Apr 8, 2012

Productive use of social networks

I keep reading about the how people's lives have been ruined and people- young and old - going into depression due to facebook use.

Well, it depends on how you use facebook. Or any networking site for that matter. Used correctly, social networks such as facebook or linkedin or twitter are a boon for people who wish to find more real life friends. For that you have to understand how difficult it was to get in touch with new people in the pre-internet era.

Simple suggested guidelines for productive use of a social network:
  • Use it to make friends from your city or locality who you can meet in real life or take up common activities with. 
  • Use it to build business contacts or employment purposes. 
  • Apply a bit of common sense, maturity, and a little restraint while building these new online relationships. 
  • Be careful about the kind of remarks you make or information you share. 
  • If it is a forum such as yahoogroup, be polite to its members while posting on the forum.
  • Interact with the person and find out if he/she is genuine and not just a facade or a persona, before agreeing to meet face-to-face.  
  • Do not believe all those fantastic things people put up on FB. That is just 1% of their life story. Much of it is fantasy too. 
  • Be natural and normal in your own responses to others. There is no need to put up a fake front if you wish to move some of these friendships to the real world. 
  • Ideally agree to meet in a small group rather than a one-on-one in case you are not sure of someone.
  • DO NOT neglect your existing real life friends and good relations (if you have any).
There may be more such dos and donts. I have just stated a few top-of-the-mind ones here.

Happy facebooking!

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