Social Media - The Rules


Like many people not shy to share their opinions I have been on social media  specifically twitter a lot more during this pandemic.  While it can be enlightening to gain perspective from different points of view, it is not without peril. 

Social media like many indulgences is fine in moderation and self regulated use, but it can turn quickly agsinst you if abused. Witnessed that personally with friends and family.

To avoid its trappings, I have my own set of guidelines. 

When Facebook got started it was to connect socially with friends and families. Now it has become an immersive platform that many connect with first when they go on-line. People have their own rules, on who they "friend". I was pretty restictive with it to start as being a friend means a lot more than an aquaintance. But I moved on that, still keeping in mind I was sharing persoanl family pictures, stories and moments on the platform. 

When I start writing for a brief time I would post columns here too. Found out quickly that can be a recipe for friendship disaster. If you want to share your opinions with friends, that's fine, but you may find you may not have as many as you thought. People like each other for diffrent reasons. Not everyone is going to agree with you and even those who do, may not want to get a sermon while they flip through posts catching up.  It is the reason some have delted facebook or rarely go on the platform.

So my rule is not leverage my friendhip with you to gain a greater audience. Periodically, I will let them know of where they can find my written works or thoughts if they so choose. 

If you still want to share your political views with friends, then don't get upset if they block you. 

Full disclosure, I don't go on facebook or instagram that often because their algorithm only has a few people come up often. There is probably some way to override this, but I can't be bothered. If it's that important to me I can find you. 

Linkedin is where I have most the unknown followers and so nothing other than published columns and professional commentary goes there. 

Now finally twitter. The war zone of social media. I do enjoy the back and forth and learning that can take place between strangers and on-line acquaintances in real time. I have two accounts, because my favourite sports team sometimes needs my unsolicted in game advice. 😃

I try not to engage the irrational anonymous.  Is there any point getting into it with @serendipity1!%$  a 
possible 10 year old or fake account?

If a person wants to chirp and doesn't have the guts to identify themselves in some way - ignore them. They are like a person calling you out in a bar, while standing behind a plant. They can follow, but it will not be reciprocated. 

Note this is not a strategy to follow to get more followers - only sanity.  I want quality over quantity. If you are notable blue checker of personal interest I will follow. If a nobody like me doesn't follow back, you better bring something to the table.

These rules I have found have kept me from going down the dark path of social media and in good mental health -  so I hope. 

I have come close to dropping the whole thing and hitting delete.  A feeling of self importamce and a desire to share keeps me coming back. 

So there it is if you care. I had to get that off my chest. If you love to write as I do, its cathartic. If you ❤ it that's great. But its the rational, unmasked haters offering smart rebuttal, that I love even more. 

Gregory Cawsey
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