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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Things You Should Know About Using Social Media and How It Can Affect You -Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

Technology has made it easy for people from all over the world to communicate and express themselves in real time with family, friends, co- workers and other sources that you cannot otherwise connect with in local settings. 

 Users pick up new friends fast and easy by common interests, through mutual friends or an association with jobs and other resources.  The important thing in maintaining a successful social media network is by monitoring it for unwanted content and removing those that create negative energy for you and others that can read all the feeds and posts available in your network.  The most important thing to know is, you are in control of your social media and should practice common sense when allowing others into your space because if something goes wrong, you are responsible for it.

Getting tagged in photos or being unwillingly dragged into drama can be a problem.

 We all have the ability to avoid or easily weed out those that act inappropriately by simply declining a request or removing problematic people from your friend list. This will ensure a peaceful environment without all the drama or being tagged in images that you would rather be left out of.

 Customize Your  Privacy Settings
 Making sure you set your privacy settings and alerts for requests can help you intercept being tagged into drama, insults or having your name associated with embarrassing and distasteful pictures and jokes, that can potentially harm your reputation.

The intent of social media is to stay in- touch, inform and be informed on what’s going on with those we connect with.
 Depending on the content being sent or received will determine how useful it can be to you. Having a voice and being heard is an important factor in being social, as well as sharing interests amongst peers. Gaining fresh ideas  and inspiration on self improvement is another reason social media can be a valuable tool that can lead to invitations to fun events or even a great job if you are struggling to find one.

If you are Looking for a job you might want to reevaluate how you use social media

With the high jobless claims across the country, it is difficult enough to find a job you can truly say you are happy with. Social media is a great way to gain job opportunities by referrals from friends. If you present yourself in a manner that is not respectable or professional, no one is going to put their own name and reputation on the line for you.

 Do you take the time to think about what you post and how it may be received by someone?

Social media is a great way to self promote and showcase your skills, but the downside is not thinking before posting personal opinions or negative content. It seems that some people forget the intent of social media and how their posts can backfire on them and cause others to see them in a whole new light.

No one but drama kings and queens appreciate foul language laced statuses,  insults, bullying or fights being broadcast to everyone with access. It only makes you and the other participants look like imbeciles. Even those that like to egg on the drama with a simple “like”. It is best to avoid being entangled in that mess.

Some things you should ask yourself before posting statuses, images and information on your social media sources are: Will my boss and/ or co-workers see my posts?  If they have access, would it be something I would share in a work environment?

Personal information that is inappropriate or negative can cause loss of friends, interfere with a person finding a job or even influence an existing boss in his or her decision making to promote you or even give you a raise.  Reputation is everything and should be a concern to all when posting comments in a feed or voicing an opinion about an issue or what someone else has shared. An educated and polite opinion is the best input you can share with others. This contributes to a healthy and positive communication platform.

What would my parents think of the things I post? If you have children, how would you feel about them seeing your posts? Will it affect how others see them? Could it embarrass or cause harassment or bullying to those your care about?

Remember, you represent yourself, family and friends.  Integrity and self respect go a long way.
Are you blurring the lines between personal and business content? If you have a good job where professionalism is a valued asset, will your personal opinions, images or profile description make you look bad?  If you’re social media network blurs the lines between casual conversation, negative views and your job or professional self promotion. You may be missing out on opportunities that can help you advance in life. It is best to have a secondary social media account for friends outside of work to prevent you from having issues moving forward as a professional.

Why should I refrain from being myself with my friends?

This question is one that can get a person in a hot mess and even cause a loss of friends. If you cannot make a mature decision, then perhaps social media is not for you. There is a reason that these platforms are made for people 18 and over.

 Sure we all have the freedom to express ourselves and let loose, but there is a time and a place for everything. If you’re social network consists of buddies that like to have fun and a good time, be yourself and have fun but always be mindful of how you act and what you say. Not everyone can appreciate foul language all the time or someone constantly crying and complaining about their lives or gossip about others. Once you have created a bad vibe, it is hard to redeem yourself.  You can find yourself being an outcast in your own network of friends if you are not careful.

