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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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Social Media Can Also Improve Relationships

Social networking (and other technological advances) has altered how we stay connected to friends, make purchases, network with colleagues, and find out what’s going on in the world. It has been known to destroy relationships by rekindling past flames, beginning covert affairs, replacing face-to-face intimacy with imaginary online closeness, revealing too much information, and cyber-stalking to ease or confirm jealousy.

Some things to remember that will help keep relationships running smoothly online (and offline) are:

  • Anyone involved in a committed adult relationship shouldn’t be afraid to be public about their status on Facebook or other social media sites.
  • Your partner should be your friend on social media sites. If you can’t see what each other shares publicly online, this could be a sign of impending trouble.
  • Reminisce only briefly with past loves. Anything any more than that could put distance between you and your significant other.
  • Never vent personal information online when you’re angry. In fact, never do it offline either. Give yourself time to assess the situation and address it without pointing blame.
  • Online content is permanent! Even if something posted is deleted (and forgotten), it isn’t really. Nothing ever permanently goes away, and you don’t want it to resurface when you least expect it.
  • Don’t over-share. A better way to learn about people is to have face-to-face conversations. Also, don’t publicize every little detail about your relationships and personal life online.

Often, social media does couples more harm than good. However, social media can also be a positive thing that fortifies bonds between partners. Social media is a great way to connect and encourage loved ones during the workday, or whenever they are away. Anytime you can stay connected and increase communication will benefit a relationship.

Here are some fun ways to stay connected and put a smile on that important someone’s face during times when you are apart. Use social media to:

  • Remember the good times by reminding them of a special moment you shared.
  • Express thankfulness for kindnesses they’ve shown you and for their friendship and love.
  • Make them laugh with a funny meme or other online content that you think they will enjoy.
  • Just say “Hello” or send a smile (emoticon).

A celebrity who does an awesome job of showing his wife how much she means to him and is an inspiration to us all is Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad. He just might be the most perfect husband ever, complimenting his wife Lauren Parsekian every chance he gets. Read about this very-much-in-love couple here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/aaron-paul-wife_n_4032479.html. Awwwe!!

Remember—you have the power to build and maintain quality relationships. The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is excellent advice; it is as powerful now as it was c. 2000 BC, “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule)

What are you waiting for? Go reach out to your special someone!

—Laura

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Social Media Late Adopter

I am not ashamed to admit that when it comes to Social Media, I previously wore the Scarlet Letter as a Late Adopter. It wasn’t that I was intimidated by it. I do not think I truly understood the benefits and I certainly did not buy into the hype. Working in retail management for over ten years, I did not interact with a lot with the Social Media channels, but I enjoyed surfing the net.
I recall my talks with family and friends regarding Facebook. They would say “Kim, people are asking about you, so should think about creating a Facebook account.” For the longest time during the conversations I had with family and friends, Facebook would somehow make its way into the discussion. For months, my response was always the same, I did not want to be bothered and no one is looking for me. Obviously neither of those statements was true.
Finally after months of Facebook beatdown exchanges, I threw in the towel, waved the white flag and created an account. I also shamefully admit my mom had established an account long before I did.
Once I started living the Facebook life (minus a profile picture, I still get nagged about that), I thought to myself this is a neat concept. I began trying to find everyone from my past that really left a lasting impression in my life. The unfortunate fact I had to face is that sometimes the impact was not reciprocated. I will say that bothered me. Also an important reminder is that many years have elapsed since I last talked to these friends and we no longer have that much in common. But the memories we shared will always have a place in my heart.
Facebook is neat in too many ways to name; however, here are a few of my favorite things. I enjoy seeing my friends children grow into adulthood, old and new pictures and sharing the old school music videos.
I even ventured out and created a LinkedIn account. As the lyrics from the 1970’s Jefferson’s sitcom “I’m moving on up, I finally got my piece of the (Facebook/LinkedIn) pie.”
I took advantage of a government sponsored Public Relations Specialist nine month certification program. One of the courses that I am currently enrolled in is Social Media. It is one of my favorite classes on the curriculum. It required that I utilize Twitter, Pinterest, create a blog as well as Facebook. I will admit some fear had set in, because tweeting, pinning and blogging (I am speaking the social media language yall) was not something I was comfortable with. Now, that is not the case, I feel confident and comfortable using the channels. Really once you get started it is not difficult.
As great as Social Media is, it has it problems. There is cyber bullying, lies, hoaxes, racist sites, and some celebrities I wish would give the world and the Social Media channels a break. Their so many inappropriate sites I cannot name them all. Just remember to use your built in sensory and filter skills to separate the good from the evil. You noticed I did not use the word “bad.” The reason for this is that the word “bad” is too nice of a word to describe the hot mess and foolishness that is oozing out on the World Wide Web.
Despite its misgivings, I encourage everyone to give Social Media a try. It is a wonderful tool to assist you in every aspect of your life. Whether it’s a meet up group or you are trying to find a tasty recipe for that tired “baked chicken” dish. Do not let your age or lack of education be a barrier. There is help for anyone at any level. Research your area libraries, colleges and universities for information on upcoming classes or workshops. Remember…you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.


