Friday, September 24, 2010

CHAPTER NINE: Face to face with Facebook

If you live in 2010 the internet and social media is a part of your life. We have gone from a phone on the corner in a booth to cell phones to kids having phones and clubbing together on sites like Myspace and facebook. Twitter and Digg and others are all forms of what we call social media.

Now the question comes up about the use and what this new way of getting in contact with other humans is doing to us long term. It is good or bad? Are we killing real people to people or face to face contact? Is there a way to cope with this new media or will it destroy us?

All good questions and many more are asking with every passing day. I use these sites to market books and things for my business but i can't help to have personal mixed in to this bag as well. Most will use it for personal use and to connect with friends and strangers that are now friends just because facebook said they are.

Here is my thinking.

The first thing is we all know people and friends in a sort of way. We hang out, go bowling or see a movie and maybe ice block down Simplot hill. We know what we know through conversation and experience. But we also have ME time. Time where it is just me with my own thoughts and now these thoughts are online for everyone to see.

We find out things about friends and family we would otherwise never know. Things we might like and others we won't. were we ever meant to know each other this well? I wonder if we are getting to know each other a little to well.

I know that it is hard to be "friends" with real friends and family on facebook. We want to have some things hidden, some things just between us and the strangers we know on this weird land of the online marketing mix of crazy things told. Do i really want my mom to know what dumb thing I did today or every date I go on and how it went? Do I really want a church member or a close friend know that i really think their car is a lame color and only a idiot would drive THAT!?

We will say anything on a status and there is this pressure to say something cool or clever. Some thing to make us look good in front of the world on facebook. Are we a creeper or a friend hog? Do we fit in and it seems we are in high school all over again.

As we adults try to fit in we tend to have no stop to our status updates. We respond to every argument and but in to conversations and carry on in a immature manner. We have all done it and it is so hard not to jump in the middle of something just because it is there. So how is this good for us? how does this help?

It does not and in most cases if we do not ask like adults it can cause bad things to happen in relationships, not facebook ones but the face to face ones. We say a dumb thing it grows and in a day we have a post a mile long and piss just about everyone off. How do i know this? Well I only speak of things i know of...

No matter what we think of facebook or its member social media outlets. The thing we all know and hate is not going away. Therefore we must manage it and learn to use it and be adults. My wife and I went through and "cleaned out" some "friends" and cut the ones that we didn't want to have see our every little detail of our lives and the ones that never had anything good to say.

So rule one if you want to late the facebook run in one piece: Be uplifting and fun. Don't have posts telling everyone that you have a gun to your head once again and you are going to pull the trigger and your life sucks. we all want you to just do it so we all can move along with our lives... no really, be you but hold off on things that will be a bummer to everyone else. I BLOCK YOU... i hide you so what is the point?

Rule two: If someone you know is weird and you never knew it or they think something you had no idea they thought or they are a snob and you were blind to it. Just be nice and say nothing. Now if this weird person you call a friend begins to bash you or something thy should not by all means step in... but hold off if you can and jump in the mix only if you feel like taking it to the mat.

Rule three: Don't be to open and out there. some things are personal and keeping that in mind will help to keep your life simple. If you had a hot date or woke up to find you wet the bed, that might not be facebook worthy if you know what I mean.

Rule four: Think. I know... it is hard and might hurt but take a moment and think about what you respond to and what you say. This is a great time to be a help to others, a friend in the real aspect.

Rule five: lighten up. If you take it easy and don't jump on every living band wagon you see things might be better for everyone in your "friend" list. think about the reason you are on facebook. Is it to see grand kids or just to hang out. Are you there for business or pleasure. Remember who you are talking to and think about what they are there for. If we all cut each other some slack things might just be fun and the fights would go down.

In time facebook will be another Myspace. The older step sister is now all but dead and soon FB will be replaced with the new better model. This technology is not going away and we as social media consumers need to learn to adapt and work withing the walls of this world online. Maybe more of us will take the time to meet our online friends, if we did we might learn some more about each person and be better off for it.

Oh... and please stop the pictures of yourself in the mirror or holding out your camera phone... that was so last year Myspace... get with the times!

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