The world can be a scary place. And the Internet much worse.
I have been creating content for the past ten years and I’ve had my fair share of moments when I just wanted to leave everything behind and live off the grid. I’ll be honest; I wanted to quit social media too. Gone were the days when social media (or the Internet in general) was our escape from the real world. Remember eBaumsworld? Whenever I am stressed with school work several years ago, this website had been my go-to place for a much-needed meme therapy. Now, we find means to escape from social media just to regain our sanity.
A few months ago, my father and I were on the verge of arguing. We were in a heated conversation about our differing views of social media. You see, my father is a private person and he dislikes everything about posting personal stuff on social media. In fact, whenever there’s a family gathering, he would always scold me if I post his face on Facebook. His dislike of social media can sometimes become irrational that it annoys me a lot. More so because I am the only one in the family who makes a living out of it.
But my father is right with his sentiments too. People aren’t exactly responsible for what they post online which is why social media is becoming extremely toxic. A lot of us don’t think before we click that Publish or Post button.
I have said this before; when you are writing in a private diary or journal, you are merely writing for yourself. But when you start posting it in an online medium such as blogs or social media accounts, take this to heart, you are no longer writing just for yourself.
Globe Telecom’s #makeITsafePH Campaign
As a purveyor of digital lifestyle, Globe Telecom wanted to make sure that the Internet is a safe place for everyone. In the Philippines alone, there are 67 million Internet users who can be potentially become victims of Internet-related crimes such as bullying, piracy, theft, rape, and even more. For vulnerable people, especially the youth, this can lead to a lot of repercussions. For this reason, the #makeITsafePH cybersecurity and cyber-wellness campaign was created in order to educate consumers about online threats and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim.
This campaign also aims to teach the public to become responsible social media users by using proper etiquette when they are online.
#makeITsafePH: Know Your Limitations. Lead Better.
Even if you don’t have a blog or a Youtube channel, having a social media account makes you an influencer. Whatever you post can potentially influence anyone who sees it. When you share a funny picture, you can make someone else laugh at the other end of the screen. When you post motivational quotes, you can make someone get up from their beds and do something. In the same way, when you post or share offensive content, you can trigger a negative reaction from a lot of people.
For instance, any content that is political or religious in nature can potentially trigger a lot of reaction from people. The Internet is a nice place for a healthy discussion and debate when both parties are mindful of the words that they throw. But when you start disrespecting others, do not expect a good response from it. Always think before you start spitting fire in the comments section.
Make your beliefs and passions known to the world. Argue your opinions and speak out the injustices that you see in your society. That is your prerogative. But make sure that you do not use force to make others suffer.
#makeITsafePH: Create. Do not copy.
Online content creation has definitely come a long way from being a hobby to one of the leading industries today. More people are becoming more interested to become a blogger, a Youtuber, or a social media influencer. This is a good sign of progress, but along with it comes a sad fact that more people are doing it the easy way. A shorter route. Copying other people’s content.
For a lot of people in this generation, the concept of creating something out of your imagination may seem like a no-brainer. But a single content is a result of hours of hard work and dedication. When that content is being copied by another, it is a huge blow to the original creator.
In my ten years of blogging, I’ve come across a lot of copycats who had blatantly copied my content and claimed it as their own. I do not tolerate this behavior so when I confront someone, I do my best to educate them that what they are doing is wrong. Be responsible for the words and keywords you post online. Always read more info on keywords.
Taking inspiration is fine. Re-sharing other people’s content is fine. But as a responsible social media user, always acknowledge the original creator. When reposting photos or videos of other people, make sure to put their entire name and not just ‘CTTO’. Always ask permission if you will use other people’s content.
Create your own content and be true to it. Do not intentionally misrepresent the truth to people.
#makeITsafePH: Self-manage your behavior.
When you think about cybersecurity and cyber wellness, we immediately think of identity theft, hacking, child pornography. But think about this; spreading hate and terrorism is a cybercrime too.
A lot of young people today are struggling with depression and anxiety. Life is already hard enough and if we can use the Internet to make others feel better, then we better start making the Internet a safer place especially that so many are easily affected by other people’s posts online. You can potentially change the world or destroy lives with a single post.
What you post online shows who you are as a person. Remember, it is not just about maintaining a good reputation. Thinking about other people’s welfare before you hit that Post or Publish button is about building a safer place for your loved ones too. Ask yourself; is this helpful and necessary? What am I revealing myself in the cyber world?
Change starts from within. Let’s begin by making ripples that will move others to become responsible social media users.