Facebook is not as overwhelming as you think it is
Love it or hate it, our online lives are getting larger and more important by the second. 5 years ago, Facebook was that thing that college kids did. Then kids from the high school you went to got into it (eew), then your mom (horror!) and then every business you could possibly think of (how many pages can a person possibly "like"?)
I was always the person who didn't allow myself to give into the fascination of secretly browsing through people's photos, reading their walls, scrutinizing their friends, and updating my status with ever mood change. I was that person who "hated" Facebook, even though I never went so far as to delete mine. Then their interface changed drastically about a year ago and for the first time in my computer using years, I thought "I can't take this! I don't want to change! I won't learn it!"
I realized that at 23, that thought made my attitude automatically ancient. I was about to make myself 90 years old in terms of technical know-how. Yes, technology is changing very rapidly. Yes, we have to keep up with it.
Why? It's the only way you'll be able to make good use of it. Choose to ignore it, and you'll only be limited by its presence.
But back to the the main point - Facebook. Let's talk about how to use it without feeling like your soul is shrinking.
1) Your profile is a publication. Treat it like one.
Let's agree that we are past "worst day ever" status updates. Would you take a newspaper seriously with a front page headline that said "Manicure Ruined!"? Neither would I. Don't demean yourself by posting things that have no interest or worth to anyone else.
2) If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.
Think twice before you go on a Facebook rant. Then maybe go on a run and see if you still feel like fb-yelling.
Consider carefully before you "decline" to go to an event. If you think the host really expects you to attend a show/party/fundraiser/etc and you can't make it, you probably owe them an email or a phone call to say "hey, so sorry I can't be there!". Similarly, if you were thinking about taking the time to press "decline" and post that you would be there, except you'll be doing something way more awesome, change your 'tude and share the event instead. So what if you can't go? Maybe you'll encourage someone else to. The next time you want someone to come to your gig, people will say yes because you're a cheerleader, not a debbie downer.
3) Check Youself (and your privacy settings) before you wreck yourself.
First impressions still count for a lot. What's different now is that the first time someone "meets" you might be online. If you don't want people flipping through all your photos from high school before you've had a chance to say hello face to face, make sure you've limited your profile to allow you that privacy.
Google yourself and see what comes up. Sure, those photos from the warehouse party last weekend make you look like a rockstar, but Nickelodeon might not think so when they're considering you for that kids show and search your name online...
4) Be generous, like a good "friend."
Want someone to pay attention to you? The best way to make that happen is to give someone else some love. Cheer your friends on by "liking", "sharing", "tagging", etc when they have accomplished something, or you have something to thank them for... guaranteed they will be there for you when you really need them to donate to your kickstarter campaign or buy a ticket to your show.
5) Get Offline
Truly, the best thing you can do is to pay attention to all those events you get invited to and then actually go to them. It's good karma, and a far more active networking tool than any online hub.
Any other tips to share? Leave a comment!
photo by Brandon Roots