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7 Days of Blogging – Five Equals Robin

Life is all about all kinds of emotions and recently, I have been thinking a lot about how we deal with death and grief on social media.

This blog is an updated and abbreviated version of something I wrote shortly after Robin William’s death, and this is why #5 = Robin.

Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society

The news of Robin Williams’ death on Monday August 11, 2014 shocked the world. That this news created an overwhelming sense of sadness at the loss of someone whom I had never personally met was at first a bit incomprehensible. Why did this loss affect me so? Then I wandered onto my Facebook page to the onslaught of commentary of Rest In Peace and video clips of this man who touched so many people on so many levels. I then realized that he had been a part of my social conscious for almost 40 years. I felt the need to honor this man. I also found it fascinating and somewhat frightening how social media reported and reacted to his death.

Social media will be changed forever due to bad behavior. Twitter quickly re-vamped its user protection policies after a few horrible people posted things to Robin’s daughter Zelda’s account. “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement, “We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”

Zelda herself had the last word though, “To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 1.42.59 AMfor those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too.”

Robin starred as lead in numerous films, not all of them comedic roles. He won an Oscar for his portrayal of professor Sean Mcguire in Good Will Hunting. Of course it’s mainly the comedies that most remember, especially Mrs. Doubtfire. Robin got social media, always had a joke at the ready, and himself tweeted his photo as Mrs. Doubtfire in response to a certain someone showing up at the Met Gala one year wearing a dress that Robin claimed, he “wore it better!” As always, perfect timing.

Dead Poets Society (John Keating) – 1989
“Why do I stand up here? Anybody? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”

 

Dead Poets Society is one my favorite films and one I have watched too many times to count. Ironically, the deep roles Robin played often revolved around dealing with suicide. How strange and very sad that some of the funniest humans have the heaviest hearts.

The news, the tributes and internet chatter about Robin’s death not only allowed people to grieve openly together, it also allowed people to speak out about their own struggles with depression. The silence about mental illness and depression must end. We must have those difficult conversations about a topic that generations have tried to sweep under the rug. Everyone I know has in one way or another been affected by suicide and, unfortunately, many of us with more than one loss due to suicide throughout our lives.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 38,000 people die by suicide every year, and 750,000 more attempt suicide. More people die by suicide annually throughout the world than death by war, murder and natural disasters combined. These staggering numbers makes one reel. How can we prevent these numbers from continuing to increase?

Robin’s death prompted many people who had never spoken about their issues to open up, and more amazingly is that they have done so in a very public forum on the internet. The dialogue needs to continue. Everyone needs to understand that there is no shame in having depression. Start talking. Speak openly and honestly, reach out and talk with someone. Find someone to trust who can be there for support whenever you need it.

~Christine Dietsche


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7 Days of Blogging – #3 – Dog Blogging

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Zelda and Juno (Zelda on left)

Today I am going to blog about dogs and how they are everywhere on the internet and, most importantly, in our lives. This is my “#3” in the series because for a week we had three pets instead of two, since we fostered a little puppy named Jesse (now known as Juno.) In the past we have had more four-legged family members (up to 5 at one point) and in the future I certainly foresee more four-leggeds in our life. I won’t be the crazy cat lady today (but I’m sure I will be in the future!) since I am concentrating on Dog Blogging.

This past week we helped a wonderful puppy find her home through social media and many phone calls. I discovered that my family (my husband, myself, our dog Zelda and our cat Zaepfle) can be good foster parents. Not easy to not become a so-called “foster failure.” We learned we got to be a part of this special girl’s story, and help her find the right future.

As you can see, our family took in this little friend and adored her. We then made sure she found the right home. Through photos posted on social media, many stepped forward, and she found the right place to call home for life. We got extra lucky in that her new family is close to us and there will be play dates together!

Dog rescues have figured out in the past few years how important it is to tell the story of each individual animal. There are so many stories out there on social media, and videos, including news reports, of dogs found in desperate and near death situations and because of social media they become “miracle” stories.

There is much knowledge available regarding the No Kill Movement.  Our family member, the little ambassador dog, Zelda, was rescued from a kill shelter in Kentucky with nine (yes nine!) puppies in her belly. All ten of them found homes through the tireless efforts of a No Kill rescue called Safe Hands. It was her photo  and story that captured my heart!

We are so blessed to have Zelda in our lives. She has given us more joy than I can express in one blog post. Thanks to her rescuers’ efforts, she has even been able to connect with some of her pups and their families, and their stories will continue with the help of social media.

There are so many rescues out there and many have learned that a good photo will find the right home. There are many resources to explain the facts. This was not possible before the internet and social media. Families and individuals take the time to foster animals instead of animals being left in a cage to await their fate. We have a long way to go because so many only know of a place that has an ad on TV or because they have been around and their name is “known.”

