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Top Tips & Warnings For Users Of Social Media

By September 25, 2012Blog
social media spying

Following on from the previous two articles about my work with Taylor Herring for UKTV, below is some of the information discussed by myself on about 15 radio stations in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The ‘Covert Report’ conducted by UKTV’s channel Really, to mark the premiere of their CIA drama, Covert Affairs, uncovered some amazing statistics and truths about social media spying and lying! 

When you use social media for spying it can bring up a whole host of issues.  Social media usage itself can do so too.  For this reason it’s well worth reading these following tips.  If you know of someone whose social media usage is getting them down, then share this article with them.

  • There are lots of mind games played on social media between friends, family, “frenemies”, people attracted to one another (either in real-life or purely online), and business associates.  It can be quite depressing, infuriating, irritating, and a recipe for relationship problems, whoever the relationship is with.
  • We have to remember that social media is not real life, it is the version portrayed by its users.
  • Beware of what you post on social media and the message it is conveying.  You might think you’re showing your ex how much you’ve moved on with a sudden rush of updates about how happy you are, but you may inadvertently end up showing them that you really haven’t moved on at all!  Similarly, your social media behaviour may be telling the world that you crave attention or are superficial, insecure, jealous, selfish, bitter, shallow, or any number of things, but you may think you are telling the world how great you are!
  • Don’t let social media entirely, in isolation, influence your opinion of others.
  • Don’t be offended by how people behave with you on social media unless it mirrors how they behave with you in real-life, offline.  In isolation it is not a fair representation of them or your relationship.
  • If you have to frequently snoop on your partner on social media then it is a sign that you need to address the underlying reasons for the lack of trust.
  • Social media can act as a catalyst to breaking up a relationship that isn’t going to last anyway, but it can also be a catalyst to breaking up a relationship that could have lasted longer.
  • It can be best to get to know a prospective or new partner offline before you join them online if you are the sort of person that is easily sucked in by the content posted on social media.  This allows time for the romance to build naturally and avoids unnecessary issues of jealousy and misunderstandings, etc.
  • When someone online seems better suited to you and more attractive than your partner at home, remember that you only have a tiny insight into the real them, if any at all, depending on how they use social media.
  • It’s easier for people to flirt online than in real-life because it is far removed.  Some people simply enjoy this and have no intention of taking it any further; others will take it too far.  If you’re in a relationship already, beware of how enticing towards adultery social media can be, if you’re going through relationship problems or simply that way inclined.
  • Social media allows for innocent flirting that the person may not be able to experience in real-life which can be very seducing – don’t confuse this as an indication of your feelings for them or their feelings for you as it’s simply not reality.
  • Social media is a bit like World of Warcraft, but it’s free and so even more accessible.  What I mean by this is that, at the very extreme, people can lose touch with reality as the line blurs between real-life and the world on social media.
  • It is possible that the feelings of intimacy that we have conditioned ourselves into feeling during the years of using text messages, is becoming subconsciously associated with the same finger action when tweeting and doing status updates and sending private social media messages via our smartphones.  This is one reason we can become sexually drawn to people on social media because it can feel very intimate, just like texting can.  It’s probably also a reason people accidentally get themselves in hot water by posting messages on social media, forgetting they’re up to something secretive and that they are about to blow their own cover by posting in a public place.

The UK Premiere of Covert Affairs is new and exclusive to Really, Wednesdays at 9pm (Sky 248, Virgin 267, Freeview 17).

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