11 Chapter 11: Navigating Social Media

Chapter 11: Navigating Social Media

“So Much of Our Lives are Now Online…..”

I grew up in a different age.  As a person in their later 40’s the Internet was just a new phenomena when I was your age.  Believe it or not, we used to have to use our land-line phones to call a phone number where there was a bunch of buzzing sounds afterwards and then we could connect. Pictures were very slow to upload, videos almost impossible, and your internet would disconnect anytime you got another phone call or for a multitude of other random reasons.  Gosh, I’m typing this and I feel like a dinosaur!

You likely grew up in this most recent generation where going online and social media were a part of your life from a very young age.  There’s pros and cons to this most certainly.  Probably the biggest con I find for students is when they are younger (and less mature), they may share things online that they later regret.  Honestly if I were of this generation, I probably would have fallen in the same trap.  So what should we avoid sharing?  I found this article on college.grad.com I really like.  https://collegegrad.com/blog/10-things-you-should-never-post-on-social-media

Here are the 10 things they suggest:

  1. Profanity
  2. Abusive Content
  3. “Adult” Sexual Content
  4. Illegal Content
  5. Offensive Content
  6. Negative Opinions about your Employer/Boss/Professor
  7. Drug Related Content
  8. Poor Grammar
  9. Poor Spelling
  10. Threats

I would add to this list personal information at the top.  This is so very important.  Things like your birthdate, address, phone number, and social security should NEVER be online.  Here’s a nice video summarizing these topics.  Here is a helpful story for KHOU Houston News on what you shouldn’t share, and the bad consequences that can arrive if you do:

So fair enough, but what about making friends?  When do you send a “friend” request?  When do you write back?   These are deeper questions that can be challenging.  A good general rule of thumb is always treat someone how you want to be treated yourself.  If someone sent a friend request to you and you didn’t want to accept it, and then a week later they did it again, and then again, and again, how would you react? You would likely become irritated and wish they would take the hint!  What about with messaging on Facebook or Instagram or whatever else you use?  If someone messaged you 20 times a day and you didn’t write back at that pace, wouldn’t you become annoyed?  Always ask yourself, “what if our roles were reversed?”

Communication Exercise:  Good idea or Bad Idea?

Read each of the statements and write next to each if you think it would be a “good idea”, or “bad idea”.  Then, have your partner do the same.  Discuss what you came up with!

  1. Sending a friend request to a classmate you’ve been talking with a lot lately
  2. Sharing personal details about your family to someone you just met at a party on social messaging
  3. Telling someone you’ve never met in person before who found you online your birthdate
  4. Posting your birthdate and contact information on social media for people who are “connected” to you
  5. Posting a photo of you in a revealing position on your feed to make a joke about something
  6. Tagging a “friend” saying something mean about them
  7. Sending a request to connect to a teacher or co-worker
  8. Writing a message to your boss on social media to develop a better friendship with them
  9. Posting a picture of a friend without their permission
  10. Using your work email for personal correspondence

How is Social Media Changing?

Its funny to note the social media is ever evolving task.  Its also interesting that things that were popular just a year ago, are considered dated now just months later.  A key is to not take anything too seriously.  Look at all the change that has happened in such a short period of time!


Email Question #11:

What are your thoughts on social media? What do you use?  What do you like to do with it or why do you not use it?

Worksheet #11

Think about the things you WOULD want people to know about you on social media.  If you could summarize them would they include?


What mistakes have you seen people make with social media?  What have you learned from this?


They say with social media anything you post “you should expect to last forever”.  What does this mean to you?  How can you apply this thinking to what you share?



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Interpersonal Skills for Life and Work for College Students on the Autism Spectrum Copyright © 2020 by Dr. Michael W. Duggan, LCPC, CRC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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