The Invasion of Social Media

This entertaining video shares some amazing revelations about social media: http://tiny.cc/xjwrq.

Social media has invaded our culture. We are bombarded by television and radio programs asking us to “like” and send comments to their Facebook pages.  Should I care about what is trending on Twitter, is this really news?  Are the best YouTube videos really news?

I once met a woman in her late 70’s who told me she did not understand anything about Facebook and couldn’t understand why she kept hearing about it.  I suggested she take a seminar or a class to learn more about Facebook.  She did not hesitate for a moment and replied, “Who has time for that? I have a life to live!  I have no time to sit in front of a computer all day.”  What a gem she is.  Social media is great but we do have to pick up our heads, shut off our electronic devices, and live!

I have to drive through town to get home.  Daily, when I’m at a stop light I am amazed and horrified as I watch people walk down the street, even cross the street without looking up from their phones.  And yes I’ve seen iPads walking through the streets of town too. I  will admit that social media is addictive.  Plenty of positive, intermittent reinforcement is available from social media – people liking and commenting on your posts or pics, friending you, following you – all of this fueling our repetitive behavior.

Yes, our friends and family are quite dispersed today.  Social media keeps us all connected.  Some fear the more we stay connected electronically the more we sacrifice real unity and community, substituting virtual relationships for face to face time.  Does social media help create and reinforce friendships or help to keep distance between us?  Probably a bit of both.

Everything needs to be in balance, including our social media and Internet time.  Hopefully we can restrain ourselves and put our smart phones away as we stroll. Perhaps if we do we might see someone we know!

Is Your Facebook News Feed Getting Messy?

Wow you’ve got so many friends on Facebook, you’ve added interests, and have become a Fan of many businesses, and now you are checking Facebook many times a day just to keep track of it all? 

Well, there is an easy way to manage your News Feed.   When you are on your News Feed, click on Most Recent to view your latest updates.    Most Recent is a News Feed filter.  Notice there is a drop down menu so you can filter your News Feed by various other criteria.  Whichever filter you choose will display next to Top News.  Most Recent is the default filter.  Friends Lists are very useful for filtering your  News Feed.

If you haven’t already, create Friends Lists such as Family, Work, Book Club, etc. and place your friends in one of these lists.  Then you can filter your News Feed and easily see updates from any list.  Create a Friends List by going to Account, Edit Friends, Create a List.  You enter a name for your list, select those friends and/or pages for the list, click on create, and you’ve got yourself a list!  You will now see this list name in your News Feed filter drop down menu.

Here’s another tip.  Edit options from your News Feed filter will bring up an Edit Your News Feed Settings pop up which allows you to choose to see all of your friends and pages or only those you interact with the most.  If you have been missing postings this setting could be the reason.    Edit options also shows you which friends, applications, and business pages have hidden posts, and you can enable them here if you like.  Remember you can hide an individual post or hide all postings from an individual or page by moving your mouse to the right margin of the post until the X appears.  Clicking on the X provides the hide options.

Do you have a Facebook question?  Please leave a comment if you have a question or a suggestion for a future topic!

Using Facebook Without a Facebook Account

 

You are watching TV and the program you are watching is encouraging you to check out their Facebook page, or become a fan of their page.   You turn off the TV and turn on the radio, and no matter which station you turn to, sooner or later you are asked to like their Facebook page.    

You see the Facebook logo, that white F on the blue background everywhere.   It’s all over print media advertising (check your junk mail), on websites, in stores, and yes sometimes even at the end of television commercials.    If you are a Facebook holdout, you may be wondering what this is all about.  

In addition to advertising, Facebook is in the news almost daily.  Sometimes there is a news story about the latest Mark Zuckerberg endeavor, new Facebook feature, or at least a human interest story, sometimes a happy one but not always.  Like it or not, for better or worse, Facebook has seeped into our culture.  

Facebook is now the most visited website in the US, surpassing Google.  A recent statistic from Arbitron and Edison research claims that 51% of the US population age 12 and over is on Facebook (despite Facebook’s age requirement of 13). Some people are addicted to it, yet many of us (49%) don’t have a Facebook account, and don’t want or feel the need for one.  Perhaps non Facebook users are curious, but have concerns regarding privacy, so they stay away.

If you are one of those Facebook holdouts, perhaps you should give in to your  curiosity, because you may be missing out on a valuable online tool, namely Facebook no account necessary, thank you.  Facebook business pages can be accessed like any other website.  For example, www.facebook.com/”company name”.   (Actually you don’t need the “www”,  just facebook.com works.)  Try going to your favorite search engine and entering the company or local business of your choice followed by Facebook and you will most likely find a link to that company’s Facebook business page.  Click on their Facebook link and there you go, you’ve just landed on the Facebook page for that business, without having signed into Facebook.   What may surprise you is the number of fans of the page (Facebook users who have clicked on the Like button). 

Why bother?    Why if you are happily not using Facebook should you check this out?  First, it may be easier to find information you are looking for on Facebook because the Facebook page format is standardized.  Every business page has at least a Wall and Info tab, additionally there may be Photos, Videos, Events, and Notes tabs.  (Think of a tab as a menu choice.) The Info tab is a template, so information I am looking for is always in the same place on each business page I visit.   If I need a phone number I know I will find it in the Info tab, toward the midddle of the page.  When I need to know a phone number or hours or events for my town, I head straight to the town’s Facebook page because I know where to find the information  immediately without hunting the town website.  If I do want to venture to the town website I can just click on the website link provided in the Info tab – so easy.   Second, you may be missing out on local events, programs, specials, or discounts that are being advertised via a Facebook Wall posting or Event posting.  Third, many local businesses may not have a costly website, but they might have a Facebook page because it is free.  How nice to find out store hours or event details without having to make a phone call! 

Now that you know a bit about Facebook business pages, next time you are on a website and see that white F on the blue background, click on it – it will bring you to that company’s Facebook page.

Having a profile on Facebook is a personal choice.  For those who choose not to become friends or fans in the Facebook fashion, know that you do not have to ban yourself from Facebook!  You can’t access personal profiles, but you can see the same events, wall postings, and information that Facebook users see on business pages.  You can’t get automatic updates from a business page as fan can, however you can bookmark (save as a favorite)  your pages of interest and easily check them out with just a click.  Hey, even if you do use Facebook, you can bookmark your favorite business pages and check them out without having to login.

Do you have a Facebook question?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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