How to Use Social Media Responsibly

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More than 1.5 billion people have a Facebook account, over 320 million use Twitter and over 400 million users post to their Instagram accounts- which means there are a lot of people posting online all day, every day. Not to mention the other social giants: Google+, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr and YouTube. With social media being so accessible to anybody with an internet connection, the world is literally at your fingertips. Therefore, it is important to be careful what you choose to share, as if certain posts get in the wrong hands they could be detrimental to your working or personal life. To avoid this, we have shared some tips on how to use social media responsibly.


New legal guidelines brought out earlier this year mean online trolling is now a criminal offence. Those caught creating or writing offensive or derogatory content or images will be prosecuted.


Using expletive language can come across as aggressive and threatening, even if you don’t intend to. It sounds unprofessional and if employers see it, it could hinder your chances of getting an interview from that company. This is because it tarnishes a clean brand image if other online users can identify who you work for.


This includes sexual or graphic content, drugs or violence. Even if the content hasn’t come directly from you, if it is shared or Retweeted from your profile it can still have negative effects on your employability or character. In the worst-case scenario, the police could get hold of it and you could be prosecuted.


It can be a no brainer to upload a photo of an email or letter, but remember to crop out the address. The same applies for work schedules, full names, ID numbers, bank cards, phone numbers, car registration plates and any other confidential information. As soon as the information is posted carelessly online, it has a risk of getting into the wrong hands.


Like the point above, it is important not to overshare specific information. It is understandable if you want to share with the rest of you followers that you are in Berlin at the German Christmas markets, but perhaps keep the hotel you are staying at to yourself.


If you are currently waiting to start the next journey of your career or education, make sure that your social media profiles accommodate this. You want to come across as professional, responsible and hard-working, so it is advised to remove any photos including alcohol or inappropriate behaviour.

If you have an interest in furthering your knowledge of social media, see our list of Social Media Courses.