Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Over the years, the social media and the cyberspace has evolved to become user-friendly, personalized and easily accessible across different platforms. The internet and the social media has become so personalized that it becomes part of one’s life and become fun especially for young people.

This singular adaptive feature of the social media and the internet gives it acceptance and usage across large age groups; and makes it look & feel safe an environment. But the big question remains: is it that safe?

The major concern for us in answering this question today is to ascertain the nature of the internet and what we send into it.

Try to picture a standard sized swimming pool filled with water. Again, picture yourself throwing coins into the pools at different time intervals. Let it even take years so to say, the coins will still remain there and whenever they are needed, any good swimmer can dive in and find all the coins, with none missing. Draining the water even will not get any of them lost.

So it is with the cyberspace. The internet is such a place as the swimming pool described above.

195239547One thing the average internet user has not found out is that whatever you send into the internet can never be lost or deleted. Yes I mean nothing you ever post on the internet can ever be recalled. Again, yes, your delete key function is not for real.

The internet is one large black hole, and most people are not aware of. It is an embodiment that is not defined by space, whatsoever. I could say it is alive and real to this world, even to the world beyond as time will later prove.

So, whatever you release into this “intelligent embodiment” remains alive in it and could be recalled or retrieved in a hundred or even thousand years to come. That is why users must think about their future while using the internet & cyberspace. The delete key function can delete a file or document from a device but cannot erase the trace it leaves behind. That’s why advance recovery software today can retrieve lost/deleted files form any saving device.

Today, a lot has been made easy through technological advancement and these leaps in time should concern any young person out there using the net.

We now have “wayback machine”, a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet created by the Internet Archive, which enables you to capture, manage and search collections of digital content without any technical expertise or hosting facilities. This means that this company host and manages contents from websites across the globe and can be gone back to in time.

This simply presupposes that in the nearest future [though this, I believe is already obtainable in advanced civilizations], employers of labor can simply get information about stuffs you have posted in the net, which could in turn promote or hunt you.

The government will someday have right to pull off private stuffs you might have been keeping away.

One of the costliest mistake to ever make as regards the internet is to believe it is safe. It is not. As a result, sexting has been on the rise. Sexting is the act of sending explicitly sexual messages or photographs between cell phones. Combining a sensual photo with text messages is creating a sext. Believing it’s a safe zone, many have hidden behind this mechanism to perpetrate evil. But this could only be for a while. All things online are very accessible.

Oversea, many universities have hired professionals to research what prospective students have released on the Internet. Most teens don’t look far enough into the future to actually see the big picture. Their world is immediate & that is dangerous.

Rather than follow the trend of the World as regards social media and the internet, young believers must explore productive ways to engage their world seeking positive ways to contribute excellently to our passing generation.

Consider the internet as an unimaginably large capacity external hard drive that collects information about not just things but people all over the world.

I strongly opine that the internet today, is mostly evolving to house the databases of people from around the world; including their locations, interests, life goals and aspirations, abilities, capabilities, etc. Such that they can be incapacitated at any time.

I fear that our Internet/digital tech companies are doing more than just providing portable and affordable internet services downloadto people around the world. They daily update their databases with your preferences, post and general data for only God knows what purpose.

Early 2013, a friend drew my attention to a warning that most sites will begin to require personal data of internet users when they come seeking information, to gain track of their activities online and most of them are for ungodly gains. I noticed the rapid increase of this demand in the years 2014-2015. Today, this reality is something else.

What should you post online? For me, The Bible’s Book of Philippians 4.8 answers this quiet well. It says: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

The truth is, whatever you should want to post online, on any social media platform should meet the above stated criteria. We must aim to exhort, encourage, grace and improve whoever we come in contact with.

We must bear it well in mind that someday whatever post online will either speak for or against us in near time to come. We should also hold on to the fact that whatever hidden things we harbor on our phones to the satisfaction of sinful nature is not secured no matter how much we keep it secure. Your devices [mostly android] are largely insecure by many instances. Many phones, emails, facebook accounts, etc are being hacked by the day.  Whatever the case, a big advice will be: do not keep personal stuff on your devices, because any grade one hacker can access most of it.

Therefore, Christian Youths must shun all forms of ungodly addiction and explore all means to feed on worthy things that will build and sustain the God-purity in them. We must be determined to stay pure even online. The internet as I have always said is meant to be a tool, one we can employ greatly for our good.