I certainly encourage you  that when you are ready for a pet for life, to look into the local, “smaller” rescues. Check out their social media sites like Facebook, Twiitter and Instagram and see who they are posting about that needs a loving home. Learn and understand what the No Kill Movement is all about. Understand the importance of fostering. An animal in a foster home will most likely be healthier, more socialized, and you will be able to know more about their personality and special needs. Support, donate, volunteer and/or foster. You will make a difference in this world that is immeasurable and become a better human for it.

~Christine Dietsche

 

 

 


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Twitter Tips for All

Twitter logo

Tweet! Tweet!! A little birdie told me…

Thinking about using Twitter? Not sure why you would or if it’s even worth it? Twitter is many different things to many different people. It’s a great place for keeping in touch with friends and family, staying current with what’s happening in the world, and informing others about your business’s products and services.

Twitter is like blogging (it started as a micro-blogging service) and instant messaging combined. It is the ultimate in social messaging, as you can connect with lots of people whenever and wherever you want. It is an event coordinator, a business tool, a news reporting service, and a marketing device.

In order to effectively use Twitter, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind as you enter the world of Twitter and get ready to “tweet” (or post) a brief message:

MISC. INFO

  • Maximum length of username is 15 characters—the shorter the better. It will be easier for people to find you.
  • Maximum number of characters per tweet is 140. Leave at least 20 characters free as space for people to retweet you.
  • Twitter shortens links with their internal shortener, or you can use bitly.com. Each link uses up 22 or 23 characters.
  • Starting the beginning of a tweet with @username is a reply. It will only be seen by that person and people who are following both of you (it will also show up on your profile page and in Twitter search). If you tag a username anywhere but at the start of the tweet, everybody following you (including the user) will see that message. This is called a mention.
  • Images dramatically increase social media engagement. A picture on Twitter uses up 23 characters.
  • If you make an error in a tweet, to fix it, delete it first and then re-submit. You cannot edit tweets.

USING TWITTER

  • To be social, when you are mentioned (@username), you should respond to that tweet.
  • Retweet, reply to, and favorite other people’s tweets.
  • People who tweet frequently attract more followers. An active Twitter presence can help a business generate more revenue.
  • Link your tweets to interesting articles you find.
  • Hosting a creative contest or sweepstakes is a great way to improve engagement for businesses.
  • Join a worldwide public conversation by participating in Twitter trends (#hashtags). Twitter provides a daily list of trending topics near the top of your Twitter page on the lefthand side.
  • Behind-the-scenes info and photos are a great way to humanize your business.
  • You can live-tweet anything that would interest your followers and friends. Concerts, low gas prices, Elvis sightings, etc.
  • Quotes are always popular no matter what social media platform you’re on.
  • Create an original meme that fits with your company or product. Everybody loves memes and they often go viral.
  • Use one to two #hashtags per tweet for maximum engagement.
  • Become an expert: inform, talk about your company and other things your audience is interested in.
  • Use Twitter daily—search, lurk, post, retweet.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • To grow your community, add your Twitter ID to your email signature and other content, both online and off.
  • It’s OK to schedule tweets, but don’t automate anything.
  • Don’t be a salesperson on Twitter. Instead, be informative, entertaining and social.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you. They probably won’t. Some may unfollow you.

REMEMBER

  • Everything you say can be seen by anyone, right from the start.
  • Your tweets can be found in Twitter search and also by Google and other search engines.
  • Search your company on Twitter. See what people are saying about you. Respond whether good or bad—make things right!
  • Follow 20-30 good users.
  • Google search companies doing well on Twitter and check out what they do; follow them.

Don’t be nervous! The best way to learn is to jump right in and as Nike says, “Just do it!”

—Laura


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Adventure in Social Media and Art

As I’ve stated before on facebook, part of what I love about manga is the artwork. For the most part, manga is simple sketches in comic form, but there are some Asian artists that take it a step further by creating these characters through digital art. Because of the complexity of digital art, they only do single portraits of characters. One of the social networks where you can find this type of art is on Deviantart (http://www.deviantart.com/). The site provides a forum and outlet for visitors and artists of all genres whether it be photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash, or filmmaking. They also provide skins for applications, operating system customization utilities, extensive downloadable resources such as tutorials and stock photography as well as journals, polls, groups, forums, and portfolios.

There are a wide variety of things to do and see at this sight. They have a system similar to Facebook’s “like” only it is called favorite. You can post comments, join groups or clubs, talk with artist, enter contests, and purchase artwork. They have implemented a point system where you earn points by taking polls, submitting artwork or written works or entering contest. You can then use the points to purchase things or give them to people to show appreciation.

 I mainly go there for the artwork. There are many digital artists that have done some amazing things. My favorite is Heise. In addition there is a landscape photographer, Oer Wout, which has some of the most unique photos.I even take time to read some of the original stories or adaptations of various manga stories. I’ve often considered submitting a story, or two, myself. I guess I haven’t gotten the courage yet. If you have the time, some Sun day afternoon, you should check out this site. It can be an adventure. — Denai