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  • Lisa Plancich

Social Media - A Medium for Being Anti-Social?

Maggie Smith, portraying Lady Grantham on Downtown Abbey, once quipped, “Principals are like prayers - noble, of course, but awkward at a party.”


A character on the show was injecting their political views during a bridal shower. The result was eye rolling and awkward silence. Lady Grantham stated what we all should know and put into practice - there is a time and place for everything. While you may have principals which appeal to most everyone, no one is going to want to hear them spouted during inappropriate times or at inappropriate venues. In the case of Downton Abbey, there’s no reason to spout political views, or gossip during a shower for a future bride.


The same holds true for social media. Much of the online options to converse with others is done in a considerate and appropriate way. Some, not so much. As a human being who clearly wants to converse with others, though not in a face-to-face situation, it's important to keep in mind who are your recipients and if you want to provoke a negative reaction.

Much of social media tries to be just that. Social. Facebook and Instagram, for example, are platforms where feel good moments, birthday wishes and updates are posted. It's a community cocktail party. If you aren't going to announce political leanings, religious views, or racial biases to an entire group of close friends, their spouses, family and neighbors, don't post it there.


If the intimate details of someone's ovarian cysts, erectile dysfunction, cat box cleaning, or why someone's ex won't take them back makes you uncomfortable among a group of people you kind of know, why would you make sure all your 300+ fringe friends and followers know? Are you ever going to be invited to their home or meet one of them for a beer? Exactly!!! Fringe friends aren't your friends and awkwardness will ensue following your announcement has nothing to do with your audience.


These virtual community bulletin boards are where work, family, life, and social happenings get gushed over and discussed. Pictures of babies and kittens are shared. News of a diagnosis and next steps are known. Beyond these topics all you are going to accomplish is awkwardness, making your reader/viewer uncomfortable. If you don't believe me, you also have no idea how many of your 300+ friends have chosen to hide all your posts because you have nothing to say that isn't either grossing them out, or is of no interest to them.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is all about work and what you do in the business portion of your world. There is no need to talk about vacation on LinkedIn. That's not the appropriate medium for your social life. Neither would you go all Instagram on your LinkedIn contacts and post mindless stuff like food and cats and pictures of yourself in a bathing suit.


Twitter/Tumblr

Tumblr and Twitter are small potatoes. Not the type that amounts to the little stuff in the little sense. It just means that anything that gets tumbld or tweeted needs to be short and sweet. No novels or 30-minute videos. Find a different platform. It is, however, much more A


nything Goes. This is a more topic based medium where you can post your rants/raves/irritations/and get as soap-boxy as you like.


Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest

Social causes and blogs aren't located on Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest. Again, keep it in the genre


that your social media contacts are looking for.,


If you want to post religion, politics, principals, or divorce drama, find a site or two that cater to those causes and ideals. Wouldn't you rather discuss it with like-minded people who share your interests? It's not anyone's job - other than a teacher - to educate people on what one believes to be important.


If you rant during a networking event for work, be prepared to make people uncomfortable. The same holds true for social media sites. If you opt to go ahead and post about politics, religion, or your very personal life, don't be surprised just how many people stop following you all together. You are blathering on and on and on about stuff no one else gets worked up about. You are just making them uncomfortable.




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