I must say at this point that, we can hardly guard against releasing our basic information to the world, e.g, the government and other agencies through forms we fill and other things. It might not mean anything to the average person now, but it amounts to a lot in the reign of the “strong man”. What will keep us apart is our unwavering faith in Jesus Christ when the time comes.

May we find grace to thrive in righteousness and share the same with our cyber-world.

 

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Every morning, I have my social media routine. Instagram first – it’s my favorite. I open Twitter, check my email and finally Facebook where I mindlessly scroll and swipe, pausing on the stories that I’m most interested in seeing. Sound familiar?

Throughout my day, I would unconsciously open my browser on my phone, type in “f” and hit enter. My phone knows that “f” in the search bar means Facebook. I’ve trained it that well. Then, a month ago I quit Facebook.

To be honest, I was struggling to see the purpose of my scrolling. I would find myself just wasting time and getting lost in the deep abyss of updates, religious rants and cat videos. I would log off and fail to recall seeing anything of value. Yes, it was nice to be “connected.” But the more often I said it, the less I believed it was actually true.

The average American spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook.(1) And among adult users on the social media site, the average number of friends is 338.(2) So if we do the math, we spend roughly 7 seconds per friend (assuming we haven’t blocked half of them because of their political views, baby pictures, or Farmville invitations!)

I suppose this is why I quit. I didn’t need one more excuse to perpetuate false connections with friends. Being a traveling musician, I am learning to value the time spent face-to-face with people. I long for deeper relationships, broader conversations; to know and to be known. It is becoming more and more difficult to cultivate offline relationships in our online world.

Henri Nouwen says this, “What we see, and like to see, is cure and change. But what we do not see and do not want to see is care: the participation in the pain, the solidarity in suffering, the sharing in the experience of brokenness.”(3)

Care takes time. True connection takes time and presence – much longer than the 7 seconds we allot while we are online. Brené Brown defines connection “as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”(4)

In our ever-present need for social connection, the temptation is to believe that it happens online. That by sharing our opinions, favorite selfies and blogs, we are seen, heard and valued. But we were designed for more. We were designed for an exchange. Jesus’ ministry was not only focused on the masses, but also spent intentionally with his 12 best friends.

The night before he was betrayed and murdered, he gave them the greatest charge. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus revealed that connection was an exchange. A receiving of love and a giving of love. Connection is not something we observe, but rather something in which we participate.

Love is cultivated over time. Quitting Facebook didn’t free up a ton of time and I don’t believe it is the solution to our problem with connection. But it is one less distraction I fight against each day. My hope is to be more present in each moment. To love more fully. To care more deeply. To take serious the charge of Jesus, to love the way He has loved me.

(1) Mark Zuckerberg, Q2 earnings call. Reported by nbcnews.com

(2) Pew Research Center, 6 New Facts about Facebook. Aaron Smith. 2/3/14

(3) Henri JM Nouwen, Out of Solitude

(4) Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection.

https://www.weareworship.com/us/blog-2/quitting-facebook

The goal of every interaction is INFLUENCE! This truth has so many been unaware of. Whether you realize it or not, whether you affirm it or not, the aim of every form of engagement, relationship, whatsoever form of contact—influence is the end-game. The higher authority always greets the lower one. The great over the small, in this case.  Anyone, especially the devote child of God who is able to unravel the mystery of influence in any form of interaction will be mindful of what he/she interacts with and even so, to what extent they relate.

You are basically a product of Nature and Nurture. In other words, a product of Heredity (nature) and Environment (Nurture). Heredity refers to the gene interaction of your parents, thus you look like them; while Environmental factors means the influence that accrue from the society one grows up in, upbringing, etc. While Heredity forms the “plate” and “Blueprint” of the “you” that you know; the environmental becomes the pen that writes upon that “plate” or the “operating system” the “blueprint” runs by. This is a basic Psychological fact. The environment becomes the basic force that models the individual’s beliefs, values, norms; therefore breeding attitudes, character, etc. These include the physical, social, intellectual, even the spiritual environment. Simply put, what you read, watch, listen to, interact with forms the broad influence of your life. It will not be farfetched to say you are presently a product of all these things over the years. Those who disagree with this fact do so in ignorance due to the fact that the influence-process happens subconsciously i.e. below conscious awareness.

In fact, the reason why we are encouraged to keep constant proper communion with Christ is that the more time we spend with Him, the more we are transformed to become like Him. (2 Corinthians 3.18). The more He influences us to produce effective change- to become like Him. Why? Influence remains the key function.

