When I think of using my power for good on social media, I remember the old adage: leave things better than how you found it. This usually applies to hiking or camping, but it’s a mantra that has come in handy for me many times when I’m wondering what I can do in my community and for the world.
3 ways to use your power for good
Here are 3 things that I’ve done to change my social media habits, in hopes that i’m leaving it better than I found it.
1. Remember my audience. Every social media platform serves a different purpose. Facebook is a place where discussions are had, family is checked on, pictures given a permanent place, etc. Instagram is meant for images and brief updates. Snapchat for silly, impermanent chatting and pictures. Before I post anything, I assess who I’m talking to and if it’s appropriate for the place I’m posting.
2. Consider the content. Is it informational? Will it be useful to others? Is it kind? Just because I think something is ironic or funny doesn’t mean that somebody I care about won’t find it hurtful. In the face of constant mental whiplash that is our social media feed, these are important questions. Also, always source your content. Find the original creator, look at other things they’ve posted, and then determine if their voice is something you want to share with your community.
3. Determine the intent. Am I retweeting something as a reaction? Or am I trying to be helpful? Being emotionally aware has never led me astray, and really helped me become the resource I seek to be. Sometimes I forget my intent and become reactionary or rude and I always come to regret my response or post. I try to always apologize and make things right when that happens, because things that happen on social media are as real as things that happen in person. If my intent is to use my power for good, then my posts and comments deserve a minute to reflect before I make them public.
All three of these things will help you create a safer place in social media for those you care about and do a lot of good for everybody. Start a conversation with the children in your care and see how they would like to impact their social media for good as well.
Take advantage of our one-on-one parenting consultations when you’re looking to teach digital citizenship to your children. They are free in the state of Utah! We believe every person deserves to understand how to be a good digital citizen. We can’t wait to work with you soon.