How To Effectively Use Social Media

March 22, 2012

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Talking TO my generation

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

I realize I’m in my early 30’s so some may see me on the cusp of the generation I speak of, but I have to make my voice heard. Social media makes it easy to speak, and while I’m a big defender of the first amendment, I believe social media has allowed speaking one’s mind to become way too easy.

I meet so many people who meet with me after I address a crowd, whether it be a GOP event, a rally or even a school board meeting, and they say they “could never speak in public” because it’s their biggest fear. And then they tweet.

Isn’t that exactly what twitter is? Public speaking without the face to face crowd? Think about it. Say you have 500 followers. Every time you tweet something, up to 500 people could be reading it. If it gets a re-tweet? Your words, your statement, just went to all of your followers, followers.

Facebook is the same thing. Say you have 500 friends. Everytime you post an update, up to 500 people could be reading it.

So why is that different than public speaking? Is it because you’re not physically in front of all 500? Your words carry just as much weight (if not more) on social media because, with the restriction of characters, it really can’t be taken out of context like a public speech can be. With your words already put into text, it makes it a lot easier to copy/paste.

If you want to be taken seriously, use correct spelling. If you write like a moron, I will think you’re a moron, it’s as simple as that. You could be writing the most brilliant, thoughtful tweet or facebook update ever…but if u rite it liek thes…I won’t read it. And if it was important enough for you to take time to write it, you must want others to read it, correct? Then take the time to make it readable.

Unless you’re yelling something, DO NOT USE ALL CAPS. I READ IT AS IF YOU’RE YELLING AT ME, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. And you just read that as if I were yelling at you, didn’t you?

I’m tired of the arguement “It’s MY Facebook/Twitter wall…” because, well, that’s just a false statement. Do you pay for Facebook or twitter? No. And if you are, you’re getting hosed. Therefore, you don’t own “your” wall. If Facebook or Twitter wanted to suspend your account, they can. And they will. And then you’ll realize while you’ve been held accountable for your words, you no longer have the medium you seemed to think was “yours”.

Come on, guys. We’ve got a great tool in our hands. Social media IS a tool. Think before you tweet/post/update “Is this something that I’d actually SAY in front of 500 people?” If your answer is “no”, please hit delete. 

If you think I’m overreacting, I’m not. Anything you tweet is being archived in the Library of Congress. No, really.  Think of it this way, in 300 years, my great-great-great-great grandchild might want to do a history report on me. Do I really want them to see that on March 22, 2012 I tweeted the size/shape/color of a bowel movement? No. And no one in the present day wants to know either.

Don’t let this tool make a tool out of you. Stop and think. Is this something I would approach a podium and announce?

That being said, feel free to follow me on twitter @bowmama.

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