Casual content vs. (TMI) Too Much Information

Casual content can also be of concern because not everyone is interested in your day to day issues and problems. No one likes to see rants and ignorant comments while scrolling down their feeds or seeing a drunken photos, cleavage shots or images of you in a bathing suit posing in a mirror with a kissy face in every picture you post. Whoever started that trend should get smacked in the kisser.  Some people need to seriously evaluate why they post such things.  If you are a person that values  self worth, showcasing your body  does not attract the right “friends” and the good friends you have should tell you to put something on and use social media more appropriately unless you are a swimsuit model and you are promoting clothes or a magazine you are in. Like Sweet Brown’s famous line goes…Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Family issues due to social media can be a big problem.

It can be an awkward Thanksgiving with the family if you conduct yourself in a foul way on social media that they have access to, and can cause rifts and issues that can be ongoing and never get resolved. It is important to keep the peace and make sure what you post online is something you would actually share at the dinner table or it can lead to upsetting the family and feeling like the black sheep roaming the wrong pastures.

I’ve had issues with my own family members I’ve allowed on my personal social media site that feel the need to bitch and moan or insult others.  It irritates me and my reaction has always been the same. If you can’t be positive you have no place sharing space on my network. The information I share and to whom is only available to those that value my opinions and share common interests and respect for themselves and others.  If they catch offense to my disagreement of their actions on my social media, then perhaps they should reevaluate the garbage they posts and learn to keep it clean.

How do you let someone know about themselves without bashing them for all to see?
It is also important to know the best way to confront someone without dragging everyone else into it. A simple personal message in their inbox can help steer them in the right direction.

Aggressive Last Resort Action and boot
This is not recommended for all situations but when you have given someone more than one chance to remain on your social network and they continue to abuse the privilege…. voice an honest public opinion about that person’s  ongoing drama with a well  versed reality check and embarrass them with an opinion that others on your network agree with. Many times you will find that people will complain to you about someone else’s actions but never step up and confront them themselves. That’s when you speak for them all.
 If the person in question does not stop and wants to challenge you, your last resort is a hard swift kick off your network to silence the offender.  It is never fun to publicly shame someone for their actions but sometimes, a person needs that kick in the ass to make them reevaluate what they say. Besides, they didn’t have a problem offending everyone on your network in the first place. You take what you dish out and if you don’t like it, don’t act up.

Are YOU using your social media the right way?
Those that use social media to rant and only voice personal opinions without offering any valuable content to others are self absorbed. Chances are you are using social media in the wrong way.
A reality check for you and for your future generations to come
 A reality check for those that abuse social media is that nobody really cares exactly what you do on an hourly basis. What draws people the most is positive feeds, inspirational quotes, lighthearted humor and invitations to events and activities that are fun and entertaining. If you don’t have that to offer, it is time to move away from the negativity and mundane comments because all it does is devalue social media and give it and you a bad reputation.

What does your footprint look like?
 Another concern should be a pesky little thing called an internet footprint that your children’s grandchildren will be able to access in the future.  Your negative online conduct and behavior shouldn’t be a stain of your family’s history. You may want to Google yourself or someone you care about to see what images and information you find. You may find something you weren’t expecting to see.

One Last Piece of Advice.
 If you have a child using social media, it is best to school them on conduct and monitor their behavior or you will end up with a well deserved shock if you come across your child behaving badly or potentially causing un-fixable damage to their reputation and yours as a parent.

WARNING: NOT for the faint of heart

Take this article link as a wake- up call and example of the extremes that can occur on social media if  kids are left to their own devices and not educated on footprints and social media conduct.

My teenager brought this story to my attention. Needless to say, I was shocked, disgusted and appalled. I did not watch the entire video because it was way too disgusting but what I wondered was, where were her parents and what do they think of their daughter’s post on Facebook that went viral.
 To me, this is a major cry for attention. I even questioned her mental health and if she is getting the help she needs.

In closing of this article, I applaud my child and every positive person on my social media list for being responsible and recognizing behavior that can be potentially damaging and irreversible.

 Be an educator not just to yourself but to those you are responsible for, and social media will be a positive experience for years to come.


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