Thursday, December 2, 2010

Face Time

I have friends who live on Facebook and Twitter. Their every thought and every move is chronicled online. I know people who routinely bid their ‘Facebook Family’, good morning and good night. When I was tweeting on a regular basis (or at least trying to), a man who was ‘following’ me would tell his followers daily what he had for breakfast and what he was contemplating for lunch. Really?

I just don’t have the patience for that. I will never forget the relief I felt when I went to a social media seminar and the speaker said you didn’t have to blog, facebook, tweet, get linked in and four square. She said to do what works for you … that day, I canceled my Twitter account and didn’t look back.

I ended up starting another Twitter account to promote my other blog (DivaSoulSista where I do movie and television news and reviews). Still, I don’t live and breathe social media. For those who do, here are a few tips.

Your Friends are Your Friends: I have a handful of good friends. I talk to them on the phone. We email. We visit each other when possible. I’m not an active Facebooker and even I have almost 250 friends! Some of these are friends but a lot of them are acquaintances. If you are using your Facebook to network, be careful about what some of your friends are posting.

There Is No Such Thing As Privacy: Potential employers and current employers are increasingly checking Facebook and other social media. Your drunken weekend, your rants against your ex, your opinions of your co-workers and company are all fair game. See tip number 1. Not all of your friends are your friends, it only takes one to copy and send your posts and pictures to someone else. Almost daily, you hear about people who have lost their jobs due to something they posted on a social media site.

Your Words Can Still Hurt: I recently ran across an article that talked about a friend who had given a gift to another friend. This ‘friend’ tweeted about how unhappy she was with the gift … not considering that the gift giver was a ‘friend’ of hers and could view all of her tweets and posts. And we are all becoming more and more familiar with the reality of cyber-bullying.

Be a Real Friend: I’ve reconnected with high school and college friends and many family members through Facebook and that’s great. But I encourage you to take those connections to the next level. An occasional call or personal ‘let’s catch up’ email can go a long way with making a true connection.

Facebook is great but face time is better.

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