A survey conducted by the Australian Psychological Society for National Psychology Week 2010 has revealed how social networking is now used by Australians of all ages to keep in contact with family and friends near and far.
There are strategies for ensuring that people’s experience on these websites is positive, and help to enhance their social wellbeing.
If you move to different geographic area or have less time to meet with friends in person, consider communicating with them online to maintain your friendship.
Talk to your friends or family about how to use the sites and read up on the options you have to make your personal information secure.
Communicate with people who have similar interests, organise social events and share information that you are comfortable with having on the internet.
If you are experiencing negative interactions with someone online, stop communicating with them and consider blocking them from access to your profile.
If you feel that you are being bullied by someone, think about how you can prevent the person from having access to your profile and talk to someone about what is happening.
Think carefully prior to posting other people’s personal information, including posting pictures or making comments about them on your site.
It’s easy to make comments about others that can be hurtful or offensive. Think carefully about what you post.
If you think you are using online networking sites too often, think about restricting yourself to a certain amount of time per day or week.
Consider the following: How well do you know them? How did they come to seek to want to be your friend? Remember, you don’t have to accept every friend request.
If your use of social networking or other issues are negatively affecting your life or your relationships, an APS psychologist may help to help.
Phone: 1800 333 497 (toll free)
Website: Find a Psychologist