Tag Archives: Facebook

How Holiday Blues Copes With Social Media

Does looking at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts around the holidays bring you joy or bum you out? If social media adds to your holiday cheer-great! If not, read these top coping tips.

Holiday Blues Coping Tips for Social Media Users (and Others)

  • Get Real – Your friends are posting pictures of their wonderful outings, vacations, and family gatherings. When you’re alone and stuck at home, you may be tempted to fall into self-pity, or compare yourself to others. Don’t assume that what you see on the surface is the whole picture. The smiling family photos can’t capture the family dysfunction, holiday stress, and life drama that go on behind the scenes. Don’t believe that what you see on the surface is the whole picture. You have no idea of what lies underneath, appearances can be very deceiving.
  • Get Determined to be Happy – Everyone has issues and money can’t buy happiness. Problems are relative – a spoiled brat can get as upset about something trivial as a needy child can about being hungry. It’s up to us to decide how happy we want to be. We shouldn’t let our happiness be dependent on things or other people. Make up your mind to be happy regardless of whether or not things are going your way. Acceptance and gratitude will go a long way in helping you to be happy.
  • Get Grateful – Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do. If you have a roof over your head, clothes, heat, and food to eat, that’s plenty. Your health may not be perfect, but if you’re able to attend to your own bodily functions, think, see, hear, talk, walk, use your hands, remember those who are lying comatose or six feet under.
  • Get Hopeful – We have little power over things outside ourselves. We have to accept that after we do our best, the rest is left to forces beyond our control. If you believe in God and trust Him to take care of you, you can have hope that all will be okay. If you’re not sure or doubt there is a God, you can remember that nothing stays the same forever. All it takes is one thing to happen one day, and you can see your whole life change overnight. You never know when that day will come, it may even be tomorrow. But if it isn’t tomorrow, don’t lose hope that it may be the day after, or the day after that, or after that.
  • Get Out of the House – If you’re sitting in front of a pc during the holiday season, chances are that you’re not getting sunlight and could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For those of you in cloudy climates during the winter, you might ant to investigate light therapy products or build your own light box. If the social media posts aren’t helping your mood, take a break from the sites.
  • Get Out of Yourself – Sometimes helping others is the best medicine for what ails us. If you’re up in your head and it’s a bad neighborhood to be in, thinking about others is a great way to escape our negative thoughts. Look up a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. If you can’t donate money, clothing, etc., you can ask about volunteering. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when people less fortunate surround you.
  • Get Exercise – Exercise is a great ay to rid yourself of stress. You’ll also be helping your overall health, as well as burning off those extra calories in holiday treats.
  • Get Sleep – We can tend to overdo around the holidays. Be sure to plan ahead so you can budget your time effectively and get proper rest. Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress and make it more difficult to manage. You’ll look and feel better when you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Get Sober – Consuming alcohol as a coping mechanism can wind up making you feel worse. Alcohol is a depressant and hangovers aren’t fun. When our judgment’s clouded, we can say and do things that have negative consequences. Pouring liquor on top of your problems won’t help them, and may wind up only adding to them.
  • Get Detached from Conflict – You know certain people are going to be unsupportive or push your buttons. Now is the time to avoid the people that have a toxic effect on your mental well-being. People tend to fall in one of to camps. They either are positive and uplift you, or are negative and bring you down. Decide who belongs to the latter camp and avoid them like the plague. Sometimes we have to deal with them, like when they’re family members or co-workers. Find ways to diffuse the conflict. For example, come up with some neutral responses, such as “I can see how you would feel that way” or “let’s discuss that another time.”

Final Thoughts

I hope you find these tips helpful. If not and you want to vent, feel free to leave a nasty comment. That’s fine with me if venting gets rid of your holiday blues. If there’s something you’d like to see on the blog next year, feel free to make a suggestion. I wish everyone the best in the new year.

Social Media Engagement – How Much Time is Needed?

There are differing opinions about how often you should post on social media sires like Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn when you want to promote your business. Advice can range from once a week to multiple times a day. What’s the right amount? What about personal profile posts?

