Taekwondo Young People and the Pitfalls of Social Media

Social media has now become an integral part of young people’s lives. It’s a great way to keep in touch with friendsand family, find out news and let people know what is going on in your life. While there are many positives to social media, like anything, there are many disadvantages that lots of young people don’t think about. It’s very important that you are aware of these potential pitfalls before it’s too late.

1: Privacy: Social media is a public tool, it means that everything and anything you ever post can come back and haunt you at some stage, even if it’s deleted immediately after posting it. This means you should never post something that can get you or other people into trouble either now or in the future.

There is no such thing as private settings, in regards to social media. By posting something meant for friends it will undoubtedly be launched into the public domain for everyone to either see or know about. Do you want people you don’t know knowing personal details of your life. Social media should not be the place for private thoughts or intimidate details of your life. It was designed to be used as a fun way to keep in touch with close friends and has escalated into what it is today, sometimes being used as an uncensored platform for any age group.

2. Who Is Watching You? Basically everyone. If you are on twitter or facebook you are like a beacon waiting to be found. Family, friends, employers, colleagues, your neighbours, everyone can find you very easily. This means that even if you are not posting directly to them it wouldn’t take much for them to see what you were writing either directly or through mutual friends or followers. If you write something derogatory towards someone chances are they are going to find out as it’s in the public domain. This causes trouble and stress and is not a nice thing to do in the first place.

Young people also need to be aware that the first thing future employers do or course tutors do is go onto social media and check your statuses from years before to find out what kind of person you are. If your statuses don’t show you in a good light chances are you won’t get the job/get on the course you want. It will go to someone who is more mature and responsible. Remember everything you post can be seen and found at any stage.

Another thing to consider is that younger people will probably have access to see your posts. Facebook especially sets trends and as we all know children copy. You should never post anything that wouldn’t be suitable for children to read. At the other end of the spectrum you will probably have adults see what you post, using bad language, things out of context could upset or disgust someone. You need to be respectful towards everyone’s feelings. Hopefully you wouldn’t swear towards an older person or make an upsetting remark in person. So why do so on the likes of facebook, where it’s public?

3. People Change Their Characters: Many people change their characters and hide behind social media. It allows them to say things they wouldn’t say to someone’s face, or to be someone they can’t be in person. Again this can be a good and a bad thing. One good rule to go by is to simply be you. If you wouldn’t dream of hurting anyone with a nasty remark to their face, why post it for everyone to see on a site? You should be the same respectful, kind, considerate person online as you are offline. Why change?

4: Don’t befriend people who you wouldn’t talk to if you saw them in the street: Some people have hundreds of facebook friends, the problem with this is they hardly know any of them in person. Don’t just befriend anyone; you are opening yourself up to be very vulnerable. You don’t know these people, trust these people and yet you are giving them personal information about your friends and family just to look popular. Have a really good look at your friends list and if you wouldn’t have a full conversation with them if you saw them, delete them. You are better off having 50 friends as opposed to 1000 facebook friends. Remember these are not real friends they are “virtual” friends. They won’t be at your side if something goes wrong or when you need them they will just be there to gossip and be nosey. Your real friends who you actually see and speak to will be the ones you turn to, so why entertain all these strangers?

5: Using facebook to boost your ego and popularity: You see young people all the time posting photos or telling people about their problems as a way of boosting your own egos. They want tens of people to reply and give them a good compliment. Using virtual friends is not a good way to boost your self esteem or confidence. It points out lack of confidence and a need to be accepted. Being happy in your own skin takes many years to find, some people are not lucky enough to find it at all as they are always wanting to be thinner, prettier, funnier, happier…… Learning to be happy in your own skin is simply acceptance. Acceptance that you are who you are. Striving to be a better person is something completely different and this is always something you should try and do but accepting who you are is very important. It’s hard for teenagers as your body and mind is changing at an exceptional rate, however finding yourself on facebook is something that will never have a happy ending. You have to find it within yourself.

Good Rules To Follow Before Posting Anything Online:

  • Is this post going to upset anyone or cause any upset?

  • Is this post written in anger, fear or upset? Posts that tend to be made whilst being particularly emotional often are the cause of the biggest regret. Give yourself a day or two to calm down and think rationally before ever making a decision in life and this includes posting an emotionally charged status.

  • Will this post get me into trouble? One thing about social media is it gives everyone a voice and this necessarily isn’t always a good thing. Some things are not meant for other people.

  • Do other people need to know this? People knowing every single tiny detail about you is definitely not a good thing. You need your privacy to protect yourself.

  • Do I want other people to actually know this fact about me?

Taekwondo students are brought up to be respectful, kind and considerate. Just because you are online this shouldn’t change in any way. You should act exactly the same as you do in the Dojang. Everyone at some point needs to be reigned in, a good way to do this with social media is to think of someone you respect and ask yourself the question would they approve of this status? If the answer is no, then don’t post it.

I hope this helps you use social media as it was intended, a fun way to keep in touch with good friends. If used properly it can be a great tool, if abused, like anything it can get you into a lot of trouble. Use your brains!

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