Social Media - A Curse or Cure

Much has been said over recent times about the benefits or otherwise of social media. Some people like it, and generally this comment is from those who use it a lot, while others espouse the destruction of communication if we continue to use this rapidly growing phenomenon.  Here's my view on social media, and I do see the irony in sending it to you via a social medium.

Like everything in life, if we use something properly it can benefit us and if we misuse it,it may harm us.  Social media is no different.  Here are a few rules on social media that I try to adhere to;

  1. Use the correct medium - If it belongs on Facebook then that is where it should stay unless it has a universal message.
  2. Keep it short - Keep your message short unless you have some interesting things to say. Most people don't read a long article unless it is what they are interested in or has interesting content.
  3. Know what to say - Have a clear message so others know what you are talking about.
  4. Be careful with your words - Words are more powerful than we think, choose your words wisely so that they don't offend, bully, or hurt.
  5. Don't post something in anger - Never post a message on social media while you are angry, it will inevitably end badly for you. When angry we say hurtful things, not because we want to but because it makes us feel better at the time.
  6. Proof read your item - If the medium that you are posting to is formal, such as LinkedIn, then you may want to proofread your content at least twice. Does the article say what you want it to, is it written properly, is it grammatically correct, are there spelling mistakes? Don't fret too much however, the important part is your actual message and there are vernacular differences across countries.
  7. You can always edit or delete - If you make a mistake after posting, go back and edit the item as soon as you can. If you can't edit the post then delete it and start again. Never leave a posting out there with mistakes or that you don't like and hope that people won't read it because they will!
  8. It is only an opinion - What we say on social media is simply our own opinion regardless of what facts the content is based on. Don't get too precious if someone disagrees, they are also correct.
  9. Do not use social media to deliver bad news - Some things have to be said in person. Don't hide behind a computer if you are delivering bad news, say it in person.
  10. Social media is not socialisation - Posting a message on a site does not have the same personal value as talking to people face-to-face. We all need to socialise, in doing so we share, learn and grow.

For me, social media is one of the greatest things since the invention of the wheel.  Like all inventions, it takes time to find how to get the full use of it and how to use it properly.  Social media has tremendous impact if we use it correctly. 

Remember of course that these suggestions are just one persons opinion.