Social Media craze has had a serious grip upon this generation over the past two decades. The media and social networks have served as a link to a large populace not only in Nigeria, but of the whole world. Business, investments, industries, etc; all have found blossom through the internet/media/social media.

This exposition does not intend to make useless the value of the media and social networks or denounce them as totally worthless, no! Neither is it to say that believers must all abstain from it. No. But all Believers must come to a stern realization that “the system of this World is not designed to make us succeed”, in fact it is put in place to destroy our faith! This is not a tentative guess, it is a reliable truth. Check the trend of things in this world, make your findings and evaluate. Also, Believers must make a resolve to deal shrewdly with things of this World, especially the internet, media and social networks as is our focus in this dealing. Make it a habit not to lightly believe everything that comes out of the media! For it is highly orchestrated. Learn to sieve whatever you get from the media. Because when addiction to social media sets in, like other forms of addiction, you don’t care whatsoever…you just “wanna” get more of it. Thus we must instill discipline and order as we relate with the social media.

About Influence again, the greater influence the smaller. Even though this might not really matter when addiction sets in…it becomes only a matter of gratification to satisfy the desire to always connect. Influence cannot be seen, it can only be beheld. Its impact is just made manifested. As Myles Munroe would put it, when purpose [of a thing] is not known abuse is inevitable. So when abuse sets in, addiction is not far away, it follows. Thus influence cannot be regulated. If control is not exercised over our relationship with the social media. Believers become the slave to it. And Paul, cautions and advice that we must become slaves to nothing, especially of this world except to Jesus, of whom he is.

Influence as it is, becomes the point of making of actions, attitudes, character, and indeed behavior. We build our values, beliefs and life principles at the “gate” of influence.  We must first greet with the Word daily before we meet the World we live in daily so as to counter this effect as Believers. A question I ask myself as a social media user is: who is exerting the greater influence over the other…the social media or I? I suggest every Believer-social media user must honestly answer that question. I just hope the older generation does not perceive this question to be only for the younger ones who are using facebook, twitter, whatsapp, BBM and the likes of them. This also includes the general media; entertainment media and other forms of media engagement.

In addition, we need to constantly ask ourselves; how do I use the internet (social media) and even more importantly, how does the internet (including social media) use me? Also, how does my does my decisions and goals dictate my behavior on the internet even most importantly; at what point and how does the applications, networking, processes, people I meet online influence me? How is that changing my behavior and as a result, my life?

Is it also true that whenever you come online, your use of these social networks is PRODUCTIVE?

What forms the major INFLUENCE in your life? The Media/Social Media/Internet? Or the sheer and powerful Word of God?

This is my new-found philosophy: that if I must touch the highest Heaven, if I must access the deepest depth; if at all I must access deep secrets as pertaining to the Kingdom; if I must plunge into that ever-flowing spiritual river; if I must tap into spiritual visions in highest realms, deep truths of God,  then I must reshuffle my table of Influence, removing myself from this unreal world that has hijacked the destinies of many and hand over same to Yeshua for constant divine spirit-transformational experience. Jesus must be our daily influence. Greet with the Word of God daily before you meet your World. That’s how you keep in charge.

In all:

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18 King James Version (KJV)

The birth of Social networks gave rise to social media addiction; the introduction of Smart Phones concerted and established this societal-derogatory venom. Quote me anywhere; social media, especially the social networks have done more harm than good to this generation. [It’s to me, first a basic fact.] This might not be because it was meant for harm, but it has been employed for such cause by “the one who rules the things of this World.” The clamor here and there that the internet, as an advantage, unites the World, making it a global village is just one part of the story for the full truth is not been told. The concluding truth about this is that it will only facilitate the establishment of the One-World Government and aide the work of the anti-christ in near time to come. [These are thought for another day, though]; i.e, besides the evil being perpetrated by the Social Media Daily.

I am highly fascinated by mobile technology and cannot hide my sheer appreciation for the advancement and feat being achieved in the media and communication industries lately. But more important than my fascination, is the truth underlying this whole venture. What truth?  That these technology gadgets have been designed to kill you and I, but least have we realized this.

