Social media: What should make it to your status and why

By Jane Babirye
On 17 October 2023 at 03:11

Have you ever pondered what life would look like without mobile phones? I, for one, cannot fathom existence without social media. The true joy of using my phone lies in scrolling through people’s status updates, although I don’t do it frequently.

Think of my contacts as a diverse restaurant menu that caters to every craving: humor, inspiration, motivation, and more.

However, I am occasionally perplexed by the posts that certain people share, even when I strongly believe in the concept of "My phone, my data, my status.”

To avoid coming off as a ‘hater’, I asked some of my peers to share comments on what motivates their posts on social media.

Additionally, I looked up information on what should and should never make it on social media.

Louise, a university student in her final year, said she likes posting photos of herself as it makes her feel good.

“When I dress up and feel smart, I will take photos and post them. However, I avoid posting things that are private,” she stated.

Gloria, also a university student in Kigali, says she rarely posts, but when she does, it’s only to celebrate her friend’s birthdays, weddings, or graduation ceremonies.

“My choice of posts is meant to confuse viewers, you know when people want to see you sad but you post things that show happiness even if you’re not, that’s what I do,” said Claire.

Zandee, on the other hand, said she posts about her cooking tutorials mostly as a way of advertising. “I also post a lot about myself,” she stated, saying it makes her feel happy about herself.

A big percentage of male counterparts said they only post when their football teams win a soccer game or funny memes once in a while.

What experts think you should post

Positive Achievements and Milestones: Sharing accomplishments like graduations, promotions, or personal achievements is a great way to celebrate your success and inspire others.

Educational and Informative Content: Sharing informative articles, news, and thought-provoking ideas can benefit your online profile by highlighting your knowledge and interests.

Sharing your creative endeavors, whether it’s artwork, writing, music, among others, can help you connect with like-minded individuals, gaining you recognition for your talents.

It is okay for one to share their travel experiences as it can inspire others to adventure to the same places. However, be mindful not to share sensitive location data.

Charitable activities such as volunteering and community events can be shared on social media to encourage others to do the same, in addition to fostering a sense of togetherness.

On the other hand, the following should never be posted as they can have a profound impact on one’s personal and professional life.

Engaging in public arguments or airing personal conflicts can reflect poorly on your character and damage relationships. Posting excessively personal information, like relationship troubles or health issues, may make you vulnerable and attract unwanted attention.

Home addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, and personal emails are sensitive information and should never be posted. I understand your first time at the airport may be thrilling, but make sure to clip out vital details while posting your passport or travel ticket. Identity theft and cyberattacks can be avoided by safeguarding your personal information.

Offensive, discriminatory, or insulting content can tarnish your reputation and potentially result in legal ramifications. What may appear a joke to you may be offensive to the person who views your status: remember you "have a right to what you post but not how the other person interprets it."

Complaining about your job or colleagues on social media can jeopardize your career and professional relationships. Many employers and organizations now check an applicant’s social media profiles before making hiring decisions. What you post can impact your career prospects.

Sharing false or misleading information can contribute to the spread of misinformation, erode trust, and have real-world consequences. Posting harmful or illegal content can result in legal repercussions, including lawsuits or criminal charges.

The next time you post on social media, be thoughtful of what you share, as maintaining a positive and respectful online presence will help you build and preserve meaningful relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances.