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A seafarer’s social media guide

A seafarer’s social media guide

Although it is not certain whether improved connectivity is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for seafarers’ mental health and social interactions onboard ship, there are signs that improved connectivity onboard is generally beneficial. There are several social networking sites specific to the interests of maritime personnel. However, seafarers should be mindful on how to use them. Below is a quick guide on how to have a responsible social media usage as a seafarer.

7 things to remember when using social media onboard

Know the company’s guidance and principles

Posting on social media may have a direct impact on Company reputation. Social media guidelines set out Company expectations and recommendations to onshore and seagoing staff when using social media, whether for personal or professional use. It is important, therefore, that seafarers

Read their company policy on social media use
Check if they are allowed to share photos and documents of the ships they work on
Check what they can share, and what they cannot about the company they work for
Ask the HR Department for further information

2. Keep things private

As said above there are many things that should be kept private when using social media especially on board a ship. Let’s clarify some of them

Location and cargo on ship a ship is one of them. Pirates can use such information for targeted piracy, smuggling or theft.
Maintenance work when in dry-dock and/or demolition photos of a ship
Any security arrangements onboard or when in the port
Emergency situations should be handled in a right way in order not to hurt the company’s reputation
Photos with shipmates without asking for permission

3. Set profile settings properly

Whether you are just trying to get more exposure online, connect with your friends and family or find a new job position, social networking profiles are the landing page for your name. Beware that you fill in the basics about who you are and not include details of your private life or your phone number. Always bear in mind that these platforms are great for broadening your professional circles, so place a decent profile photo.

4. Be respectful of other cultures, religions and values

You will eventually interact in some way with a culture that is different from your own. When most people think about culture, their first thoughts involve race or ethnicity. Culture goes far beyond that, however. Different values lead to different behavior, and this is something seafarers should think about before posting on social media. It is important that we try to learn and appreciate these differences in order to work effectively with people from other cultures. That said, it is not recommended at all to post content that is insensitive of a country’s cultural norms.

5. Respect copyright

First and foremost, ensure that your content complies with the laws of the place that you are visiting. Then, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to make sure you have the right to use someone else’s material. Otherwise, check the source and give the right credit and link. Avoid uploading anything which could contravene intellectual property laws (photos, movies, technical manuals etc). The next stage after having post something is to monitor the responses and ensure they are true, legal and respectful.

6. Do not neglect your normal relationships

Suicide rates among seafarers have tripled since 2014. It is very common that seafarers stick to their own personal devices, be lonely and distant. Don’t allow your internet activity weakening your face-to-face conversations.