Social media – it’s a nightmare, it’s a dream come true, it’s enough to drive you crazy!
In today’s age of social networking, you can’t sneeze without someone on the other side of the globe hearing about it. Although it is information overload, it can be a blessing in disguise for the small business man, self published author and the artists of the world. In 2011 47% of American adults used social networking sites, which is up from 26% in 2008.
With my blog, I connect it to Twitter, which connects it to Facebook which publishes it on Pinterest, which sends it to Google+ and so on and so on… It can be a little overwhelming with how everything connects, however all of these connections are necessary when you want to get as many eyes as possible viewing your blog or your website.
Social networking has revolutionized the way we (as a society) keep up with each other. It allows people who are friends – and I do mean real friends not just acquaintances, to keep in touch with one another and see what’s going on daily or weekly.
It’s enough to drive you crazy
Although being constantly connected can be a nice thing for getting the word out, it can also be slightly insane. Just going into Facebook, I am bombarded with tons of updates, things that have occurred in the past few hours that I didn’t even know (or care) that I was missing. Suddenly the little globe at the top of the page lights up and I am blasted with tons of apps – birthday requests, farmville requests, etc. because – Oh My Goodness! Every one of my friends desperately needs me to waste my time in the same ways that they are wasting it. (and to my dear friends, yes… that was a joke – sort of.)
The reality is, even if I wanted to join all of the apps that are available on Twitter, Facebook, etc (which I do not), I wouldn’t have time to use them anyway. Every spare second I have is spent either being a father, husband, writing or promoting. It’s enough to drive me crazy, but I would not be doing it if I didn’t love what I do or love the input I get from my fans.
It’s a nightmare
One critical thing that social networking has taken away, is face to face communications. It gives you a method to frivolously waste your time and research has shown it can alter behavior in both adults and children making them more prone to ADHD and exposing people to predators like pedophiles and burglars.
In 2011, the number one resource that criminals used as a research tool in the United States was Facebook – using photographs and details that contained houses, cars and people to attack those in the photos. Many people come to me and say, “Well Jason, I’m protected. I locked down my security so that no one but friends can see my posts.”
For those of you who don’t know what my day job has been for the last fifteen years, I have been a Network Engineer with a specialty in security. Trust me, just because your Facebook is set to “friends only” there is nothing to prevent your friends from sharing what you post with others. In fact, your friends simply commenting or liking something that you posted, enables their activity to show in their friends feeds. That’s what makes things viral.
One of my biggest problems with Facebook (and other social networking sites) historically has been the fact that they do not have a method for parents to have administrative privileged over their children’s accounts. In my opinion, children should not even be allowed to create social networking accounts. To create a social network account, a parent should have to prove their own age (via ID, Credit card, etc.) and then have to do the creation of their children’s social networking account – thus having administrative rights to who they can contact, etc. For those of you under the age of 18 I know this sounds like an invasion of privacy, but if you had seen the horrific things I’ve seen on the computer security and forensic side of things, you would feel different.
Keep your bones connected
In short, there is nothing wrong with social networking as long as it’s used wisely and your life is not consumed by it. So, use wisely and avoid the crazies.