Olivia’s Blog: The perils of social media

Lifestyle / Sat 14th Mar 2015 at 01:41pm

By Olivia Bekiki

OliviaWITH the increase of smartphones and digital portability devices, social media has proved itself to be of great utility. Being able to connect with numerous people, to create and share news, pictures or videos has definitely become the 21st century’s current trend.

Nowadays, the use of social media has become to some people a necessity to access useful information and almost vital to others on a daily basis for updates on current affairs, fashion trends, cookery tips etc. Social media provides the opportunity to connect with an audience instantly and is accessible to anyone online. Gospel singer Prisca Lolenga from Brussels aged 22 acknowledged how social media (Youtube) made her famous within the Christian community. She said: “Youtube has definitely played a part in the way I am know now. My preaching and singing videos have had such an impact that I receive invitations from people from all parts of the world to perform at their Church.”

Creating and sharing content online can have a strong positive impact, however, it can also have serious consequences. Looking at successful footballer Balotelli’s Instagram affair, which sparked great controversy, shows the perils of social media. Posting an ‘anti-racism message’ with the picture of Super Mario which read: ‘Don’t be racist! Be like Mario. He’ an Italian plumber created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican… Jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.’ proved to be very offensive and lacked of humour to many social media consumers. This incident led the footballer to write an apology letter to individuals whom he offended.

Whilst on social media many people tend to forget how certain defamatory statements could lead to slander or libel cases. Samantha Downes, finance news and lifestyle journalist for the Daily Mail believes that learning how and what to write whilst on social media is of paramount importance. She said: “Being one of the first journalists who has moved from print to online journalism, I assure you that you have to be extremely wise in terms of what you post online. Posting certain pictures or statuses on Facebook or Twitter could go against you. Be wise.”

It is my conclusion that although social media is a great tool there must be a fair balance in terms of how much and what to publish online. Acknowledging what as well as how to keep a private and professional matter is crucial in order to remain credible and of course employable to the ‘online world’.

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