The year is 2016 and social media has become an integral part of society. Wherever I go, it is commonplace to see people of many walks of life on their phones tweeting, posting or sharing content about their lives as well as liking and commenting other's posts. Social is a great way to connect with others but have you ever thought if you are using social media responsibly?
Legal Issues - Using Work You Did not Create
Whenever you are using any media (pictures, videos, etc) that was not created by yourself, you need to make sure you are not infringing upon the rights of the original creator. Whenever you produce an original work, you own the copyright to that work, however, their are many cases where you can use a work produced by someone else.
When searching for that perfect image to convey your message (like the Infinite Monkey typing keys below), look for this media in public domains, creative commons or see if you can make a proper claim for fair use of the media. These three terms provide media you can legally use, however, it is not as simple as copy and paste; you have to be sure you follow the guidelines of the creator such as whether you can or cannot edit the image and attribution (which if giving the creator of the work credit.
If you want to learn all about this in an easy to read chart, check it out here!
Next Up: Branding "Social Media as a Conversation"
A social media expert once told me, "Think of social media as a conversation with others" and that has stuck with me ever since. Whenever I am generating content on social (posting, commenting, etc), I think about the conversation I am having with others. What I say tells others a little peice about me and through what I share, it creates a "brand" or image of how people perceive who I am. So how do you take ownership of your brand?
When I post, I don't just post random stuff like the Infinite Monkey who randomly pushes buttons to one day eventually type the works of Williams Shakespear. Instead you want to ask...
Step 2: What is my Passion?
To really use my social media responsibly, I am always checking in with myself and asking, "What is my passion?" If I know my passion, my posts become intentionally focused around these topics and people get to know who I am.
It helps if you...
Step 3: Make your Intro/Bio Reflect your Passions
On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media outlets, they allow you to have a really small space for your intro/bio to say who you are from anywhere from as little as 140 characters to around 3 sentences, which is crazy to think you can tell the world everything about who you are in only 140 characters, so I have a really valuable activity to share with you to make the most out of your intro by exploring your passions, narrowing them down, and then using these as your intro.
Freely write as many of your life's passions out as possible. Once you complete this, start to put together themes in your list and categorize them down into 3-5 main areas of your life. Take these 3-5 areas and write a one to two word header for each category and use this as your intro.
Step 4: Post Within the Scope of your Intro
Once you have your Intro created, you should try to make sure that your posts reflect these values, so allow this to not only be a way for others to know who you are but also a guide to your posts.
Step 5: Build Bridges
Connecting and interacting with your networks is one of the most important peices to this picture. Social media is a place of networking and staying in touch. So always remember to use it in this way
Step 6: Begin!
Conclusion: Ethics of Cyber Bullying
Whether you have heard about it or not, cyber bullying is a reality. Now that people are behind their computer screens and even more removed from the actual contact with the people with which they interact. Many believe that they can just blatantly attack, degrade and humiliate others online, completely forgeting the human that receives these attacks on the other end and the negative role model it sets for everyone watching. In some cases, others will even join in the attack. The pain becomes to much for those bullied and some take their life because of it, including the case of Megan Meier in the video above. So how do you become a part of the solution, not the problem?
Step 1: Don't Bully Others
If it feels like bullying, looks like bullying and has the intent to put another down...it probably is bullying.
Step 2: Disempower Bullies by Calling Them Out
Nothing makes a bully as uncomfortable as when the bullying goes from their target to them. If you see someone get bullied, message that person and tell them how innapropriate what they are doing is and...
Step 3: Report
Don't be afraid to report someone who is a cyber bully. Because the laws are still being crafted, the legal consequences of cyber bullying are still not where they need to be so this movement will need grass roots support.
Final Remarks from the Author - Kevin Karas
This blog is just a start...We live in a new social world where social media has become such an integral part of our lives, so it is time we start thinking about all of the ways in which we can use social media respectfully: aligned with the law, to uplift our identity of who we are and of course ethically to help lessen others pain and end cyber bullying.
- I would love to hear any comments on experiences, thoughts or wisdom you have pertaining to the article.