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Archive for April, 2017

Hi gang:

Today’s article is based on a series of tweets I sent out in late April 2017 from my Twitter account During the week of April 23 to 30, one of the hottest “hash tags” was one called “Advice for people joining Twitter”. I fired off a few ideas and several people suggested to me that I take my comments and put them in a more public forum where people outside of social media could see them. I thought it was a good idea, so here we go. In each case, the first sentence (which I will put in bold type for ease of convenience) is taken from the original tweet, then I expand on what I wrote as I feel led. I hope you enjoy this material and as always feel free to share my stuff with others:

Send positive, uplifting tweets. You can be a ray of sunshine for others and make their day better. I find it disappointing just how much toxic and negative stuff is on social media. Human beings seem to be better at destroying each other than helping. Is that really what you want? Instead, let’s send out positive stuff that can really make someone’s day. Who knows – your message just might help pick up someone who is having a rough time. I believe men and women were put on this earth to help each other and make life’s journey a little more pleasant. Let’s all do our part folks.

Follow reliable news and other media sources. Share valuable and useful information with others. People want to know what’s going on in our world. One of the really neat things about social media is its ability to inform people and make their world better. So be sure to subscribe to Twitter accounts representing newspapers, TV and radio stations and other sources. Don’t just subscribe to outlets that support your opinion. Try other points of view. For example, if you favour the left wing/liberal side of things, don’t just subscribe to the Toronto Star, MSNBC or other liberal outlets. Try FOX News, the Toronto Sun or other conservative stuff. And the opposite is true for the conservatives out there.

Make your tweets interesting and informative. Share social media content that will attract followers. If people see you in that light, that you are someone who wants to share interesting stuff, they will be more likely to follow you. One thing I learned long ago about Twitter is that followers don’t always hang around. I subscribe to a couple of sites that monitor who follows my Twitter account. And I always chuckle when I get a report that says something like: “In the past two weeks you gained 100 new followers and lost 42”. I’m just as guilty as the next person. Sometimes I will look at the accounts I am following. And in some cases if I don’t see a reason to keep following them, I won’t. Happens all the time on social media. But if we all share content and information that people really like, chances are more likely that they will stay on and continue following us. A pleasant notion indeed!

Everything you write on social media impacts your personal and professional reputation. Keep that in mind folks! I suspect most people on Twitter don’t do that. Especially the idiots who seem to spend all their time on social media trashing others. It can really come back to haunt them in future in ways they can never imagine. For example, if that person is looking for a job and I am thinking about hiring them for my company, if they decided to send out really disgusting tweets or fail to treat others with respect, chances are that I won’t be hiring them to fill my open position at work. And that’s just one example of many such situations.

Once you post something online it’s there forever. Do you really want to “trash” someone or something? Be careful! Next time you want to get back at someone who caused you pain and/or other negatives, just remember that it will always be there. Sure, you can delete your tweet later on, even if its 30 seconds later and you realize you made a mistake. But that original tweet will always be there folks, whether it’s positive or negative. Along with the ramifications that may come from your negativity. Isn’t it better to just not post that trash at all? And while you are at it, work on healing that pain and related stuff. Why not reach out to that person and see if you can work together at finding some positive solutions? OK – maybe I should leave the “counseling” and “therapy” stuff to the experts, let’s go to the next one!

Watch the “personal” stuff. Most folks don’t care about your Friday night pool party or that Sunday afternoon brunch. You’re just not that interesting. Rather than posting “personal” stuff like that on Twitter, save it for Facebook or more “intimate” settings. And don’t use Twitter to “trash” your ex-husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend. It’s awfully tempting to dump your “dirty laundry” out there and talk about when your best friend cheated on you by having an affair with your wife. Or similar stuff that would make the supermarket tabloids or reality shows proud. But being negative online never solves anything and it could also bite you back someday. Is that really what you want? Is that really the reputation you want people to have about you? I hope not.

