More to life than memes

06 August 2019 | Opinion

Octavia Tsibes

I recently attended a conference and many young people had so much to say about social media and what they use it for. When I was still in school, young people used Facebook, in particular, to ‘roast’ their peers. Now it is used to share memes relating to anything and everything.

Social media is an essential part of any young person’s life. Five years ago Facebook was a leading part of many young people’s lives. For many it is a way to connect with others and make new friends, and for those who have too much time on their hands, social media can be used as an entertainment source and to kill boredom.

Now I personally don’t have a problem with on how you use social media. I just want young people to use social media wisely. If you cannot afford a newspaper, but you have Wi-Fi at home, and all you do with your time is to read and share memes, it is about time you use social media for the right reasons. There are so many Facebook pages that post vacancies or free short courses at universities and non-profit organisations.

Don’t get me wrong, sharing memes is fine, as we cannot be all serious all the time. I am talking about graduates that complain that there isn’t jobs for them or opportunities to develop themselves.

Social media plays a bigger role in our lives than we think. Some of the things we post on social media sites can be destructive. It can be fun posting things on social media, because we do not think about the consequences. We tend to upload too much personal or inappropriate information and photos on our social media profiles. This is again where memes come in.

Many employers also browse through potential employees' social media profiles before hiring them. Imagine losing out on a job because of the content you post on social.

You need to practice social media politeness; it’s very important. This is where one has to know what to share and where to comment. Protect yourself! Always be very modest, because not all of your friends are going to be happy about what you do. Yes, you need to engage in talks on social media.

But I believe this should only happen if it benefits you. In fact, you can be part of an online engagement only if it adds value.

Many feel if people do not like what they post, then it means they are not popular or nobody likes them or what they do on social media. At the end of the day, likes and social media fame do not pay the bills, so do not get your blood boiling over simple things. Also, go easy on the filters and edits when you are trying to touch up your photos. It has come to a point on social media where people have distorted themselves and they are so out of touch with themselves and who they are.

There is nothing wrong with filters, but people abuse them. How do you edit a picture to a point where we do not know the real, when compared to the ‘edited version’ you upload on social media? Clearly, if this is happening, it could mean disaster. Take it easy and be safe on the net.

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