Social Media

The Social Media Trap

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I used to be the Facebook queen. If you were my friend, I liked every picture, status, comment you posted. I knew what was going on in everyone’s lives via what they put on Facebook (which was all of their life, right?). I felt so in the know, in the loop, up-to-date, whatever you want to call it.

Lent of 2013 comes along. I pondered what would be difficult for me to sacrifice for 40 days and couldn’t think of a thing. Then a friend (doubtfully) challenged me to give up Facebook for Lent. I used a few lame excuses like “What if I get invited to an event and don’t know about it?” and “I need Facebook messaging because not everyone has my phone number,” but ultimately, I decided to shun Facebook for those 40 days.

And I loved it.

I was out of the loop and it felt so good. I realized that I didn’t need to know everything that was going on. The time that had previously been committed to Facebook scrolling was now being used for talking to the people around me, reading my Bible or any book for that matter, running, doing homework, and all inclusively and most importantly, for living life. Facebook was a cheap substitute for being present in peoples’ lives and my own life.

I am proud to say that Facebook addiction is a thing of the past. I still use it, but I barely spend 2 minutes a day on it.

(Twitter and Instagram are a slightly different story, but hey, baby steps.)

In order for social media to be used for the best, it must be used for its strengths and in moderation. Social media is a uniquely great (and cheap) way to connect those separated by distance, raise awareness for issues, and convey a message to a large group of people. Beyond that, it breaks into the displacement theory and takes time away from other things of quality. Social media users need to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of social media and then use it accordingly.

See the trap and avoid it.

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All’s Fair in Love and… Technology?

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Is all fair in love and technology?

There is no doubt about it that technology has altered the game of love.

At first, I think of the online dating sites, such as eHarmony, that have entered the playing field, but those aren’t the only technologies that have rocked the traditional way of finding your soulmate; texting and social media also add another form of communication.

These technologies are introduced with the claim to make it easier to communicate, to make and maintain relationships. So, naturally, everyone delves into it with these expectations of ease. And in some ways, these new communication technologies live into that expectation. Keeping up with a friend halfway across the world has never been so effortless. Birthdays are never forgotten. Introductions are a daily thing.

But, in my opinion, having access to these new technologies has muddied the water more than made a clear path. How so?

  1. Conversations never end. Texting and social media boast that you have the ability to talk to someone 24/7, so why shouldn’t you? You want them to know you care, so you continue texting, tweeting, Facebook messaging, etc. to prove that. This can cause relationship fatigue even if you’re barely around the person. There is no space for someone to miss you. Where is the fun in that?
  2. The value of face-to-face is diminished. You finally get to see and communicate with someone in person, yet your phone is continually gnawing at you to read your new messages and updates. How often do you put your phone away when you’re with someone? How often do you have quality time with your significant other, friend or family member that is uninterrupted? Everything is so much sweeter in person. Don’t trade that in.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and all the benefits it brings. It’s a great tool and it needs to be used as just that. Everything in moderation. Well, except chocolate. That can be embraced in any amount.

This Valentine’s Day, consider putting your phone down while spending time with the people you love.

I guarantee you won’t regret it.

One Step Ahead: Social Media and Crisis Communications

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Social media is both the problem and the solution for crisis communications.

On one hand, the integration of social media opens the door for rumors to spiral out of control. On the other hand, social media allows PR to combat the fire just as quickly as it begins.

Here are some ways to not let social media get the best of you:

  • Stay ahead of the public whenever possible. As soon as you hear of a scandal or a possible rumor, make a statement to refute it before it spreads.
  • Monitor all social media sites and keywords that have to do with your company. This way, you can know whenever someone is talking about your brand.
  • Take problems out of the public eye ASAP. That doesn’t mean delete negative comments, but respond to them with your e-mail or phone number and create a one-on-one conversation. You simply cannot win when you argue on social media.
  • Post credibly to establish trust. Utilizing social media consistently is a fantastic way to gain a good community who will fight for you when something goes awry.

Morale of the story: Be harder, better, faster, stronger. <– Advice brought to you by Daft Punk