Posting on Social Media Business Pages

Based upon various studies and articles on the subject, Twitter seems to be the platform that requires the most engagement, with multiple tweets daily being suggested. Regardless of how often you believe you need to be posting to your business pages, even if it’s just once a week, one thing that’s agreed upon is that your posts need to be informative and add value. Even if you’re spinning an article or curating existing content, rather than writing totally original content, this takes more time that just posting a link to another page. Your comment on the post often needs to be formatted and have hash tags. The are tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, but you’ll still to come up with content, add imagery, which needs to be optimized with an alt tag and description, etc. I’m not even factoring in the time it takes to create original images, slides, and video. How do you find the time?

Just like anything else that needs to get done, you need to make time for your priorities. There’s only so much time in the day, and sometimes proper time management calls for delegation. A top executive may need to devote more time on other business matters and find it cost-efficient to delegate social media engagement to others. That’s not a problem, but what about the small business owner without the funds to hire social media help?

Social media content writing requires proper time management, discipline, and organizational skills. I find it best to schedule my blogging on a certain day of the week. Occasionally I don’t always meet this goal because I’m putting work for others ahead of my own, but I do my best to make the time and stick to the schedule. When I can, I write an extra article to have in reserve for the weeks when I’m really crunched for time.

Posting on Social Media Personal Profile Pages

I spend all day in front of my computer, and much of it working on social media tasks. I don’t really have any time left over these days to post on my personal pages. I make time to stay in touch on Facebook with one of my long-distance friends who’s ill, that’s about it. While I’m on there, I’ll spend a few minutes reading my timeline and may comment on some posts, but I notice some of my friends are avid users and post regularly. I have to wonder where they find the time. Many have jobs and a social life. It’s true that these types of posts don’t require lots of effort, compared to writing an article or blog post. However, there are some people that post constantly enough that it’s equivalent to writing a novel, plus they leave numerous lengthy comments on others’ posts. That’s when I begin to wonder if they have a life in the real world, have social media addiction, or are just needy for attention.

Are you finding it a breeze to manage your business’ social media? Do you have time-management tricks to share? Do you think there should be a limit to how much time one spends on social media for personal pages? Please share any advice or thoughts…if you can find the time.

Facebook and the Defriending Dilemma

Facebook defriending

Facebook can sometimes make or break a friendship. There are various reasons that prompt users to defriend someone on their friends list. Are some more valid than others?

Reasons for Defriending

I’m going to list a few reasons that have tempted me to delete someone from my friends list. I have very rarely done this, but I don’t know whether that means I’m more loyal or more tolerant than others are. Hopefully, it’s a good indicator of the high caliber nature of my friends, and my good judgment in selecting whom I choose to call a friend. However, I have seen sides of people come out online that were kept well-hidden for many years. Yes, it can be scary.

1 Rudeness – I can be rather blunt, even obnoxious at times, so it takes a particularly insulting type of rudeness to cross a line with me.

2. Negativity – I like to be surrounded by others who are positive and uplifting. While I have compassion for others, constant whining and complaining is a turnoff. However, those types of posts can be ignored. It’s when I see mean-spirited posts that my dislike buttons get pushed pretty hard.

3. Political differences– I once had a friend post a link to an article about holocaust denial. I was close to defriending him because I found it offensive. Luckily, he explained the post was motivated by a desire to heighten awareness, rather than his own support of such denial. As far as political differences go, that was the closest I’ve come to defriending someone. Some other friends post about many political issues, but I don’t have a problem ignoring those that I simply disagree with.

4. The “ex” – Over the years, I’ve had boyfriends on my Facebook friends list. When we broke up, I thought it was best to sever ties completely, both in real life and the virtual world. In some cases, I was hurt and trying to spare the pain of reading about how they survived happily without me, or even worse, found someone else. In general though, I find it easier to make a clean break, so I can move on.

I’ve only rarely felt it necessary to defriend someone. Perhaps this is due to being selective about my friends. It may also be partly due to being more patient and tolerant as I’ve gotten older. I know there are many other reasons for defriending someone, so feel free to share your defriending experiences. Regardless of whether you were the defriender or defriendee, others may learn something about social media etiquette or friendships in general from your story.

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Why Facebook Needs a Dislike Button

Facebook dislike stamp

Facebook can be a great place to reconnect with friends, classmates, and distant relatives, and make new friends. However, this social media platform can turn some people off, causing them to delete people off their friends list or not log in altogether.

Reasons Facebook Makes People Want to Hit a Dislike Button

Facebook has changed over the years. Some people are happy with some of the new features. Many other reasons people object to posts haven’t changed.

Too Much Attention Seeking

Some people are just plain drama queens. They may tend to post updates that beg for people to ask what’s wrong and pry for more details about their latest crisis du jour. For example, posts full of intrigue, like “It’s sooo unfair,” “Need prayers,” or “I just can’t take it anymore,” beg for an inquiring response. Such cries for help/support without letting others know what’s really going on can seem pathetic after a while. These types of posts may be viewed as narcissistic, and can create a “boy crying wolf” situation when posted continually. One has to wonder whether the people who ask what’s wrong really care or are just being nosy and looking for gossip.

Too Many Ads in the Newsfeed

No, it’s not a coincidence that you suddenly see ads in your newsfeed related to products or services you’ve been looking at online. Facebook makes big money from companies that pay for advertisements on the site. Technology makes it possible for Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and other social media channels to track your online activity and turn this data mining into advertising revenue. There are things you can do to minimize the data collected and protect your privacy, such as blocking and deleting cookies, adjusting browser settings, and add-ons that block scripts running on web pages. However, it’s very difficult to be completely anonymous on the Internet.

Too Much PDA

You’re in love? That’s great. Just remember that certain things are best expressed privately. All the lovey-dovey, gushing love notes some couples put on display can be nauseating. Also, it may tend to make your friends who are single and lonely feel jealous and worse about their own unattached status. Even when I speak to my single girlfriends on the phone or in person, I refrain from rubbing my romantic bliss and my boyfriend’s wonderful traits in their face

Too Much Information

People just aren’t as interested in your daily activities as you might hope they are. Some people feel a need to use Facebook like a journal, chronicling their daily activities and moods. When Facebook asks how you’re feeling or what’s up, you should keep in mind that people don’t really care about what you just ate for dinner, or that it’s a rainy day and you feel blah.

Do you have a Facebook pet peeve? Feel free to vent, many others can probably relate to it.

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Is Social Media Killing Friendships?

Before social media, the Internet

Perhaps social media has always been part of your life. However, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest didn’t even exist when I was born. I’m not THAT old, but reminiscing about life before the Internet can make me feel old as dirt. I’m going to give a few examples of the way life has changed. You can probably relate if you are old enough to remember having to get up to change the t.v. channel. For the younger set, it may read more like a chapter in a history lesson.

Friends Before Facebook

Most of my Facebook friends list consists of people I met before Facebook existed. We’ve met in person and share a history together. We’ve done the following:

  1. Hung out in person together.
  2. Talked on the phone.
  3. Sent Christmas and birthday cards.

I can even remember life before caller i.d. and answering machines. For those of you who can’t, yes, there was once a time when people didn’t screen calls. I suppose we had the benefit of getting more exercise by having to get off the couch to answer the phone and using our fingers to dial rotary phones. While the innovations in technology have added the benefit of convenience to our lives, at what cost has it been to our friendships?

Friends after Facebook

Over the years, all of the above three activities with friends have become diminished or stopped altogether. I’m sure that some of it has to do with being more involved in married and family life as we get older, and the price of postage. However, I think social media’s instant communication methods have made people less willing to invest time in friendships through phone calls and get-togethers. It seems that all the modern conveniences somehow haven’t freed up much of our time, people seem more rushed than ever. How did this happen? Is it a figment of my imagination that life used to move at a slower pace, or is time just accelerating as I age?

Even when I get together with others, checking their phones for messages often distracts them. Of course, other forms of e-communication contribute to this, such as texting and email. Google+, Facebook, etc. have recognized this by delivering email notifications.

I have friends who get upset that I don’t text. My attitude is that you aren’t really a friend if it’s such a hardship to actually call and talk to me. If people are so investing in checking their Facebook notifications but can’t invest time in seeing or talking to me, how much are they really interested in my friendship? Are they just checking up on me out of boredom or curiosity?