I have followed the specs of the new Apple Corporation’s iPhone 6 and 6plus, which was released September 19th in the US. By 12th September, iPhone 6 have already been pre-ordered by millions of people around the globe. Surprisingly, in the same week of iPhone 6 release, Apple sold 10 million copies of the phone according to an Apple representative. Isn’t this outrageous??? Today, the cheapest you can purchase iPhone 6 in Nigeria is about 209,999 naira. To add to this fascination is the “fantabuluous” Blackberry Passport, of Blackberry 10.3 BB10 make. What a device! It was launched globally in London, Toronto and Dubai on September 24th, 2014, at 599 dollars, then. It sold over 200,000 in 2 days of release and the Number 1 selling unlocked phone on Amazon.com within just hours of release. Now, this is besides other devices such as the Super sleek slim tablets, palm-tops, iPads and other mobile devices that allow us express and easy access to the internet and smooth communication between and among countries, societies and civilization. While we rejoice for these advancements, I am greatly worried for my generation and for my unborn kids. Would they be safe in such a society?

If you took time to follow the preceding trail of talk, all you see is a World driven by intense craving for the things of this World…picture of a society so concerned, and working tirelessly to satisfy its lust for the things of this age. Where is the place of God in our lives?

Therefore, Social Media addiction is the intense dependence upon and use of the various social media/ network. Persistent use, passionate acquisition; uncontrolled use, competitive possession, all constitute social media addiction. You are addicted to social media/ networks when you ‘love it’; when it takes the bulk of you time and resources daily without yielding constructive positive outcome. When it begins to dictate your lifestyle and set the course for your existence. When it ceases your love and captures your heart. When it takes God’s place and time and stands a god in your life; then you are beginning to lose it.

In His narrative, Pastor Chris Delvan Gwamna said “life can hardly exist in a vacuum, we are consistently under certain influences and our urge for props, stuff, adventure, substances alcohol among others is ever present. Our generation is one at risk to be an addict generation. There is no shortage of options to be hooked on; some people are at a point where they are unconsciously developing one addiction, some are currently grappling with one, while some are struggling to get out of one.”

One thing you must become aware of is the fact that: influence is a product of any kind of interaction, whatsoever. In fact, it is the goal of every kind of interaction. This in turn breeds continual dependence upon the “influencing-obect”, thereby giving birth to the addiction circle. Many Christian youths out there are unaware of the gradual subtle influence of the social media and have fallen to the addiction, thus. Unawares, they believe their interaction with the media is good so far.

Just evaluate: how long do you spend online every day? How constructively productive is your time spent online? Do you constantly share your experiences with the social networks? I mean your Break-ups, fights, relationships, even your locations and personal experiences? Gone are the days of diaries. Facebook is now the new World-class Diary. How much do you esteem your phones and devices? How do you feel when you cannot go online for a while? How do you react when you cannot find your phone or device? Do you know why you go crazy? It is not because of your contacts…that is what you always say. It’s because you have wrapped your life around your phone; because it is your new found love. It is because your whole life is in it. If your phone is to be analyzed, it will tell everything about you.

Our Smart phones have been designed to be addictive. Every single activity comes with a notification alert so you are forced to refer to it each moment. These devices have been carefully designed to greatly appeal to users and actively engage us. Highly interactive and easily usable. But the question is this: were they designed to do just what we were told?

“Our generation is one at risk to be an addict generation”. Not just addicted to drugs and substances, but to the media, to social networks and gadgets. To the the internet and the technology of this age. As a result also, to the civilization (beliefs, religions, ideas, gods, etc) of this generation. That is what addiction to the media does. It links us up with destiny-destroying and life-killing agents.

There is only one way out for young believers who want to be earthly relevant, yet heavenly conscious; those who want to strike the balance between interacting with this World and living for God. And that is dealing with the social media addiction.

Therefore:

All things are lawful unto me but not all things are expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

— 1 Corinthians 6.12

download (2)

God grant us grace to overcome. Keep faith!

Social Media…

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Social Media

[Social media] is a tool for interaction and connection, not merely a megaphone to announce the next church program and party. Social media opens doors and opportunities to engage with people who rarely, if ever, step foot in a church building.

                                                    — Clark Campbell

In Opening:
According to the US Census Bureau, the World population is estimated at 7, 045,493, 590 people at the start of 2013. Therefore, there are about 7.5b people on earth. The National Population Commission (NPC) has estimated the current population of people resident in Nigeria to be 167 million as at 2006, with a 2.3% growth rate per annum. If my calculations are right population is estimated to 174, 260, 869 people in Nigeria. According to my estimate, more than 70% of the World’s and Nigeria’s Population respective is exposed to the Social Media.
“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God – it is the Social Media”.
– Philip Dimka
Psychological studies have revealed that nature of which humans are part of is characterized by interaction/relationship/Socialization. Since Bible times we find that man has always sought to connect and relate first to Divinity (God) and to man. E.g. Adam and God; Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel, etc.
Thus; the world is connected, we are all linked up in a sense; hardly can anything be achieved is isolation of self – for nothing has ever been achieved so. Therefore, the need for Socialization, even Social Media/Network.

