I have been working in the technology space for 20 years. Wow – that makes me feel really old. I am also in sales which means I have been a participant in the growth and use of social media for both personal and professional use. Last year I got pissed off at Facebook and took a “hiatus.” I found myself getting angry and upset with the content and agreed (with myself) given everything I was working on personally I would deem it to not be a healthy place for me to spend my time. I love when I agree with myself!
Fast forward, I jumped into this BLOG thing a couple months ago and could not deny that I needed Facebook to reach people, so I carefully jumped back in. I realized I enjoyed it again and I even missed it – knowing what my family and friends are up to? Seeing fun pics of them all? Following organization/causes I care about? Seeing fun videos of dogs and animals that make me chuckle? What’s not to love? All of that AND I get to REACH people.
So why did I quit you Facebook?
It struck me, well several things struck me, but while I was watching some of the Zuckerberg hearings I realized it’s about personal responsibility and accountability like with everything else in my personal and professional life. What do I mean?
MY EXPERIENCE WITH FACEBOOK CAN BE ENTIRELY WHAT I MAKE OF IT. BOOM!
I watched these senators ask questions, at times that were bordering on scary given they represent our interests, but I felt this recurring theme of questions that were all similar (generalizing here)…. If I post something are you going to keep it safe?
My immediate thoughts were:
There is a lack of education as to what it means when you “post” something out there. In my opinion, every time I post something out there I make a choice. I am choosing to put whatever it is…. out there. This comes with great responsibility if you ask me. I take it seriously. Oh and by the way – it’s on the internet where things NEVER GO AWAY. They LIVE FOREVER.
There is also responsibility to use the tools wisely. I take the time to go into all the settings, in particular, privacy settings to determine how much I share and to whom. I choose to never to connect to 3rd party apps. There are many choices I make to AGAIN make my FACEBOOK experience what I want it to be and feel confident about the control I have over my data.
I choose to be positive, post positive and follow positive. So…. I make choices about what I follow. You go negative. Boom. I no longer follow you. You write something negative or hateful on my posts. Delete. It’s that simple. I control my experience.
This does not excuse what Facebook allowed to happen and how a 3rd party was accessing personal data of millions and using that data illegally. BUT – I think we can all be more responsible about what we are “putting out there” and how we manage our own personal data. We must understand how valuable that data is to others that may not be looking to do good things with it. At the end of the day these tools are accessible and provide so much value to me both professionally and personally. I never imagined I would be using it to REACH people in the ways that I do. It allows me to pay it forward, share my stories, lessons, journeys... all in hopes that someone else listens and benefits from it. In addition I get take my passion for business and the entrepreneurial spirit and share other people’s stories and support them in a way that others have supported me. Everybody wins. At least I think so!
My final thought for this is that yes, social media is amazing. Yes, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Yes, we should all take advantage of it..... but we should never forget about personal connections and real interaction….. Hand written letters/cards, phone calls and face to face meetings. You know the stuff we all used to do? It is so very important to continue to make human connections. In honor of the passing of Barbara Bush, a personal hero, I leave you with two quotes:
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”
“Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.
- Barbara Bush