Social Media

Social Media is not just about using Facebook.

Social media is about participation and could include being involved in any or all of the following ways:

  • Leading – placing comment online that other people might want to read
  • Following – finding a person who is interesting to understand their thoughts
  • Consuming – listening to or viewing a range of social media
  • Creating – making content that is loaded to a social media site

Here is a table of recent research of Australian Social Media participation.


(excerpt from website with further discussion: click here)

Social Media Sites

Here are some examples of Social Media grouped loosely by type Click here for more detail:

  • Social Networking – Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tinder
  • Microblogging – Twitter, Tumblr
  • Publishing – Wordpress, Blogger
  • Collaboration – Wikipedia
  • Photosharing – Flikr, Pinterest, Flipboard
  • Videosharing – YouTube, Vimeo
  • Virtual Worlds – Second Life, Farmville
  • News Feed / Social Bookmarking – Digg, Delicious
  • Group Buying – Groupon
  • Review networks – TripAdvisor, Yelp, Zomato

Social Media Concerns

Social Media is used by many but few recognise the risks involved in using this media.
There are major concerns about private information being used by others as the 'price' for using a 'free' social media service.
If you wish to understand a little more about the privacy issues click here
If you want to see the Facebook data policy click here

  • Privacy – some sites encourage disclosure of personal details
  • Permanency – foolish behaviour that is visible to others (potential boss, new friend…)
  • Bullying – inappropriate and hurtful language and threats
  • Stalking – inappropriate communication with intent to injure
  • Obsession – spending lots of time online rather than with ‘real people’
  • Mental Health – spending too much time with social media can disturb sense of self
  • ‘Group think’ – no one in the group questions decisions or behaviours
  • Copyright – material posted may be used by others without permission
  • Narcissistic – self-absorbed people seeking validation
  • “Fake News” – unreliable sources repeated in social media warps societal views

Value of Social Media

While there are risks associated with using Social Media, there are also some benefits.
Careful use can minimise risks and get value in the areas listed below:

  • Support and learning
  • Sharing experiences
  • Variety of opinions expressed – seems to be more varied and open than the past
  • Enjoy mutual interests
  • Express yourself
  • Enrich your experience of special interests
  • Entertainment value
  • Social change value
  • Business communication

Despite all the hype, Social Media can be considered optional. A lot of the hype is driven by the Social Media platforms (ie suppliers) such as Facebook. They have a vested interest in getting people to disclose personal information which is then sold on to other businesses for the purpose of marketing. Their business income depends on the use of your personal information, and there have been many serious privacy breaches in social media.

If you believe you will get some value from it, then by all means use it. However you do not have to apologise if you do not use any or only use a selected part. Do not be swayed by FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or social anxiety that drives many of the younger folk to use social media.

Seniors and social media; Some research from the USA click here

Here are some of the terms used in social media explained:
Click to download

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