinary action. Most schools and universities have policies on bullying, so make sure you are aware of your responsibilities. Always think twice about posting inflammatory remarks, even if you are joking.
Check your policies
While we are on the subject of school policies, most will have some rules and regulations about social media use in place. In many cases, they will be specific to the school or college. Policies could depend on religious affiliation, for example, or geographical and demographical makeup. Be aware that most will expect you to represent your school or college, so be wary about posting potentially sensitive opinions. Failure to do so may lead to a suspension or expulsion, and you might need the help of an education lawyer to fight your case. It’s going to distract you from your studies and cost you and your parents needless expense. All you need to do is reign in your thoughts and remember that free speech doesn’t always apply.
Young people are more at risk from online predators, so be wary about posting too much personal information online. These types of people can be incredibly sly and clever about building up a picture of you and your habits. Avoid checking into public places, too. You never know who might be watching.
Don’t mix social media with alcohol
As a student, alcohol is likely to play a major part of your university life. However, when you have had a few drinks, there’s a good chance you will become a little too ‘carefree’ for your own good. Try to avoid using social media when you are out on the town and you will reduce the chances of ending up in trouble. Plus, of course, if you fail to attend classes the day after due to a hangover, you won’t get found out by your class leaders!
Always check your privacy
Finally, stay safe by performing regular privacy audits on your social media profiles. The likes of Facebook change things all the time, so you need to keep checking to ensure your privacy settings are OK. And, never rely on them. Anything you post online could, potentially, be used against you, whether your settings are private or not.