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10 Social Media Tips for Teens

Akilah C. Thompson

Akilah C. Thompson

By Akilah C. Thompson

Social media is one of the most powerful forms of communication teens and adults use today.  Here are some tips to help you use social media safely and effectively.

1.     Respect yourself.  ­  Show off how great you are with class. You are a brand and should represent yourself accordingly on social media.  Make sure your photos are appropriate.  Do not post or text photos of yourself naked, dressed provocatively, or making obscene gestures. Avoid uploading anything you would not want your grandmother to see on the front cover of the New York Times! Social media plays a major role in building and ruining personal images. Be wise! 

2.     Post with positivity - Keep it cool! If you don¹t have anything good to say, don¹t post. Avoid ranting or arguing with people on social media and posting when you¹re upset. You may be upset with your mom but it would be very disrespectful to share your anger with the world. What do you think college recruiters or future employers might think about you disrespecting your mother on social media?  No Bueno!  Share positivity and good vibes on the web.

3.     No ³twerking² videos please! ­ Just because you see a trend starting on social media, doesn¹t mean it is something you should do. Do not post videos that portray negative images of you, your friends or family involving profanity, sex, nudity, crime, drugs, discrimination, violence, lewd gestures, or anything that could be offensive to the public. Keep your video posts kid friendly. You don¹t want a video of you intoxicated and ³twerking² inappropriately with friends to surface while you are campaigning for President in 20 years.  Definitely not a good idea!

4.     Know your followers ­ Allowing strangers to follow you can be very dangerous. Even if their account looks harmless, be aware that there are many fake accounts where creeps follow their prey. If you don¹t know them, ignore them and don¹t let them follow you. Also, use privacy settings to protect your accounts from being viewed by strangers. Proceed with caution!

5.     Be careful what you post for likes ­ You don¹t want to end up ³instafamous² for something that could destroy your future.  Keep your posts positive, dignified and smart. Social media is a great way to build a web presence for future endeavors.  Don¹t compromise your future for ³likes² or ³followers.²  Make your mark on the web, the right way!

6.    Play nice ŠDon¹t cyber bully! - No one has the right to harass anyone based on their sex, race, age, orientation, personal beliefs, values, etc. The impact of harassment is heightened and can have deadly consequences when acted out over the Internet. Avoid engaging in cyber brawls on twitter and status face-offs on Facebook. If you have a personal issue with someone, keep it off the Internet. If anyone is saying things about you on social media, report their account and let a relative know.

7.     Think before you post.  – Nothing is ever truly deleted, so be very sure about what you post before you hit the ³post² or ³send² button.   Once you post a picture or a status it is stored on the site¹s server and can normally be retrieved even if you delete it from your profile. So, be smart and post with care for your future!

8.     If you see something, say something! - Report anything inappropriate. Block or un-follow people that post negative comments on your timeline, make you uncomfortable or harass you in any way.

9.     Manage your use wisely ­ Too much of anything can become a bad thing. Is social media keeping you from getting work done? Try putting time limits on your social media usage to make sure it is not impacting your productivity.

10. Don¹t post your every move  - Leave some information to share with your real friends and family over the phone. Your best friend would probably want to know you and your boyfriend broke up before the whole world knows via your relationship status change.  Also be careful sharing info when you are going out of town. You don¹t want to alert a potential burglar that you will be in the Bahamas for a week with your family.

As a teenager it is important that you are aware, informed, and understand the risks that come along with using social media.  Remember to protect yourself, censor what you post, and chose the crowd you associate with wisely.

About Akilah C. Thompson:

Akilah C. Thompson is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of North Carolina A & T State University where she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Business Economics. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, Certified Life Coach, Licensed Zumba Instructor, and Inspirational Speaker. She is the Founder & CEO of her trademark company ACT Inspires Inc and nonprofit, Generations Inspired Inc. Akilah is also a model, actor, and author. Her life goal is to inspire and empower others to be Ambitious, Courageous & Talented.   For more information, please visit Act Inspires.

Garden Festival Planned at Victor Valley Museum

Sustainable landscaping and edible gardening are the focus of a Garden Festival planned for the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley on Saturday, March 29, 2014. The festival, which will include presentations and resources from local organizations, is organized by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program. The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Festival activities are included with paid museum admission; lunch will be offered for an additional fee of $10.00.

Keynote speaker Dona Jenkins, the UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener Program Coordinator, will kick off the program at 9:00 a.m. speaking on the topic of How to Become a Master Gardener. Presentations on “What’s Bugging Your Plants,” “Companion Gardening,” “Edible Landscaping/Drought Tolerant Gardening,” and “Container Gardening” will follow at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. respectively. The “Container Gardening” program will be offered in both English and Spanish.

Master Gardeners are community volunteers who join with the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) with a mission “to extend research based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of California.” Master Gardeners have given over two million hours of volunteer time since the program’s inception in California in 1980.

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) has been helping people solve their agricultural and horticultural problems since 1913 when Extension Agents (now Farm Advisors) supervised “Victory” gardens during World War I and II. They have helped agriculturalists and home and community gardeners ever since. In addition to serving the needs of agricultural industry, UCCE also supports research and education in the areas of youth development and family and consumer sciences, using thousands of volunteers to extend the research based information and knowledge to its California clientele. This is accomplished through partnerships with growers and others in the agriculture industry, with nutrition education programs, with 4-H Youth Development programs, and with the various “Master” programs such as Master Composter, Master Naturalist, and Master Gardener programs.

The San Bernardino County Master Gardeners also plan to hold a Garden Festival at the San Bernardino County Museum’s main facility in Redlands on May 31.

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student). Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669.

Katt Williams Live at Citizens Bank Arena

KATT

He’s been gone for a minute, but now he’s officially back in action. Acclaimed comedian, Katt Williams, made a comeback at the Los Angeles Forum this past New Years Eve. Now he is making his way to the Inland Empire and will be making people fall out of their seats in laughter on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 8 p.m. at the Citizens Bank Arena. Doors open at 7 p.m, and parking is included in ticket fees. Tickets range from $29 to $109. A group of four is $100 plus fees. This is a show you don’t want to miss! So get your tickets while you still can. Visit Citizens Bank Arena’s website to purchase your tickets today!