With advancements in technology and the growing number of devices and social networking sites, it’s not surprising that these tools have become common ways in which we connect, chat and make friends. Using technology within our existing relationships or for finding new relationships provides many benefits. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you’re using these tools safely and are aware of the possible risks.
Technology & friendships
Technology can help you stay connected, communicate and strengthen relationships with friends; it can also be a way to meet new friends. However, sometimes people bring the nasty side of their relationships to technology too.
Fights, bullying and breakups that occur through technology can have damaging effects because they are public, embarrassing and difficult to delete or avoid. It’s important to consider other people’s feelings when using technology, and when in doubt talk to the person directly.
Things you can do:
- Check your privacy settings regularly
- Protect your identity by not using your real full name, date of birth or detailed personal information on social media – this will prevent people (like an employer, school or club) you don’t want seeing your social media profile from being able to find it through an online search
- Check sharing and location settings on your phone and turn off location sharing on all apps and social media
- Only add, accept or ‘friend’ people you know and avoid giving out personal details
- Think before you post, send or forward. Do you really want your grandma to see that?
- Treat others how you would like to be treated
- Block and report offensive, abusive or illegal material. Report to the social media platform or website first to remove the content – and if the content isn’t removed you can contact https://esafety.gov.au/ for help.
- Check out www.kidshelpline.com.au/teens/ for more info