I used to love how my phone gets bombarded with notifications and reactions after posting on social media – especially on Facebook and Instagram. Then, I get to interact with followers on comments and such. However, as these different platforms become more available to everyone and with the internet becoming accessible to many, some changes arise. They say the more positive comments you receive on social media, the more confidence you gain. However, there will always be people who will not let you enjoy those small little things.
Be careful of accepting friend or follow requests on social media.
There will be people who will reply with humiliating jokes, some would even say that those words must be treated just for fun and must not be taken seriously. But, the thing is, people carry their own issues and jokes can never be ~always~ funny, especially if a hidden agenda comes with it. Upon observing people doing those on social media, I started to think, “What if someone did that to me?”
By then, I had started to limit my posting on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve also set some of my posts to be viewed by “only me.” I now only accept friend or follow requests from people I really know. Aside from that, I have also removed people I don’t exactly know from my friend lists. It was funny, though. The only reason I accepted and added them was to boast about how many friends and followers I have to my sister the first time I created the account.
Why did I start putting my social media account on private?
Before, when my account was free to the public, a woman had messaged me. She befriended me and complimented me about how good my photos looked. She offered me a job to work for her clothing shop. The offered amount was also higher than I had expected. Of course, I declined. Because I didn’t really know her. That’s when her true motives were revealed.
She told me that if I didn’t accept her offer, she would edit my photos into something I would be ashamed of. She also said that she had already taken photos from my account and said that many men will be very happy seeing them. At the time, I had composed myself, switched my public account to private before blocking her and reporting her. I told my colleagues about her and they reported her as well.
After a few days, one of my close friends had their photos posted on the said Instagram account. And, many foreign men had started “complimenting” the girl in the photo. Every day, I ask my friends to check if the account I had mentioned posted any of my photos. Thankfully, no photos of mine were ever posted.
Some social media accounts would use your photos to ask for money from your relatives. Some of them would even start a fake online business and trick people into “working” for them.
It’s scary how people can create horrific things from a platform that was created to keep friends and families connected. Those kinds of internet users make us think that even in virtual spaces put us in danger. A lot of them cannot be found nor detected. So, we must continue protecting ourselves. We must limit the access of others to your personal data. It could be the first step that you take on protecting yourself. Blocking people can be a huge help, too. It will lessen the toxicity that you can see on your feeds. Sometimes, sharing too much information about yourself can put you at risk. So, be responsible.
In conclusion, I chose to put my social media accounts on private to experience a quieter virtual life.
May Ann Lorio Leanillo is a Journalism Student from Cavite State University. She loves writing but is still learning and exploring the world of pen and paper. Watching action movies, mystery, fiction, and fantasy genres is what she enjoys the most in her free time. Believes that hard work and determination works over skills.