I love social media, I mean seriously how can you not love it when you can connect with people around the world without leaving your house or waiting for the mail man. It's a wonderful place but it is also a place where things go haywire.
1. There's no way to know who is on the other end.
Yes even today there are those out there preying on the young, old and weak minded. I'm not even talking about just sexual predators but those who steal money, identities and sanity. When someone in a FB group want to be your friend or you "meet" someone at a FB party, you never know just what you are getting into. They could be that one stalker that you have been warned about.
A few weeks ago I saw a poem I thought was just amazing so I decided to check out the author page. He had a few post up, all poems and I like his page, hoping to read more of his amazing work. Later that day I received a phone call from Nigeria and the next day another. I finally figured out the only thing different was me liking that page. I messaged him on FB asking him to stop calling and telling him that I was going to block him, five minuets later I get a text. I have since taken my number off my FB, I totally forgot it was there, and refuse to add people to that page at the moment.
2. People believe they can say anything and get away with it.
This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t touch on cyber bullying. When I was a kid the school bully just pushed you or called you names but now you have to be on guard against cyber bullies. These are the people you have never met in person and never will yet they feel it is their right to harass you. They try to turn others in your circle against you and then when they are caught or someone challenges them they cry foul.
Have I personally run into bullies online? No and I really hope it stays that way because I have a really hard time holding onto my temper. I have watched what it can do to an author or small business and I hope there are laws soon to protect everyone.
3. Pictures do not always tell the truth.
How many authors or famous people do you follow? How many of them actually look like the professional or semi professional picture they have as their profile? Maybe half, if you are lucky. I was reading where one reader had no idea that the person in front of them was an author they followed because the picture on FB was so touched up.
Here's a funny story about pictures lying. When I was younger, in my early twenties, I decided to give online dating a try. I met a guy who told me he was in his late thirties and wanted to take me out to the beach. I got dressed and was all excited until I went to get in the car, the man looked like father time. I smiled and was like, whatever a free meal. My family has his plate number and I'm safe, for now. Yeah a walker and a very embarrassing date later I went home and cried. After that I only did the internet thing twice more and they had to send multiple pictures and I drove, so I could run if need be. Moral of this story? Many people do not post real pictures on social media.
4. If you post it, tweet it, or pin it, you better be ready for the world to see it.
So you think that picture of you drunk and stumbling is funny. What happens when you go or a job interview or a promotion? What if that picture comes back to haunt you? What would your mother think? I know it’s a little old fashion but whenever I start to post things I think, what would my mom think. Also remember, like I mentioned before jobs are now checking social media. Don't get fired over something you could have kept to yourself.