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Using Social Media to Stay Connected

service member using cell phone

Source: U.S. Army photo by Timothy L. Hale

Social media provides great ways to connect, interact and communicate with friends and family while separated. Through social media, you can strengthen existing relationships and develop new ones regardless of your location.

Ways to Connect with Your Friends and Loved Ones Using Social Media

Facebook

  • Share real-time updates in your profile status
  • Send direct messages
  • Share photos and videos
  • Join groups or pages linked to your unit or squadron
  • Like or post positive comments on friends and loved ones posts and pictures

Twitter

  • Tweet real-time updates in 140 characters or less
  • Use hashtags (#) to follow a specific event or idea
  • Link to other twitter accounts using the @ sign followed by their handle (twitter name)

Skype

  • Have real-time conversations using free video-conferencing tools

Instagram

  • Share photos with loved ones following your account
  • Like photos that friends and loved ones post

Keep Yourself, Fellow Warriors, Friends and Families Safe Online

Defense Department (DoD) social media policies require that personnel follow specific rules to make sure that the information they post does not compromise operational security. Here are some ways you can safely and securely keep in touch with your support networks online:

  • Stay informed of DoD, service-specific and unit policies
  • Make sure your operating system and web browser are up-to-date
  • Keep safety in mind when sharing information online
  • Stay current on privacy policies for each of the social networks you use
  • Avoid sharing things like specific dates, casualties and locations of events. It could put you, your peers, your family and our national security at risk
  • Be wary of mobile apps that make note of locations in photos
  • Keep electronics safe and locked when you are not using them
  • Keep your passwords in a safe place and change them frequently
  • Ask a friend if you need help learning how to use social media

You Are Your Friend’s Biggest Support

You can also use social media to support and encourage your fellow service members and family. Examples include:

  • Send a supportive message during a time of need
  • Share photos with friends while they are away
  • Keep your family up-to-date about your life while apart
  • Send birthday messages to friends and family
  • Share helpful resources on your social media profiles
  • Join peer groups to stay connected

Connect with fellow warriors on the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter page, and through the Real Warriors app. Staying connected can help boost resilience and strengthen your relationships, especially during times of separation or transition.

If you think a loved one is experiencing psychological health concerns, consider using social media to share resources such as the Psychological Health Resource Center. The Psychological Health Resource Center allows anyone to speak confidentially with trained health resource consultants 24/7 by calling 866-966-1020, by using the live chat or by emailing resources@dcoeoutreach.org. If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1.

Additional Resources

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