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How to use Social Networking Appropriately

Updated on July 24, 2010

whats your status?

      What's your status?  What are you thinking about?  What are you doing right now?  These are some of the questions that are at the top of the home page on many social networking sites.  The questions are written to guide users in ways to start a dialogue with others. 

    If you use these sites correctly, you would write what are you doing, or an event that just occurred in your life that you want to converse with others about.  It is friendly, and no one should have any objections to what you have written.  Many people use these sites, such as facebook or twitter to keep track of what their friends are doing throughout the day.  Offices use them as quick ways to get information to employees and feedback as well. 

   They are great tools for locating old friends.  I am amazed at the old friends that I communicate with on a daily basis through facebook.  People I have not spoken to in 20-30 years.  Many of these people I was not even that close to while in grade school or high school but now we are because our lives have traveled the same routes.  If it were not for these social networking tools, we would not know what one another was up to.  Now we do.

     Families who live a great distance from one another, may now share in each others joys and sorrows in the blink of an eye.  Photos can be posted, so noone ever feels as though they have truly missed out anyone.  It is a wonderful way to stay connected.   We have been planning my high school reunion through social networking.  It has been much easier than the last reunion which was done without such tools.

    Romances start when friend connect other friends.  Or maybe someone may be in a chat situation and find someone they feel they have alot in common with.  After all of the online conversations, sometimes they will meet in person.  Often it leads to wonderful relationships.  However, one must be careful, because the networking can also lead to infidelity.  Many people are reconnecting with old flames who are still hot for them.  Or else they find someone new while they are searching the web.

     Many people show their relationships via the web.  I have noted that several of my facebook friends list their relationship status and link with another facebook friend.  I  and linked with my husband who is also a member.  But whenever they break up or have a fight, they change the status, sometimes even deleting pictures of the person.  They list their problems in their status.  It is very tempting, but I advise against it.  We all forget that their any hundreds of people getting those status updates.  Sometimes more if you are part of a network.  We forget and we think that it is only us and our closest friends seeing what we write.

   Another point I must make is that when posting anything on the internet, remember that it is permanent.  You may delete it on your pages, but somewhere, someone can get a hold of it.  So if you have drunken pictures of you kissing your boss on your social site, they are going to haunt you forever.  Be careful.  Remember that it is a public website, not your private photo album or your diary.   Prospective employers will google your name and all of this may show up.  You find a great partner and he or she may see your past on the internet and keep walking.

    So enjoy you new social life via the web, as I have, but remember these tips, tips that I have recently assigned to myself:

1)  Don't forget about the people actually in your home with you. 

2) Stop facing or texting long enough to watch your children playing sports or performing. Also please stop during dinner, take a break

3) DO NOT publish your life unless it is an inspiration to others.  No dirty laundry on the internet, save that for private conversations with your dear friends, family or therapists.

4) EDIT your photos before you post them.

5) No drunk posting or texting.  Be careful when you are not alert, you will do things you wouldn't do otherwise.

6)Shut off the computer/blackberry at a certain time each night and enjoy your family, your home, your partner, your pet or just the peace and quiet of your home.

7) have fun finding new friends, but don't forget to go outside and live!




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