Social media has been, for me, a blessing and a curse. I love using Social Media. I love talking to people, meeting new people, and being able to network with people who have similar interests as me. I love the fact that I can have a conversation with a 16 year old millionaire from England, Rackers, Microsoft Execs, and even social media “kings” such as Jason Calacanis. These people are highly talented, and tend to offer some of the best up-to-date information on the web. They’re also invaluable resources of general connection, and conversation.
I’ll sign up for every new social site, and give it a try. I love being able to interact with people in different ways, and being able to share different information. It allows me to define who I am, for others to “dial in” on who I am. It also allows me to network with those who share similar interests, and what’s not great about that?!
However, recently I’ve noticed the major differences in the data I post to each social media site. I posted something on Facebook, intended for my friends and family, asking for advice about career direction and possible relocation. The post was spawned by my emotions, due to the ever closer departure from my family vacation. What I forgot was, I had a client on my Facebook page. He mentioned it to my partner, stating he was a bit uneasy and this threw me off. The conversation was intended to spark intelligent advice, not out of a serious want to leave. I would never desert a company I’ve worked so hard to help build. Ever. You have to watch what you say on social media more and more because even the smallest comment, can be taken the wrong way. You wouldn’t want to live in a glass house. Maybe you would…creeper ;] (Kidding.)
On Twitter, I often find myself having to be 100% socially polite and acceptable, which is fine. People on Twitter don’t want to hear about your complaints (Not constantly, I can handle a little nagging, but if you hate your life, take it to Myspace, or a blog or something.) I use Twitter as an information and professional social networking tool, whereas I use Facebook for my complaints, emotions, and to communicate with family and friends. There is no reason for anything other than useful/social interactions to be on Twitter, at least in my personal opinion. I use Foursquare to “check-in” to large public venues, and Facebook Places to make comments about them. Why do I do that? No idea, but I find it shares just the right amount of data, even though I can do the same thing with both. But, Foursquare does offer incentives, with badges and special promotions….which plays a big part in it ;-].
I recently learned that, when you post a Facebook post to the “Big Wall/News Feed”, you can customize who can or can’t see the post. You can even set it so that only you can see it. I found this useful for having a possibly “drama centered” debate or conversation between two people. It worked perfectly, and I highly recommend clicking that little lock button next to the “Share” button and checking it out.
I’ve learned that social media, can build you, or it can break you. Tread carefully, watch what you post, and think to yourself “Would my boss/mother/father approve of this tweet? Could it be taken the wrong way?” I’ve learned many lessons about social media, and I encourage you to always review your content, even if it’s just 140 characters ;]
If you’re questioning yourself, just don’t post it.
I am constantly trying to better myself, complain less on Twitter, and post useful information. I am even looking for one of those supposed “Social Media Trainers”, as I believe I could greatly improve myself with some pro tips. Communication is something I am currently pushing myself to improve, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. I’m not perfect, but I hope others can learn from any advice I can offer, even if sometimes we don’t take our own advice.
Until next time, inter-webs, looking towards the future.
p.s. Please don’t spell you “yuu” – It bugs me more than anything.