I’ve added people to my friends list whom I haven’t met in person, but share common interests with. Some I seem to know more about than my “in real life” (IRL) friends, simply because they post more often or share more information when they do. Are they truly friends or should they be considered acquaintances until we’ve met in real life? How is the classification made? Some thoughts I’ve had include:

  1. If an IRL friend never likes or comments on my posts but a friend I’ve never met always does, is one more my friend than the other?
  2. If an IRL friend has stopped calling and sending cards, and now only sends me an annual birthday greeting on Facebook, are they now demoted to being an acquaintance?

Have you noticed a change in the nature of your interactions with friends since the birth of social media networking sites? Has it changed the way you define friendship? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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Google Plus – Just Another Facebook Clone?

Google+ Facebook

Many people mistake Google Plus for another Facebook copycat. However, these two social media channels are quite different, and serve different, but complimentary purposes.

Facebook vs. Google+ – Which is Better Overall?

Do you really need both social networks? The answer depends on what you’re using them for. Facebook is great for staying in touch with those you know. Google + is great for meeting new people want to get to know. If you want to use social media to connect with old friends and keep up with their latest shenanigans for personal reasons, Facebook is a great way to do that. It can seem like a never-ending high school reunion. However, if you’re seeking to network with others who share similar interests for personal or business reasons, Google+ is the way to go.

Many haven’t jumped on the Google+ bandwagon because they don’t see their friends on there. They feel somewhat lost without a familiar surrounding of friends and family. However, once you get familiar with how it works, Google Plus offers a very friendly community, and many opportunities to meet exciting new people who share your interests.

Which has the Best Features?

Again, the answer depends on what you’re using the platform for. We’ll compare some of their popular features below:

  • Posts – Facebook posts are more geared toward finding out what’s happening in your friends’ lives, and, offers posts focused more on entertainment value. Google Plus offers more informative content and is more focused on sharing knowledge about interests. If you want to learn more about hobbies, business development, education, science, entertainment, etc., Google + posts supply an endless fountain of information on topics of interest you want to discuss and share knowledge about. Google Plus also gives you more flexibility in posting, since you can disable comments and reshares on a post, tag people in updates by using the @ or + signs, and send the update via email to your circles and extended circles.
  • Connecting with Others – While it may be easier to find those you already know on Facebook, G+ makes it easier to meet new people. As you add people to your profile, Google has you decide on a circle to place them in. Google+’s custom circles offer more flexibility and ease in organizing people by the categories you create. You can target posts to particular circles, as well as choose to make it public or direct it to individuals. For example, a band might create different circles for local bands, promoters, groupies, booking contacts, fellow musicians, studio owners, journalists, etc. Another advantage of circles is that if someone adds you, you aren’t automatically going to see their posts in your feed unless you add them back.

Communities are another feature that Google has an edge in. Due to the productivity tools bundled into the G+ platform, the sharing and learning that takes place in its communities is taken to a whole new level.

  • Visibility – Right now, Facebook has way more social sharing activity However, Google+’s activity and users are quickly growing, thanks to the 100’s of millions of new Android phone activations each year. Google’s Android operating system directly connects users to a G+ profile. Also, due to Google’s own search engine, Google+ posts will be weighted more and rank higher in search results.
  • Chat vs. Hangout – Through Hangouts, Google has added a audiovisual component to chat that takes personal interaction a step beyond. Getting a like on a Facebook page doesn’t engage friends, customers and fans in the same way that interacting on a more personal level does. Hangouts On Air can also be conducted, which are broadcast worldwide and can be archived in your Youtube channel.
  • Images – Google Plus allows additional photo options, such as automated animation for images. Check it out, it’s pretty cool.

The above is a comparison of select features, there are many others that could be compared. While Google+ is still young and its future is yet to be seen, there’s no denying Google’s powerful reach. Do you consider either network, or both, to be a waste of time? Can’t live without one or both? Leave a comment and let’s hear what you think.

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Proper Google+ Plus Etiquette – Who Says?

google plus nail

Do you plus one yourself or do you cringe at those who plus themselves? What does where you stand on hitting the Plus One button on your own Google posts say about your personality?

Thou Shalt Not Plus Thyself and Plussing Unto Others

The ten commandments were written before the birth of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, so apparently God wants us to figure out the right and wrong of plusses and likes for ourselves. Two well-respected authorities, social media consultants Mike Allton of www.thesocialmediahat.com, and Jason T. Wiser of www.ontracktips.com, differ on plussing their own Google Plus posts. Mike Allton believes in patting himself on the back once in a while with a plus, while Jason T. Wiser feels it would be vain for him to plus his own posts. Another social media expert, Dustin Stout of www.dustn.tv, thinks plussing yourself isn’t wrong, and takes it a step further, believing that resharing your own post isn’t a sin either. There are strong opinions surrounding this click, and upon examination, I would argue they align with a person’s attitudes toward life and love in general.

