Information is online, Food is fast, Delivery is Express and Judgments are Instant..! 
 
Our world moves quickly whilst we do all we can to keep up, we strive and feel a need to be connected socially and we mostly communicate with apps not real people. 
 
It’s just over 20 years since social media started however in the last 10 years it’s become the primary focus for many, whether for business or socially we now interact with little or no thought to the consequences of doing so. 
 
We believe In Social Media… 
 
Where ever you are, we can take a look around and see how many people are actually talking to the people they are with, many will be glued to a screen (of various sizes) keeping up to date with their contacts keeping them UpToDate with:- 
 
Where we are. 
Who we are with. 
What we are doing. 
What we are eating. 
What we are drinking. 
How we are feeling. 
 
In many cases actually being engaged with the people we are physically with can be the last thing we put our efforts into. 
 
The Truth, Social Media Isn’t Really Social… 
 
At any event whether with family, friends or business contacts, we should be there to get involved, sadly however in reality we will spend more time on our screen of choice telling our contacts what we are doing, thus missing and enjoying what is actually happening and defeating the reason for getting dressed up and attending the event in the first place. 
The Curse Of Like, Share And Comment… 
 
Engagement is the word of the moment, no matter what stream you use, we are made to feel we must engage with our family, friends, colleagues and customers, get them involved with what we are doing or selling, to do this we strive for likes, shares and comments. 
In every post, tweet or photo we seek to get them most engagement, this will allow us to feel loved, popular, relevant and give us a feeling of self-worth and belonging. 
 
Social Media Companies will send us reminders to communicate with our contacts and tell them what we are up to. Why do they do this? 
 
Make no bones about it the only reason that these companies want us to engage with our contacts is to grow their customer base, giving them a bigger audience to target their paid advertising and marketing at, we are simply the transport and ironically we facilitate this without really understanding and unwittingly assist them to make more and more money at our expense. 
 
It’s Lonely Online… 
 
The reason we have a physical social circle is to allow us to alternate who we spend our time and what events we go to with them, allowing us to share our time with the right people at the right event or social engagement. On our social streams our audience (contacts) are likely to be the same and sometimes they may not be interested in what we are posting, saying or liking, therefore we may get less interaction from them (likes, shares and comments) making us feel less engaged and lonely. 
 
Many of us have used social media so much we may have removed ourselves from real people and ultimately our social skills have suffered, this allows the spiral to start: 
 
We post more in a desperate attempt to get more connections, interaction and feel engaged. 
We adopt the quantity not quality method. 
We get less interaction. 
We are now a hop skip and a jump from isolation, depression and increasing concerns around our mental health. 
 
Does this sound a little extreme? 
 
Social media has stopped us from speaking to real people, in many situations we are just staring at a screen and missing out!! 
 
Not Always Friendly, It Can Be Dark Out There… 
 
If we are lucky our contacts are simple and straightforward, those who became connected after they saw a post they liked, are innocently nosy or maybe just growing their audience and in most cases nothing for us to worry about. 
 
Unfortunately many people may want to connect with us for dubious reasons and if we are already feeling lonely and isolated, we are likely to jump to connect with those people who seem interested in us, which will allow us to feel more involved, engaged and less lonely . 
 
Social media is a hunting ground for Cyber Criminals, Groomers and Trolls, they will only interact with us for their own benefit and unwittingly as we converse with them in an effort to be more connected we will leave ourselves exposed and possibly likely to be exploited. 
 
Keep It Simple And Social… 
 
We cannot ignore that Social Media has allowed long lost Family, Friends and Colleagues to reconnect which is a good thing and we are not saying stop using it, however please proceed with caution, keep it simple and Social, In order to do this we would recommend following these tips:- 
 
Don’t automatically connect with someone who asks to. 
Do a little research to check their intent. 
Keep your answers simple either yes or no until you are happy. 
Don’t correct answers to their questions, this is a trick to learn information about you and use it for their benefit. 
Only accept connections you are really sure about otherwise ignore/block them. 
Don’t tell people where you aren’t, by checking into places you are telling everyone where you aren’t allowing them to see if your house is empty or your family/friends are isolated and alone. 
If you must post pictures, post them when you are safely home. 
Don’t let the social media tell people it’s your birthday, this is useful to know to be able to steal your identity. 
Don’t advertise what you or your friends have to steal in any pictures you post. 
Keep your profile private and minimise the details non contacts can see about you. 
Don’t connect with your friends connections, they may not really be truly friendly. 
Keep your comments calm, avoid anger and don’t leave yourselves open to abuse from others. 
Don’t reply to comments to be smart especially if you wouldn’t say that comment to someone in person. 
 
Most Importantly 
 
If you are asked to post a picture of yourself don’t do it. 
If you are asked to meet someone in person, tell someone before you do and discuss whether it is a good idea to meet them. 
If you do meet someone personally, be sure you should and before you do: - 
Make sure you meet them in a public place. 
Meet in the daytime. 
Someone knows who you are meeting and where you are meeting them. 
If you are asked to go somewhere else with them either refuse or tell someone before you do. 
Leave If you don’t feel safe or happy. 
 
Social Media Has The Power To Connect, Be Safe When You do…! 
 
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