Social media has been much in the news recently. Facebook and its ancillary companies ,YouTube and Instagram, in particular are now under much more pressure to take active responsibility for the content they provide a platform for.

The live streaming of the tragic events in New Zealand last week followed rapidly in the wake of a number of critical stories already in the press about how the tech giants must be more active in controlling the content of what is posted on their sites.

Last week at Stoke, we had an assembly about social media etiquette. Whilst it is essential that the role of the big tech firms evolves quickly, it is just as important that each of us manages our own interactions online.

We covered not only the danger of strangers online but also looking after our own mental health and how to avoid the hurt we can give to others by making critical comments, which on reflection would have been much better either left unsaid or discussed face to face. 

We looked at how public figures are increasingly being called to account for comments and pictures they posted many years ago but have now come back to dog their careers.

Young people are certainly becoming more ‘savvy’ about how to look after themselves online and it is true that social media can also bring many benefits. However, in this modern age, it is essential to learn fast. A single mistake may never truly be forgotten and could turn up in an employer’s Google search many years from now. An unkind and ill-judged comment can cause an online conversation to spin out of control, leaving everyone in the conversation, including the writer of the comment, feeling upset and unhappy.

I thought, therefore, I would leave you with four top tips given by a university student on how to manage your social media presence online.