Up here at the Old Place we know how to use things. When you have to hit something, you use a hammer, not a wrench. When you want to go fishing, you do not drive ole Fezzie into the lake, you hop in the boat and if someone needs a hand, we usually give them two! The other day, Hannah said that she was thinking of quitting FB and going back to, "the lost art of letter writing." I know how she is feeling. The same thing used to gnaw at me sometimes. Hannah even gave up social media completely for lent this year. What a gal! A break from anything can be a good idea. It allows you to step back and reassess. Social media. . . well, I believe that requires a different approach.
First, ask yourself, 'Why do I use social media?' There are lots of reasons:
1. Personal: Keeping up with old friends and making new ones, in other words, being sociable.
2. Special Interests for Fun: Cars (You knew that would be first.), Sugar Gliders, Dogs, Food, Sports, Travel, Hobbies, Home and car repair.
3. Special Interest Practical: Professional networking, Promoting your business, Buying and Selling.
4. BATTLE!: If you have seen the movie, Michael, you will understand the reference. This is for your politics and causes.
1 and 2 can mix, 1, 2 and 3 could mix but should not, and 4 should never mix with anything.
I believe the thing to do with social media is to use IT, instead of letting IT use us. Take FB for example, if I see something I want to comment on, I start my own thread and see where it goes. I also look at a responder's profile and personal FB page before replying to them. If I find things that make me realize there is no point in including them, I delete them from the thread and block them. Of the ones you leave on the thread, if they go Kujo on you STOP and dump them, fast! Do not let them pollute the waters with their poisons. The cool part is, YOU can still comment on their stuff if YOU want to, otherwise, put 'um in File 13. (TIP: If you do not respond directly, they will not be able to defeat your Block.)
Finally, remember, the church wants us to be an evangelist for the faith. Pappa Frances is Tweeting all the time for us to do this with love. Here then is simple a process to follow when using social media:
1. Pray for God's grace to guide you.
2. Read and reread your post for content.
3. Read and reread your post for grammar and spelling.
4. Post ONLY if you want to entertain or to make a positive difference in the lives of your readers.
5. Never post to get "it" off your chest. You may feel better at first but not for the long haul.
So, What's It Got to Do With Safety?
Keeping your business and personal life as separate as possible will keep the two from interfering with each other to your grief. You can apologize for a gaff made face to face, but a gaff on social media can explode, hurt or anger hundreds, cost you friendships, your job, even your professional standing. Then, there goes your blood pressure! Or you could slide on up to the Old Place, grab a cold drink, pour yourself into rocker (they are available) and work the crossword in the paper. That's what I'm doing, sitting in a rocker at the Old Place, I am, Col. Jim.