Let’s analogize for a minute that the Google Plus One (or Facebook’s Like) button is a digital way of sharing love. Love me-plus me-like me-oooh baby, it feels so good! There are as many different styles of love as there are views on the proper use of these social media buttons. Can demographic groups, personality types, love styles, and plussing be correlated? If I applied for a big money research grant (are you considering it now?), do you think behavior studies would bear out the following hypotheses?

Social Media Personalities and Plussing Tendencies

  • Demographic Group: Baby boomers
  • Personality Traits/Love Style: Modest and reserved. They don’t freely tell children and family they love them, but expect them to know it intuitively.
  • Plussing Behavior: Being raised to value modesty and humility, they’ll think plussing yourself is vain and hedonistic. Reserved, modest people will feel embarrassed and guilty for tooting their own horn with a plus button. Raised with old-fashioned notions about self-pleasure, they would perhaps even feel dirty afterward. Plussing others is based on merit alone.
  • Demographic Group: Hippies from the 60’s and 70’s
  • Personality Traits/Love Style: Give love to get love / Free love
  • Plussing Behavior: These people will freely and selflessly give others plusses, and believe that their appreciation will be more than reciprocated by people plussing their posts in return. Self-plussing therefore seems unnecessary to them.
  • Demographic Group: The Me generation
  • Personality Traits/Love Style: It’s all about me / Narcissistic love
  • Plussing Behavior: Narcissists will often plus themselves, They will only rarely plus another when they think it benefits themselves to do so.

Obviously, I’m overgeneralizing these demographic groups. The point is that the definition of right and wrong in social media behavior will differ as much as people do. I could go on and on about how religious, political, moral, and other factors impact social media behavior, but it’s beyond the scope of this blog. I’d be happy to use your taxpayer money to study the issue further though. If you don’t want the government to waste your money with me, feel free to sound off with a comment.

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Is Social Media a Relationship Killer?

Social media like Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter, and relationships

Relationships are challenging. Have Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other sites complicated relationships even more? How much of a threat do they really pose?

Social Media and Relationship Strategies for Dealing With it

My grandpa told me he blamed the rising divorce rate on the automobile because of the opportunities it offered to venture outside the home. Today, you don’t even need a set of wheels, a partner can stray with the click of a mouse, right at home. We’ve all witnessed various strategies used by couples to minimize trust issues on social media sites:

The joint Facebook page.

  • Sharing passwords for transparency.
  • The profile picture of the couple to let the world know the other is taken.
  • Displaying a relationship status. Again-adding the “taken” tag.

Being Naughty or Nice – Knowing Right From Wrong

In real life, people don’t carry signs about a relationship status or wear a picture of their significant other or spouse on their shirt, but many wear wedding bands. Yet, a wedding band isn’t always a deterrent to those willing to trespass on a marriage, and there are many married cheaters who hide rings or wear them when cheating. So does the online profile increase the threat to the relationship?

I recently had a guy flaunt our relationship on his Facebook page via check-in and status updates. I later discovered he only took me out of the closet a week after his ex-girlfriend changed her status to ”in a relationship”, and refriended her around the same time to rub it in her face. Despite his denial of using me for such motives, I was able to verify the timeline of events with a mere glance at her page. So while social media provides more opportunity for bad behavior, the digital footprints can make it harder to cover up.

Whether you wear a ring in real life or display a “taken” online profile, is online activity going to increase the odds for misbehavior? I’d argue that while online activity offers more temptations and opportunities for mischief, the distinction between real world and online interactions will be irrelevant when a person’s is heart faithful. I believe a trustworthy person who has integrity and a conscience isn’t going to lose those qualities by participating in social media. A person without those qualities can go the other way, and use every opportunity, online and offline, to act naughty. If you’re wishing your mate would close his/her account, defriend so-and-so, or change a relationship status, you may just really be wishing for a different, more trustworthy person.

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