In the past decade, social media has become a major aspect of everyday life. Many people think of these sites as a modern-day phenomenon; however, some have actually been around for more than 20 years. Six Degree is considered the first recognizable social media site. Created in 1997, it allowed users to upload a profile to connect with other people online.  Nowadays, people use social media for many different reasons. Some of the main functions include connecting with friends, business marketing, and staying up to date with current news and events. When used correctly, social media can serve as a great tool. Consider these 25 Ways You’ve Been Using Social Media Wrong for Years.  Last Updated on February 5, 2020

Sharing without Crediting the Owner

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Yes, it is true, even after college, it is important to cite your sources. Once you hit send on a post, that content is immediately available for public consumption. It’s hard to distinguish which material on your social media is actually your own if you’re not giving credit where it’s due. Whenever you’re unsure whether you should cite the source or not, just put yourself in the artist’s shoes. Would you want someone else to pass something you created as their own?

Sharing Personal Information

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If you’re not sure what your social media privacy settings are, check those right now. Oversharing personal information isn’t just annoying for your followers but it is also extremely dangerous. A good way to ensure your safety is by uploading pictures or videos only after you have left the physical location where they were taken. You should also never share your phone number, address, or any other sensitive information online.

Using It to Complain

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Every now and then, it’s okay to complain on Facebook or Twitter about your horrible day. It’s actually a good way to release stress and help you reflect on what happened. However, taking your frustrations out on social media shouldn’t be something you do regularly. For one, people have their own problems and shouldn’t have to hear about your issues every day. Also, social media should be a place people can visit for positive vibes and helpful information.

Not Fact-Checking

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New publications have been changing over the past few decades. Physical newspapers are becoming obsolete with more and more Americans turning to social media to get their news. As scary as that may seem, ethical journalism is still alive. Companies like Fox and CNN are adapting to the times and are creating social media accounts to post breaking news. No matter where you are getting your current events, it’s always a good idea to fact check with multiple sources before sharing “news” online.

Over-Editing your Pictures

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There are certain times when it’s acceptable to over-edit your photographs. If you’re trying to be artistic or creative, then posting content with a lot of effects can be fun. However, if you’re only uploading pictures of yourself with heavy filters, this could be misleading for your followers. Everyone is different in their own beautiful way. When people overly use these popular filters, it just makes everyone look the same.
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