Over the holidays, many celebrities took to their social media accounts to post that they would be taking a break from their social media accounts in order to focus on more important things. Ever since the rise of social media, users and haters of it alike, have disagreed on whether it is a useful or dangerous component of our lives.

As a social media company, we have a deep appreciation for it as a tool to grow small and large businesses, and further the vision of many great individuals. However, much like cars, electricity and fire, social media is a tool, and it is how we use it that makes it a good or bad asset in our lives.

Here are 7 Common Issues with Social Media, and easy ways to avoid or solve them:

  1. Addictive Properties. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of social media, but just like with things like alcohol and sugar, it has to be used in moderation. Limiting time on social media sites can help put their use into perspective, without bypassing their positive attributes.
  2. Online Dependence. With smartphones and tablets keeping the internet at the tips of our fingers, we are more likely to become dependent on social media sites, constantly updating our status, reading others’ statuses, neglecting family and friends, and ignoring those who are directly in front of us. In cases like this, it’s important to remember that there is a time for social media, and a time for offline moments. Successfully differentiating between the two ensures that neither your business, nor your personal life will suffer.
  3. Time Management. Social media has the ability to suck us into its world while the rest of life just keeps moving, and before we know it, hours have passed in what seems like the blink of an eye. Just as it’s important to set up a certain time for your social media time, it’s also advisable to have a plan of action once you do log in to your social media accounts to ensure that you don’t end up wasting time on there that could be used for other more important, and productive needs.
  4. Losing Focus. It’s easy to lose focus when on any social media site, but when you need to be on there for extended periods of time, it helps to take frequent breaks in order to recharge, and re-establish your focus as well as, assess your productivity and how to best proceed with the use of your time.
  5. Cyber Bullying. While most use social media sites to promote businesses or connect with friends and family, there are far too many people who take advantage of the freedoms on these sites that can lead to dangerous circumstances, such as cyber bullying. The best way to deal with it is to sit down with your children and explain the responsible way to use social media, and to ensure they know that they can come to you with any questions and problems in the future.
  6. Relationship and Privacy Issues. Many relationships have been hurt due to social media, and privacy is not something often considered when using social media because most people think it’s safe to post photos of themselves, their families and their loved ones for others to see. However, there is other information on there that can be used against you by a nefarious person, including your email address, your password and other information that you might not even realize you are sharing, such as your location when you check-in at  your favorite restaurant. The solution to these problems in simple, as long as they are kept in mind when using social media sites.
  7. The Fakers. It’s no secret that there are hackers and spammers using social media sites in search of their next victim, including the awful crime of identity theft. Some might even go so far as to create a profile using your name and photos, and friend your friends, convincing them that they are you. To avoid being the victim of these types of crimes, never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know, and if someone you thought you were friends with sends you friend request, make sure to confirm with them that they are who they say they are by checking with the friend if it really is them.

Social media a fun way to spend time and communicate with a lot of people in a very short amount of time. However, keeping it in perspective and using it responsibly will ensure that this tool is used in a productive and positive way that benefits everyone.