Social media has become a part of daily life for countless people, with some estimates placing the total number of active users across all platforms at a mind-boggling 4 billion. Whether social media app you prefer to use, no one can deny how incredible it is that we can connect with anyone through the Internet.

But that doesn’t mean social media is all good. As recent years have shown, there are growing concerns over how these platforms can be used for spreading misinformation, doxxing, and even cancelling public figures who may not deserve it.

Recent Social Media Storms in Singapore

That said, social media can also be used for good, such as holding people accountable for their actions. Recently, in Singapore, we’ve seen examples like Phoon Chiu Yoke, who was caught repeatedly breaking COVID-19 protocols, and Tan Beow Hiong who shared racist videos on her YouTube channel being called out.

Even then, while the social media storms surrounding these individuals were started with a good reason in mind, encouraging such behaviour is also dangerous as things can spiral out of control fast.

Thus, it's important to use social media responsibly. Here, we provide a few quick tips on using social media apps to embrace diversity, share information, and draw attention to causes that matter to you responsibly.

How to Use Social Media Responsibly

Develop good online habits and avoid getting swept up in controversies by doing the following:

1. Support causes you care about

Social media is incredible because it gives everyone a voice. If you want to share a cause that’s important to you, don’t be afraid to raise awareness by sharing your story. You can also encourage people to donate or put together an informative post with resources that help educate others.

2. Resist getting caught up in the moment

If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably heard about Cancel Culture. For every movement like #MeToo which is undoubtedly for the better good, there are many other instances where online mobs identify the wrong person or go too far in their pursuit of justice. Always remember to think about potential consequences before posting anything online.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Whether it’s a famous social media influencer or your colleague, it’s easy to feel down when you compare your life to someone’s social media feed. It’s important to realise that people usually only share the best moments of their lives online, creating an unrealistic representation. The same applies to media trends. With new trends popping up every so often, it is crucial to understand that these are temporary, and will soon be replaced by another. Instead of buying into these media trends and spending money on them because of FOMO, embrace your individualism and revel in the freedom that comes from being unrestricted by social convention.

4. Be mindful of your private information

Having an active life online can be satisfying. But you want to be careful with the information you share online as you never know how it might be used against you. Whether that means keeping your address private, blocking access to your photos or vlogging with safety precautions in place , think about how someone with malicious intent could use your posts against you.