SOCIAL NETWORK/MEDIA
The main way that large number of people receives information and entertainment, i.e. T.V, Radio, News Paper.
The word “Social” means connected with society and the way it is organized. Also, connected with activities in which people meet each other for pleasure. On the other hand, “network” means a closely connected group of people, etc, that exchange information. it has also been defined as a number of computers and other devices that are connected together so that equipment and information can be shared. – Oxford Advanced Learn Dictionary 6th Edition.
Therefore Social Network is an interconnected medium/avenue where people (call over the world) meet to share information, entertainment basically for pleasure. in other words, a device or platform that allows you connect with others and share information/entertainment – “online of offline” is a Social network/ Media.
Social Networking is the act of engaging the social network.

CHRISTIAN YOUTHS
These are young people who have the mind of Christ; they bear/share his attitude Phil 2.5. They follow or are followers of Christ.
WHY THE STUDY?
“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God – it is the social media” – Philip Dimka.
We cannot live in a world and not involved with it, be productive within it. Therefore, to be productive, we need to interact with the world. 1Thes 4:11, 12. So there is no just how we can avoid the social media, directly or indirectly. We have to be Heavenly conscious and while Earthly relevant.

SOCIAL NETWORKING/MEDIA
Top 6 most popular Social Networking sites as at December, 2013.
1. Facebook – 750,000,000 monthly visitors
2. Twitter – 250,000,000 ;; ;;
3. Linkedin – 110,000,000 ;; ;;
4. Pinterest – 85,000,000 ;; ;;
5. Google+ – 65,000,000 ;; ;;
6. Orkut, meetup, mylife, etc.
This is just outrageous! Imagine all these people online! This definitely includes you and I.
Top Mobile Social Networking/ Media
1. BBM Television
2. Whatsapp Radio
3. 2go Newspaper
4. Baddoo Cable networks
5. Eskimi, ect Satelite networks
These have penetrated the hardest of barriers; they have broken the strongest or resistance. They are a sure tool of Christian evangelism.
Social Networks/Media have become an addiction amongst Christian Youths. Young people spend long minutes, even hours online or attached to the media… doing what? Is the question that needs to be answered and answered well.
Should Christian Youths be engage in social networking? Another mind bugging one…
PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT IN SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR A BELIEVER
1. Ecclesiastes 12.13
The Christian Social Networker must first perform his or her duty of meeting God first, before he/she is qualified to meet and interact with the world. This is the Whole duty of man- to devote himself to His maker. only on God is man fit to interact with His world. All we do online is under the heavenly radar and will be accredited to us before God. Many people find the social networks and media a place to hide and do all sort…but that’s a deception of the devil. Take roots first in God- downward and bear fruits upward.

2. 1 Corinthians 7: 29
The Christian Social Networker must know that Time is short. Eph 5: 15-16. And thus we must make proper use of the available time of grace given us by God. First, by not wasting it by spending long stupendous hours online; and making proper use of time spent interacting with the media world. When the believer has this in mind, abuse of these social network/ media is avoided.

3. 1 Corinthians 7:29,31
The Social networker must not be deeply engrossed and therefore lost in the activity! As actors in this world, we must not be too involved with this world that we get lost in it. This is because the days are evil. Eph 5:16b. the Bible in 2Peter 2.8 made it clear how Lot the just man living among the unrighteous in Sodom, was tortured in his soul daily with what He saw and heard of their evil and wicked deeds. Lot lived among them. The more we deeply engross our self with the things of this world our righteous souls ll suffer corruption. You will bear me witness of what the media presents us today. We shall separately discuss that.

