Use social media responsibly

Published 7:25 pm Thursday, January 10, 2019

don’t know about you, but my experience with social media has been a bit of a Ying and Yang phenomenon.

On the one side, keeping up with friends and family has made life easier, while on the other, there are some qualities that drive up my blood pressure.

And just for the record, because I am a woman of a more seasoned age, I admit most of my quips about social media pertain to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

I know little, if anything, about the plethora of other sites available to spread information.

With that being said, in addition to enjoying viewing pictures of my extended family that live outside the state, I can also appreciate the positive side of social media when it comes to releasing accurate news information.

While I may need a fire extinguisher to put out the candles on my birthday cake, I don’t live under a rock to realize social media is becoming more and more of the go-to source for information.

Our newspaper even has a Facebook page and website.

However, because everyone has access to social media, many of us, unfortunately, may jump down the rabbit hole of believing “fake news.”

Which means, now more than ever, we need to be vigilant in determining when something is fact or fiction.  A lot of the information we encounter is the latter.

For instance,, which is a reliable source of news, posted that during the 2016 election season, ultra conservatives over the age of 65 shared approximately seven times more fake information masquerading as news on the social media site than younger adults, moderates and super liberals.

Social media is also having a negative impact on our youth. According to Forbes and NPR, a new study shows teenage girls who spend time on social media are more at risk for depression.

And what about cyber bulling?

The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was not coined in the age of social media.

Words do hurt.

And while I am a believer in the power of prayer, I don’t know if God intends for us to share every life dilemma on social media.

Just because your twice-divorced third-cousin Jethro has been rendered impotent following a surgery requiring that he and his new wife Mabel are having to rethink their honeymoon plans, does not mean he would necessarily appreciate others knowing all the details of his situation, even if prayer would be helpful.

A post like that might just give poor old Jethro a heart attack, which may be a more appropriate social media request for prayers!

Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay, so in an effort to use it wisely, think long and hard before you post.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart