By Anissa Anderson
Social media is a powerful tool. When used right, it can be effective in connecting very amazing people to other amazing people, businesses and organizations from around the world. People should use social media to heighten their existence, reflect their interesting projects and aspirations, to share something they find truly amazing, to inspire others. In a perfect world, social media would be used primarily as a source for inspiration. Unfortunately, however, although it has great potential to be an awesome window to the world, it is often cluttered with gossip, non-interesting, and non-inspiring garbage.
Below are a few things to consider and avoid doing when using social media.
Don't Be Ignorant
- Using profanity and vulgarity in social media can make you appear aggressive or unintelligent. To present your thoughts in that manor can cause people to not take you seriously.
- To read words on a screen rather than hear and see someone speak in person can have its pitfalls. For one, it is difficult to clearly understand the tone or see the person’s expressions, which is a large part of communicating, so intended meaning can easily be misinterpreted. For example, this is why hearing lyrics in a song is much more powerful and expressive than reading them in someone’s status update.
- Don’t post pictures of yourself that are clearly distasteful. Come on, people. You don’t know who is reading what you post. Only post what you wouldn’t mind everyone in the world knowing about you.
- Be careful what you like and promote publicly. For example, while there may be nothing wrong with liking “T and A,” publicly liking pages like that, or following porn stars, may make you appear in a way you wouldn’t want, say your co-workers or perhaps significant other to see you. Think about it.
Don't Complain About Your Displacement
- Everyone has problems and bad days. To update your status sharing your crappy day with the world just makes you appear as a downer and a drag. It can be draining to people reading, or just plain annoying. It also makes you look desperate for attention.
- If it helps you to express yourself by writing the rant, do so in a private notebook. Share it with your closest friends privately, the ones who actually care.
- What you post on social media is public information and should be something you wouldn’t mind anyone knowing about you. Would you go on and on about your terrible day to some random people you had a class with two years ago in real life? So then why share it publicly on Facebook for them to hear?
Don't Gossip About Others
- Awesome people talk about awesome ideas! If you want to be interesting, share ideas that are actually worthwhile. Share ideas that could potentially make a difference for the better in the world.
- Uninteresting, non-creative fools just talk about other people. Your little status update is a waste of my brain cells to have to read. There is so much more to life and so many more interesting topics than your opinions of other people.
- If you have to talk about someone, speak for yourself and make a point about a main idea. So, for example, if you are bashing the president, at least provide a good reason and a thoughtful suggestion to go along with it.
Social media can be a very powerful tool that we could all benefit from. If everyone made a pact to agree to only use it to spread interesting, inspiring, useful information, think how much better it would be! Try it. Start an interesting conversation or debate. Share a funny joke or story. Share what you learned today. Share your opinions and ideas, but filter them first. Not every little thought or idea you have, or picture you took is that interesting and worth sharing. Remember that. Only share the good stuff!
Anissa Anderson is a marketing specialist from Saint Louis, specializing in graphic design. She is enthusiastic about all things creative and hopes to inform and inspire others through her work. In effort to share inspiration with others, she recently began blogging, typically on topics like art, design, social media and personal development.