Social networking: checking in and out

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Social networking

Social media can be a time waster, yet it has its place. I use various forms to maintain contact with family and friends, as well as promote my writing and sprinkle encouragement. And, social media is how I keep up-to-date as far as world events. But I can’t count the number of times I get sucked into the drama, the recipes and book reviews, music and cat videos, the goofy memes and even the political harangues. Yet I like feeling as if I’m part of something bigger than myself. Plus, I’m thankful for the people I’ve reconnected with, and for instantaneous communications—although not always a good thing when you feel compelled to respond immediately to a text or a private message. I think, like with most things, setting aside allotted time—particularly to check in and catch up on Facebook, email, texting, Twitter, etc.—might be one answer to rein in the day-to-day distractions and simplify life.

Where does social networking fall on your list of distractions?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Boy meets world (wide web)

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[Image credit: KROMKRATHOG]

Be obscure clearly. ~ E.B. White

This quote by E.B. White is exactly how I’m feeling about cyber communications and social media at the moment, because it is by far one of the easiest ways to misrepresent ourselves without even trying.  Social-networking via the Internet and its ease in keeping us connected is a mixed blessing and a curse because it’s almost effortless to keep in touch anywhere in the world, but even easier for a friend to mistakenly read between the lines.  A hastily sent email, a text using the wrong word or missing a crucial piece of punctuation — even  face-to-face chats can be misinterpreted or left unfinished.  In one sense the World Wide Web keeps us linked in, but at the same time it’s making it harder for us to maintain, let alone grow, these long distance relationships beyond the 4G network.  The Internet isn’t going away any time soon, so perhaps the solution to clear communications for boy — or girl — is to make an effort to slow down a little.  Think before IMing or, if it’s possible, wait until you can talk in person to minimize misunderstandings or hurt feelings.  In this age of technology, it may take extra work.  But the best friendships are worth it.

What is your secret to avoiding online misunderstandings?