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*LIKE*

A cautionary tale:

Hi.  I am a partner in a small business, and the economy being what it is, we’ve been stretched pretty thin.  Last weekend, my relatives came to visit and we put them up, took them out to dinner – you name it.  It was a mostly enjoyable weekend, and in the course of it we shared our stories of daily life, struggles and successes.  

But this morning when I woke up, I found that one of my siblings had posted on facebook that they “…hope business picks up for you guys.”  I’m friends with clients and colleagues on facebook!  I think it was inappropriate, and I deleted it immediately.  Now I think I made them mad.  

LISTEN:

Ah, the social media.  Isn’t it so cute, how people think that just because there is a new way of communication that all rules and conventions go out the window?

People, facebook is like – well, not a cocktail party, more like an exhibit hall in a convention.  People milling about, going from booth to booth seeing what’s on display.  Conversations happening all around you.  What’s said is said out loud and anyone around you, anyone paying attention to you at that moment hears it…then it’s swept away by the continuous swirl of more noise and the bustling activity around you.

But it leaves a record behind, too.  *like*?

*unlike*

And that’s an issue.  You have to look at any sort of social media platform as a stage as much as a screen.  Everything you say is like you’re standing in front of everyone you know and everyone the person you’re addressing knows and positively shouting.  You have to make pretty damn sure that not only are you willing to say what you have to say in front of all your friends and theirs, but that they are willing to let you say it.

Mind you, this isn’t like someone posting endlessly about whatever stupid thing they have to talk about that day – drugs, guns, Obama, cancer, kittens and so on – that is their deal.  You don’t have to read it.  But extra care must be taken to make sure that your recipient is willing.

But then you have your own responsibility to manage your contact list.  If you see this person is liable to post things like that, then set up a family facebook page for them and keep a safe work and colleagues page on the side.

If that sounds like too much trouble, it’s because it is.  What a nuisance.  Oh, but then there’s that last, nagging question…

“Are you sure you want to permanently delete your facebook account?”

*like*like*like*like*like*

 

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