Social Media – Is It a Curse or Is It Useful?

This post is derived from a conversation I’m having with a “friend” and respected community colleague on Facebook. I posted a link on my Facebook page to an article entitled, “The Four C’s of Twitter” because I felt it promotes the positive reasons why the social networking website, Twitter, should be utilized for anyone looking to get their message out there. My friend then posted another link to an article from PC World Magazine explaining what would happen if Google bought out Twitter. I then responded to him with this statement –

Read the article. Also read George Orwell’s “1984”. With evolution of the internet also comes lack of privacy. Anyone in their right mind would realize that. Including myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the thing, though, use social networking to get your message across or don’t. That’s a personal choice. But, make the choice to utilize it and you better realize that what you put out there, may or may not comeback to bite you in the tushy. I say, if a person is smart and strategic about it, it’s useful and worth the time and effort. If a person is an idiot, well, then their comeupance shouldn’t be a surprise to them.

Notice I don’t post pictures of myself acting stupid or that I don’t write rude, salacious, or incriminating remarks whenever I do post something (at least I believe I don’t ๐Ÿ™‚ )?

Big Brother is here. I fully believe that. But, will I let it stop me from being the social diva (or butterfly) that I am? Nope. It is what it is and I refuse to run scared.

I want to expand on some of my comments here and then put it up for debate.

I fully believe if a person is as I said, “smart and strategic” about what he or she puts out there for all the world to see, there is really no harm. There’s a comment posted in the article from PC World that suggests that interpretation is the key. In other words, as the writer puts it –

an innocuous comment to me and my friends could be taken very differently by someone else.

I couldn’t agree more. Absolutely. How many times has a boss said to me, “Be careful how you phrase your email to ‘so and so’ because what you don’t want is for ‘so and so’ to take it the wrong way.”? That’s not to say that I suck at phrasing. It’s just to say that he or she was warning me to just…as the old saying goes (and please pardon my french here)… to cover my ass.

I just cussed. Should I take that back too?

My point – be smart, be strategic, and perhaps you’ll actually contribute something positive to those that follow (Twitter) you, friend (Facebook as well as My Space) you, read your blogs, or just happen to catch you out there in cyberspace.

One final note and this is as political as I’m going to get on the topic, if we let our fears about the government overshadow the good we have the potential to do because of the resources that are out there in which to assist us in accomplishing that “good”, then “Big Brother” will win.

So what do you think? It’s now up for discussion. Would love to hear your thoughts on the topic and perhaps I’ll use your comments for a future post, or if you let me, future presentations on it.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go update my status over on Ping.fm so that it will further update my status on my Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In pages.

Smiles,

Lisa ๐Ÿ™‚

p.s. To my “friend” that prompted this post – thanks for the idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Comments
2 Responses to “Social Media – Is It a Curse or Is It Useful?”
  1. Jillian says:

    I love this discussion!

    I lock/protect a LOT of my online information & social media profiles… Mainly to keep them out of the hands of potential employers & potential stalkers.

    However, recently I've been wrestling with the idea of unlocking my Twitter, and I actually just wrote a rough draft blog post about the whole idea that you might see soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    There are so many people out there who just aren't smart about their online/social media presence… But unfortunately even if you *are* smart about it, there's always that chance that you could end up in major trouble– both professionally AND personally.

    We have this false sense of security that anything we put online is "safe" as long as we protect it. Really, though, the only true safeguard is to just not put it on the internet, period… But I'm not convinced that's a viable option anymore in this hyper-connected day & age. There is so much good that can come from public sharing & discourse, like you've said, that not participating means you could just get left behind.

    Ultimately, I think it's about time to change my entire perspective on personal privacy. Not sure how just yet though ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jillian says:

    I love this discussion!

    I lock/protect a LOT of my online information & social media profiles… Mainly to keep them out of the hands of potential employers & potential stalkers.

    However, recently I've been wrestling with the idea of unlocking my Twitter, and I actually just wrote a rough draft blog post about the whole idea that you might see soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    There are so many people out there who just aren't smart about their online/social media presence… But unfortunately even if you *are* smart about it, there's always that chance that you could end up in major trouble– both professionally AND personally.

    We have this false sense of security that anything we put online is "safe" as long as we protect it. Really, though, the only true safeguard is to just not put it on the internet, period… But I'm not convinced that's a viable option anymore in this hyper-connected day & age. There is so much good that can come from public sharing & discourse, like you've said, that not participating means you could just get left behind.

    Ultimately, I think it's about time to change my entire perspective on personal privacy. Not sure how just yet though ๐Ÿ™‚

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