4/12/2014

Everyday Writing - Social Media

A lot of time can be spent or lost, depending on your perspective on social media. It's interesting to note that most people spend less than 30 seconds on the homepage of any website, but they spend an average of 20 minutes at a time on Face Book. Okay--I'm guilty of spending too much time on FB, but with family and friends spread literally around the world, it's a great tool for staying in touch. However, the abundance of social media has numbed many of us to what's really appropriate to share. The safety of virtual reality allows us to be rude, way too opinionated, downright foolish in what we write on our walls and the comments we leave on friends' posts. I've witnessed some ugly verbal brawls on Face Book which are disappointing and hurtful. Here are some tips to consider before pressing the "post" button on Face Book.

1. Learn about the security features of Face Book and make sure you check them from time to time. Face Book loves to change the options on a regular basis. If you only want friends to see what you're doing on FB, make sure you've selected the correct privacy setting. There are other options as well, so take the time to learn to ensure you understand how to protect your privacy.

2. Exercise self-control.  Over-sharing is a huge temptation. Whether it's a constant update of what you're doing every moment of the day or countless photos of every activity, try to hold back. Your friends will thank you.

3. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that growing up. But, it's true. Of what value are ugly, rude comments on a "friend's" wall? Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't give you the right to tear them from limb to limb verbally. If you feel strongly about something that's in direct conflict with their comment, for heaven's sake use the private message feature if you must comment at all.

4. Be positive and funny.  Who doesn't love encouraging words and a little humor? People who share life's embarrassing moments, happy events, or a good word for the day are at the top of my list. I really don't have time for people who constantly gripe about life----oh the great injustice of it all. Good grief! Get a grip! Negative comments suck the joy out of life, so find something good to share.

5. Stay away from politics. One of the biggest downers on social media is the constant barrage of political comments. First of all, politics has never solved anything or made the world better. Period. Talking politics online or in your living room usually leads to heated discussions and hurt feelings. It's an important topic and politics certainly affects our lives, but let's be congenial and respectful. If you can't, start a blog and share all you want. Who knows? You might get a huge following.

6. Control your wall. Sometimes we make a comment that spirals into an out-of-control discussion. Don't be a pushover and let it continue. You have the power to delete the post, private message the offender and tell him or her to cease and desist. Words are powerful and can do a great deal of harm before you know it. Why would you want to promote that?

7. Be safe. Don't announce your travel plans. Women, don't announce that your husband will be out of town. Don't post your street address, social security number, or other identifying information. Face Book is not a secure environment. There are plenty of bad guys trolling for that kind of information.

8.  Options. We all probably have a few people we wish weren't our friends on Face Book. So what's the right thing to do? You do have the option to "unfriend." If you want to be more discreet, you can simply unsubscribe from their postings. To stop seeing a person's posts in your newsfeed, click on the  "v" at the right of one of their posts and simply choose to "unfollow." Within minutes, you won't see any more posts from that person. You can also report abusive or offensive posts as well.

Used correctly, Face Book can be an excellent way to stay in touch. The ability to show support for friends going through a tough time, to celebrate weddings, the birth of grandchild, or the host of other good things in life is wonderful. The bottom line is to use your verbal powers for good and not for evil. Happy posting!

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Positively encouraging

4/12/2014

Everyday Writing - Social Media

A lot of time can be spent or lost, depending on your perspective on social media. It's interesting to note that most people spend less than 30 seconds on the homepage of any website, but they spend an average of 20 minutes at a time on Face Book. Okay--I'm guilty of spending too much time on FB, but with family and friends spread literally around the world, it's a great tool for staying in touch. However, the abundance of social media has numbed many of us to what's really appropriate to share. The safety of virtual reality allows us to be rude, way too opinionated, downright foolish in what we write on our walls and the comments we leave on friends' posts. I've witnessed some ugly verbal brawls on Face Book which are disappointing and hurtful. Here are some tips to consider before pressing the "post" button on Face Book.

1. Learn about the security features of Face Book and make sure you check them from time to time. Face Book loves to change the options on a regular basis. If you only want friends to see what you're doing on FB, make sure you've selected the correct privacy setting. There are other options as well, so take the time to learn to ensure you understand how to protect your privacy.

2. Exercise self-control.  Over-sharing is a huge temptation. Whether it's a constant update of what you're doing every moment of the day or countless photos of every activity, try to hold back. Your friends will thank you.

3. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that growing up. But, it's true. Of what value are ugly, rude comments on a "friend's" wall? Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't give you the right to tear them from limb to limb verbally. If you feel strongly about something that's in direct conflict with their comment, for heaven's sake use the private message feature if you must comment at all.

4. Be positive and funny.  Who doesn't love encouraging words and a little humor? People who share life's embarrassing moments, happy events, or a good word for the day are at the top of my list. I really don't have time for people who constantly gripe about life----oh the great injustice of it all. Good grief! Get a grip! Negative comments suck the joy out of life, so find something good to share.

5. Stay away from politics. One of the biggest downers on social media is the constant barrage of political comments. First of all, politics has never solved anything or made the world better. Period. Talking politics online or in your living room usually leads to heated discussions and hurt feelings. It's an important topic and politics certainly affects our lives, but let's be congenial and respectful. If you can't, start a blog and share all you want. Who knows? You might get a huge following.

6. Control your wall. Sometimes we make a comment that spirals into an out-of-control discussion. Don't be a pushover and let it continue. You have the power to delete the post, private message the offender and tell him or her to cease and desist. Words are powerful and can do a great deal of harm before you know it. Why would you want to promote that?

7. Be safe. Don't announce your travel plans. Women, don't announce that your husband will be out of town. Don't post your street address, social security number, or other identifying information. Face Book is not a secure environment. There are plenty of bad guys trolling for that kind of information.

8.  Options. We all probably have a few people we wish weren't our friends on Face Book. So what's the right thing to do? You do have the option to "unfriend." If you want to be more discreet, you can simply unsubscribe from their postings. To stop seeing a person's posts in your newsfeed, click on the  "v" at the right of one of their posts and simply choose to "unfollow." Within minutes, you won't see any more posts from that person. You can also report abusive or offensive posts as well.

Used correctly, Face Book can be an excellent way to stay in touch. The ability to show support for friends going through a tough time, to celebrate weddings, the birth of grandchild, or the host of other good things in life is wonderful. The bottom line is to use your verbal powers for good and not for evil. Happy posting!

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