Social Media

The social interaction in which people create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Check out just how large this social universe has gotten.

Modern Social Media is Relatively New…

  • 26% of the time teens are communicating while online
  • 18% of teens are on mobile devices for 10+ hours a day

Social Media Sites are like Bulletin Boards…

Think of a social media site as a giant bulletin board in cyber-space. It belongs to someone else (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, whoever). THEY are allowing YOU to post stuff to THEIR bulletin board. Now, it’s on THEIR bulletin board for ANYONE to see. This information no longer belongs to YOU (as stated in the terms and agreements section)…it’s not private anymore. With the click of a mouse, the bulletin board owner can allow anyone to see YOUR pictures/words THEY now own!

Terms & Conditions

When you signed up for your Facebook, Instagram or other social media account, you were required to agree with their service terms and conditions. However, did you actually read those terms and conditions? And if not, what exactly did you agree to?

If we look at Facebook…

  • For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  • When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
  • When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).

In other words, Facebook can do whatever it wants whenever it wants with the things you post…regardless of whether or not your page is private and even if you deleted the content!

What about Snapchat?

  • You retain all ownership rights in your User Content. However, by submitting User Content to Snapchat, you hereby grant a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such User Content in connection with the Services, subject to your use of privacy settings in the Services to control who can see your User Content.
  • When you send or receive messages, we also temporarily collect, process and store the contents of those messages (such as photos, videos, captions and/or Chats) on our servers.
  • Additionally, we cannot guarantee that deletion of any message always occurs within a particular timeframe. We also cannot prevent others from making copies of your messages (e.g., by taking a screenshot).
  • You should not use Snapchat to send messages if you want to be certain that the recipient cannot keep a copy.

In other words, Snapchat retains the rights to keep your photos and do what it wants with them!


When we post questionable content online, such as drug/alcohol use, inappropriate photos, bad language, etc., we are setting ourselves up for a lot of potential consequences such as:


  • Embarrassment, humiliation
  • Objectification/possible victimization
  • Loss of friends, bullying
  • Feeling sad, depressed, withdrawn
  • Thinking about or actually hurting self/others


  • Employment (37% of employers check a candidate’s social media!)
  • College admission (31% of colleges check an applicant’s social media!)
  • Joining the military
  • Re-living the emotional consequences when old photos/messages re-surface


Once you press “Send” it’s out of your hands. There’s no way you can go to every phone, every computer, every device and every server and get that message back. It’s out there forever and for anyone to see.

What about “Catfishing”?

“Catfishing” is the process of creating a fake personal profile on social media—pretending to be someone else, by using another person’s pictures and/or biographical information.

But how does this happen? These “identity thieves:”

  • Use readily accessible information that is often already available on various social media sites.
  • Use a person’s name, biological information, pictures, etc. to create an online persona.
  • Bully, demean, embarrass, humiliate and harass their intended target.

Catfishing is a form of cyberbullying.

What can I do to keep myself safe on social media?

  • Never take images of yourself that you wouldn’t want everyone—your classmates, teachers, family—to see.
  • Be careful about the personal information you post such as your age, location, school, etc. This information can be used in very negative ways.
  • Check your location services and carefully monitor which apps can access your location. Remember, these apps must have explicit permission from you for anything they do.
  • Never add anyone on any form of social media that you have not met in real life.
  • If you are being bullied online, tell a trusted adult immediately!