Responsible use of social media at sea
Social media can help crew can remain connected and uplifted; provided it is used responsibly
A seafarer is often socially isolated for their long periods at sea. Prevailing mental health issues plaguing seafarers emphasise the severity of having no social support. Social media might just be the saving grace till the ship docks for signing off. Using social media to remain in touch with family, friends or former work associates is a good way to be updated on industry trends. Yet there is always a drawback to it.
We are all overwhelmed with the rise of fake news, misleading sources, satirical content, clickbait and alternative facts. Reckless use through spam sharing can pose serious implications that affect a company’s reputation. Below are some pointers how one can use social media responsibly:
1) Be mindful of company’s regulations
Be aware of the company’s stand on social media – what can be shared and otherwise, even if it means on the personal front. All content are subject to interpretation and misrepresentation. A viral post may not be factually correct. Blind resharing may subject you and your company to costly implications.
2) Keep it private
Privacy is of paramount importance on social media because of crew and business safety. Revealing location and cargo onboard can put the vessel at risks of piracy, smuggling or theft. Photographs of security personnel, maintenance work in dry dock or even demolition works are not to be posted.
3) Present yourself correctly
Regardless of your objective; enhancing online exposure for job opportunities or plain networking, social media can serve as your own landing page. Be cautious about how you profile yourself, especially if it is for professional purposes.
4) Be respectful towards religion, cultures and values
Social media is a public space for people to congregate. There will be a variety of users in the same industry, across continents and time zones, with differing views. Graciousness towards different cultures and views will strengthen the camaraderie between users.
5) Honour copyrights
The internet is flooded with poignant material; from photos to quotes. Have the decency to credit the source where you borrowed the material. Remember your behaviour on social media is not just about you, it involves your company’s reputation as well.
6) Do not substitute real relationships with it
It is a norm for people to socialise in the cyber domain – even form close cliques. In extreme cases, social media takes over an individual’s life. The same can be detrimental onboard. Remember your fellow crew members welcome some face-to-face interactions. Do not allow social media to weaken your real relationships.
Crewing Online app has a social media platform designated for seafarers, multiple worlds within one space. Share your thoughts, moments and connect with like-minded individuals. It can also be your door to the next career opportunity.