Home / Teen / Media / Social MediaSocial MediaWhat is Social Media?Social media are forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content, such as videos.It is estimated that 95% of teens have mobile devices and spend 7-9 hours a day on social media with 93% using the internet and 60% post photographs with 75% viewing or sharing. 97% play games and 2/3rd have encountered hate speech or bullying (geekwire) (social media today) (pewresearch).Check out this video from common sense: To give you an idea of the scope and number of people on the internet, here are some of the most popular social media sites and approximate number of users worldwide:Tik Tok1 billionSnapchat210 millionFacebook2.27 billionTwitter336 millionYouTube1.9 billionInstagram1 billionTumblr642 millionAs of January 5, 2020, there were 4+ billion internet users spanning the globe (websitehostingrating)56% of all internet traffic is from an automated source such as hacking tools, scrapers and spammers, impersonators, and bots. (websitehostingrating)It is estimated that there are around 77 billion social media users around the globe (websitehostingrating).Snapchat usage is highest amongst the Gen Z population (53% regularly use it). (Statista)Wow! That’s a lot of people! For additional information on internet usage check out these sites: (hostingfacts). (Internetworldstats). What should I do if I need help? First, if you are in immediate need, talk to a trusted adult like a parent, guardian, teacher or counselor. You can also contact the web site to report the problem. If more serious issues arise, you feel unsafe or in danger contact local law enforcement. Remember that once someone has your information it is very difficult and most often impossible to retrieve or stop inappropriate use by others. What are some dangers of social media? Using Social Media can be fun. You can connect with family and friends, share experiences, pictures and events, keep up on the latest news and post your own news! You have to be careful though, there are dangers too. You have to use caution when things like body image, sexting and other issues of social media come up that could create obstacles and consequences you may not have thought about.Check out this video from amaze: Read on to learn about more dangers of social media, and strategies to stay safe!Be aware that once you hit send, the text or image is no longer private or in your control. Once posted on social media sites there is no way to retrieve or delete your image or message should someone choose to share what you have posted. You might be very surprised of stories of ordinary people who have had their online images and messages “stolen” and used for purposes they didn’t intend.Never add strangers, people you don’t know, to your friend list. Not everyone online is honest. Things like catfishing, impersonation and even voyeurs constantly troll social media sites looking for vulnerable users to exploit. Make sure you know who you’re really sharing your information with!Never share personal information like your address, phone number or social security numberTerms and conditions of social sites allow them to legally have access to whatever you post and to access your location. It is easy for anyone, especially hackers, to access when something is posted online.Be aware that personal information can be used in negative ways.If you’re bullied online, tell someone.Emotional consequences-embarrassment, humiliation, possible victimization, loss of friends, bullying, depression and self-harm can occur.For more tips on internet safety visit: (puresight). Future consequences- Be mindful of what you post online, because it could come back to haunt you:A Career Builder survey found that 70 percent of employers admit to using social media to help them determine if a candidate is right for the job (prnewswire).54 percent of employers reported that they decided not to hire a candidate because of their social media profiles (prnewswire).Nearly half of employers check current employees’ profiles, with over a third of employers having sanctioned or fired a worker due to inappropriate content (prnewswire).For education, 36 percent of college admission staff searched their applicant’s digital footprints (Kaplan).Catfishing- Catfishing is a form of cyberbullying. It is when someone creates a fake profile on social media and pretends to be someone else. Remember, not every one of those billions of people who are on social media with you are honest and you might not really know who you are interacting with. Catfishers use materials that are often already available on media sites, they can manipulate images, use a person’s name, pictures and other information to create a fake online personality. Catfishers may bully, demean, embarrass, humiliate, blackmail or harass. If you feel you are the victim of online bullying talk with a trusted adult.Ok then, now you know how wide spread social media is, consequences that could affect your life, present and future, and how to keep safe while online.Now you can share, tweet, connect and have fun while protecting yourself and those you care about!Links/resources for teens:https://centerstone.org/teen/http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/https://www.healthyteennetwork.org/https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/internet-safety.htmlhttps://staysafe.org/teens/ Additional resources: Visit our Sexting and Cyberbullying sections to learn more.