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Social Media Diet

Let’s talk Facebook.

Many of us opened an account on Facebook “because our friends were there”. I still remember when I opened my account. After setting up my name and password, I was prompted to “find my friends”. I tried out Classmates.com and was never a fan of My Space, so this was my first “real go” at a social media platform. I had 40 friends on Facebook. What?! How could 40 people I know be on Facebook and I just learned about it. Why wasn’t I in the loop? Two things confused me about this.

#1 Why hadn’t anyone told me about the platform?

I tell everyone EVERYTHING. It is why I had to start a blog. I was wearing my friends ears out.

#2. There were things that people posted on Facebook that they never mentioned to me as a non-Facebook friend.

See #1 if you are confused as to why I expect to hear everything that is going on with everyone.

I started to “friend” my friends. I avoided associates. Why? Because they were not my friends. They were associates. People that you are friendly to when you see them, but you do not invest anything further.I like things organized and compartmentalized. Now professional people are “friending me on Facebook” and my friends (who I couldn’t tell you if they are competent at their job or not) are “connecting with me” on LinkedIn. I don’t even want to be on LinkedIn!

The line between friends and associates as has become ever so grey, thanks to social media.  This is both a good and bad thing. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter has led to me forming great personal and professional relationships. When people get out of their boxes and travel across networks, it creates issues for most and seems to be the primary complaint I receive.

Determine WHY you are on Facebook.

I have seen friends and clients struggle with the exact situation. For today, I am going to focus on Facebook. For many people this is a personal platform. Meaning, the average person has an account to interact with people they already know. This is completely acceptable. You do not need to “friend” anyone that you do not want to. Whether you have a business or not. You are in control of your own experience. Determine WHY you are on Facebook. Is it to keep up with old friends? Post pictures for your family across the country? Do you own a business that should be on Facebook? Make sure your experience lines up with the reason you are here. Determine ahead of time who you will associate with on what platform.

I reserve my Facebook account for Mommy friends and old friends I want to keep up with. I have a follow button if you would like to see my public posts. Most of them are public. I highly suggest having a follow button and a page for your business if you are active on Facebook. You set the boundaries. This is your account and your business. If someone is going to give you a difficult time, they just proved why you were on the fence about friending them anyway.

Facebook diet

The second complaint I receive often is that they do not like what people are posting. Remember the saying, “if you don’t like what you are watching, change the channel”? If you are not happy with the types of posts that you see within your stream, unfriend the person. I understand that you can “hide” people, but if you do not want to interact with them, then don’t. Nobody can make you do something that you do not want to do.

The third complaint that I hear is that there are too many business posts in their stream. I suggest that you take a lazy afternoon on the couch and unlike all the pages you “liked” along the way. Let’s be honest. How many of those likes came from a contest or because a friend had just liked it and if they liked it, you want to like it too, to see what you are missing.

Lastly, the fourth complaint I get from personal and professional friends. “It’s a time suck”. To stay focused, you can set a timer on your phone or use logging into Facebook a treat at the end of the night if you accomplished everything you needed to.

Let’s go on a diet and only put good and healthy things into our social media accounts.

1. Determine the reason why you are on Facebook.

2. Weed out all the people that do not help you achieve your goals.

3. Only like the pages you are truly interested in.

4. Use Facebook as a carrot to get your work/chores done or set a timer if you need to be there for work.

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