The average adult now spends more than nine hours per day consuming media via screen, including smartphone, television, gaming or e-books. Twenty percent of that time is dedicated to social media. As too many of us have found out the hard way, all this time online can come with a price. As we click, scroll and post into 2017, protect yourself and your kids from these social media pitfalls.
Heed the Top Seven Ways Using Social Media Can Get You Fired
More employers are looking at social media to screen potential candidates and monitor employees. Over 90 percent of employers use social media for recruiting, and three in four hiring managers check candidates’ social profiles before an interview. Maintaining a professional social media profile for your chosen career can help you get that dream job as well as keep it. Twenty-eight percent of employers have fired workers because they spent too much work time on social media, and 18 percent because of an offensive post. Here are the top seven social media no-no’s for employees:
Make racist, sexist or other offensive comments
Complain about your job or your clients
Share confidential information
Post something inappropriate on company social media
Use personal social media when you should be working
Post drunk photos from work gatherings
Broadcast your job search
Excess Screen Time Equals Health Issues
Screen time, whether in front of a computer, tablet or smartphone, can contribute to health issues in adults and children alike. Many hours spent in front of screens are causing an increase in headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and eye strain.
Staring at a smartphone also creates what doctors call “text neck.” As a person bends their neck to look down at a phone, the added weight causes pressure, pain and strain. Here are some ways to keep your screen time (and your children’s) in check and your body healthy:
Schedule children for regular eye exams.
Take frequent breaks.
Adjust for proper alignment. A digital screen should be centered and positioned about 4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches from the center of the screen to the eyes (for an adult), 18 to 26 inches for a child.
Use anti-glare screens or position screens to avoid glare.
LCD and high-res screens are easier on the eyes. Screen brightness should be adjusted to fit the surroundings.
Blink frequently to keep your eyes moist.
Parents can visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for guidance on how to balance lifestyle with digital media and create a personalized family plan.
When Social Media Turns Anti-Social
Many people can navigate a healthy social media presence with intelligence and sense, but some are struggling to stay connected while staying safe. Kids are more likely to share personal details without thinking about the consequences, and connect with strangers who may be predatory. Recently, anonymous messaging apps like Kik have come under fire for allowing minors to message with strangers without alerting parents. Check out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) OnGuard Online website for free online security tips and resources.
Finally, the most important way to protect your kids from unsafe online behavior is to keep the lines of face-to-face communication open. Talk to them about the potential dangers and encourage them to speak to you if they ever feel unsafe online. As reliance on screens increases, so will the need for honest, IRL (your teen will tell you that means “in real life”) conversations about what can or should be shared.