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Social Media

While social media sites and apps have normalised the sharing of content and personal information online, we need to be careful about what we are seeing and sharing.

Sometimes we can be exposed to harmful or inappropriate content that makes us feel sad or angry. People might post things online that you find upsetting or disturbing. Just remember, not everything you see online will be real.

Did you know?
Algorithms in social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok run constantly to try and curate the ‘perfect’ feed for every individual. Unfortunately, this means that anytime someone watches a video or likes a photo that could be linked to distressing material, more material like this will appear. This makes it harder to escape harmful or upsetting content.

Everyone deserves to feel happy and in control when using social media.

Here are some tips:

Check your privacy, safety and location settings.

Carefully consider what information is available to others in your posts, who is in your follower list, and what restrictions you have in place. Consider restricting comments, messages, or certain words. Find out more about privacy and safety settings.

Use blocking and reporting features.

Make sure you know how to access and use the blocking and reporting features in your online spaces. Find out more about blocking and reporting features.

Think about who you follow.

There may be accounts you follow that potentially encourage unhealthy or triggering behaviour for you. If this happens then it may be time to unfollow them. You could also mute accounts if you don’t want to unfollow them completely.

Think about who you’re talking to.

Not everyone is honest about who they really are online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share your information with them. Speak to support you trust if someone or something makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Find out more about online grooming and blackmail.

Think before you post.

Avoid posting or sharing anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, friends, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, including sharing nudes, then you can easily lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it. Find out about sharing nudes.

Limit screen time.

It’s easy to lose track of time. Take breaks, set a timer and be honest about how long you are spending online, or it could affect your mental health and wellbeing.

Think about your health and wellbeing.

Some online behaviour can become a roadblock to other health promoting activities. Know how to create boundaries and keep your own wellbeing a priority. Find out more about positive digital habits to practice.

Get support and report

Get Support

Police Service of Northern Ireland

If someone or something is making you feel scared, threatened or distressed, report it to the police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Trusted Adults

If you are worried or concerned about something, please make sure you speak to an adult you trust.


You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it’s better out than in. They’re here to support you.


If you are in distress or despair and need someone to talk to, you can call lifeline free on 0808 808 8000, or visit the website.

INEQE Safeguarding Group

For resources and advice on social media and apps, check out.

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