4. 1Cor 10:31, Col. 3: 17-23
The Social networker must interact in a godly manner, he/she must post, share and promote Jesus, even online. This is because Christ is our identity and we must live Him daily. Because, if we are ashamed of Him or deny Him online, he will do same to us before His Father.
These guidelines and even more will guide the young believers in his/her interaction with the world through the social Network/Media. 1Corin 7:31 draws our attention to the fact that we are in this world thus we ought to interact with it – to make benefit of it but importantly must not be “engrossed” in it or “abuse it”. Why? It answers that the time is short and the days are evil. Short: we might be lost in it as time might catch up with us; evil: it can corrupt us and turn our hearts against God.
As a child of God therefore, you must answer these questions: what do you do when you come online (2go, BBM, twitter, facebook, etc)? Does it equal that which you spend with God? What kind of programs/ films do you watch? Do they teach you about God? Are they pure, excellent, worthy of a believer? We can go on and on. As we look forward to more series about this topic, I will like us to close this introductory part with Philippians 4:8.
Finally brethren, whatever things are true…honest…just…pure…lovely of good report. If there be any virtue…praise, thinks on these things.
God keep you.

Dear Friend,

We haven’t met yet IRL (in real life), but I’ve seen you online and…
we need to talk.

You are growing up in a world where privacy is an old-fashioned concept. Almost everything you do is recorded, watched or monitored somehow.

We have cameras on our computers and cell phones, in stores, parks and on the highway. We check in on Facebook and Foursquare and whatever other check-in app you choose. Your phone goes everywhere you go, and the GPS on you phone always knows where you are.

Invasion of privacy used to mean my brother read my diary or the teacher intercepted a note about a cute guy and read it in front of the class. Times sure have changed.

Maybe you’ve been on social media since before you were born. (Did your mom or dad post those ultrasound pics on Facebook or MySpace or Flikr? I thought so.) Your whole life is there.

Yes, this is your world. It seems normal, I’m sure, because you’ve never known anything else. Maybe that’s why you don’t think twice before posting that crazy video on You Tube, or using those words (yes, the dirty ones that make your mother blush) on Twitter, and “OMG, did she really say that to him on Facebook?”

You’re in a relationship with social media and “It’s Complicated.”

Most of your parents don’t get it. (Sorry parents, it’s true.)

Well, let me tell you the hard truth that you don’t like to think about:

People are watching.

That creepy guy at the mall?
Yep, he’s online and he can read your Twitter stream.

That jerk you wish you never met?
He can Google you and get your life story in a flash.

Yes, Google indexes your Facebook feeds and your tweets and lots of other things you forget about 5 minutes after you post them.

The Internet never forgets.

I heard on the news that the FCC (people who set the rules for the Internet) have decided it’s OK for people to do social media background checks.

That means that 10 or 15 years from now when you apply for that really cool job that you’ve been dreaming about since your were, oh, the age you are right now, the people thinking about hiring you can pull up all those old message you forgot about and WOW…won’t they be surprised?

Is that what you want for your future you?

What about right now?

Would you stand up in front of a million people today and do that sexy dance or act like an idiot or talk about how you drank too much when you weren’t old enough to drink at all? Really? 1,000,000 people? What about 1,000 people? Or even 15 people? Probably not.

Well, tweet about it and you have the power to reach a lot more than 1 million people. PEOPLE. YOU. DON’T. KNOW.

Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. They are. Ask former Rep. Weiner. Or Gilbert Gottfried. Lots of people saw their messages, and look where it got them.

It’s not a secret.

Maybe your mom and dad don’t know you are on Twitter. You went behind their back and created that account, so no one will ever know except the 1579 friends you’ve collected on Facebook (including the ones you’ve never met).

How many of those people are who they say they are? You can be anyone you want to be online, right? Do you really know your “friends”?

My point is that you need to be CAREFUL online.

I’m not that old, but the world sure has changed since I was a kid. People used to talk about being “street smart,” which meant that you knew a thing or two about life and weren’t likely to be taken advantage of or do something that could get you in trouble – and I mean real trouble, not just the kind where you get grounded for a week or have your phone taken away.

The new “street smart” is “social smarts.” There’s way more trouble online, just waiting for you if you’re careless. And you might not see it coming.

I’m not trying to scare you, but wake up.

Protect your privacy online. Be careful what you post. Think twice.

Would you want your grandma to see that? Then it probably shouldn’t be online.

It’s really hard to undo social media mistakes. Mom and Dad can’t bail you out. You can’t buy your way back from a bad reputation. Poor judgement will follow you, because the Internet never forgets and yes, people are watching.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of social media. It’s a great tool for sharing, communicating and staying in touch. But any tool, when it’s misused, can create a lot of damage.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Have fun, but be careful out there. Please.

“Nothing has so touched entirely, the soul of human existence; after God- it is the Social Media/network.”

— Dimka Philip