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Up to 96 percent of people born at the turn of the century have joined a form of social media.

Facebook has gained a population of 200 million users in one year and 80 percent of firms recruit their employees through viewing their profiles.

Like everything in life, social media has both its positives and negatives, but with social media taking over a large part of the global community, we cannot simply refuse to participate in the revolution based on the negatives, it’s time to turn negatives into positives.

The main negative is that social media displays personal information for public viewing. As a teenager myself, I have watched peers suffer the consequences of placing certain items online either themselves or by their peers. Whether it be pictures, videos or even status many have faced humiliating outcomes.

However, the mistake many have made is failing to recognise the fact that most of the time you have control on what you allow to be seen by the world. Whether you choose to place a provocative profile picture or a conservative one is entirely your choice.

Basically, we have the power to control how we present ourselves to the world, this is why many people’s lives seem amazing on Instagram or Twitter because they have understood how to use social media to their aantage and portray themselves the way they would like to be seen. An important thing to note is that companies and universities are using your profiles to determine what type of person you are.

This does not mean you have to be fake and talk about how wonderful the company or university is, we all have a fun side and that’s a positive thing. It just means that you will be presenting your fun side in a sensible manner. If you have to think twice about posting something because you are scared of your parent’s reaction for example, think of the outcome before you post.

Having control over how people see you also leaves you less vulnerable to criticism and in certain cases, cyber bullying. Many anonymous profiles are created by people who intend to “expose” your stories or in some cases simply to insult you.

Leaving out details such as your relationship status on Facebook, or not tweeting details about what you did that day, who you were with and where you went may give these “critics” less information to use against you. Or simply only allowing people you are “friends” with on Facebook or “follow” on twitter to view your profile.

There are many people who have used social media to inspire people without knowing it, who have revealed elements about themselves without exposing every private detail and allowing people to connect with them on a level that is comfortable for them.

They have mastered the key element of social media which is taking control of it, before it controls you.

Source : The Herald

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