Practice “pay it forward” and help others always. When someone does a nice thing for you, do that to another person. When someone does something nice to us, the natural reaction is to pay them back. For example, if you give me a book or a CD for Christmas, I would be tempted to drop by my local bookstore or order something online for the next time I see you. And while that can be really nice, I think it’s much nicer if I repay that good deed by doing something nice for another person. And also encourage that person to do the same for someone else. It’s another way we can make our world better.

If you are a Christian or practice other beliefs, pray for your social media friends daily. I do it, it’s a blessing. I really value the people I have connected with on Twitter. Whether it’s the people who actually follow my account, or someone who has even read one of my tweets, I really appreciate their support and encouragement. So I feel the least I can do is take a couple of minutes every day to pray for anyone who has had any kind of association with me on social media. I also like to pray for the people in their lives, such as their families and friends. And if one of my followers or social media friends gives me a specific prayer request, I will work on that too. We should support and care for each other, prayer is one important way to do it.

Send positive thinking messages on social media. Bring hope and light to anyone who reads your tweets. We live in a world full of negatives and toxic environments. Sometimes I think that is the default setting for human beings, and that really sickens me. Why does the world treat others with such filth and lack of respect? I just don’t understand and probably never will. But why not change the channel? Let’s offer positive content when we are on Twitter or other social media forums like LinkedIn or Facebook. We can make our world a better place. And it certainly enhance how people think of us. We all want people to like us, to say nice things about us. We can start by doing that to the people who read our tweets and similar messages.

Be thankful for those who follow you. They are your online family. Reach out to them during dark times. I can think of countless times when my social media friends tell me they are having a rough time. We all have pain and hardship in life, that’s just the way it is folks. So when I know that George in Los Angeles or Maggie in Philadelphia or Reg in Hong Kong or Nancy in Sydney is having a difficult time, I like to send some positive messages to help build them up and make them feel better. I can think of many times when I have sent messages to my Twitter friends (out of respect for their privacy, however, I will leave it there). And I know they will do the same for me. When I have my bad days and the world is closing in on me, I know there are folks out there on social media that I can reach out to and share my pain with. I am really lucky and blessed to have a wonderful online support system. They are there for me in my dark times. I hope that the same thing is true for each of you reading this.

Respect people who have different views of life than yours. Has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong? One of the sad things about today’s social media environment is that we seem to have lost the ability to tolerate an opinion other than our own. And we don’t seem to understand that in fact most people are likely not to agree with your views on a subject. But I think a strength of social media can be to find people who have a different opinion of things than you do. For example, if you are an American and voted for Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 election, instead of “trashing” the Donald Trump supporters, why not reach out to them and work together by having a dialogue on issues where you are on opposite sides? It also makes me think of the disturbing trend on many college and university campuses these days to shut down a speaker who has a different opinion on a certain issue. In many cases, it has even led to rioting in the streets and other negatives. Then there’s the issue of “safe spaces” and other things designed to protect people from views other than our own. The real world doesn’t work that way folks. Instead of shutting down your opponents, reach out to them instead. At the risk of going off on a tangent, whatever happened to freedom of speech? Better stop there and get back on topic here! As I have said in similar blog entries here, you may never agree with each other, but listening to opinions that are different from yours can change your view of the world and make you a better person. How about it?

Social media can often be dark, hateful and disgusting. Be a light in that darkness. Treat everyone with love. This is similar to what I have mentioned before in this article and in other blog articles I have written in the past. I find it sad that so much of what is out there online is hateful, disgusting and wants to destroy each other. Do we really need to do that? Instead let’s use Twitter and other platforms to help brighten our world and make a positive difference.

Use social media as a source for good in our world. Have a dialog with people who disagree with your tweets There’s a lot of hate, venom and filth on social media. Don’t do that yourself, let’s practice civility. No matter how repulsive some people are on Twitter (and we all know those people are out there), I believe we should treat everyone with respect and compassion. It may be necessary in the end to “block” them or find other ways to cut off all contact, but I suggest you do that only as a last resort and not too often.

Show friendship to others, be a friend when someone who follows you is in pain. Treat your followers kindly. This is similar to other tweets I mentioned here. My point is simply to be positive and help others along the way. It’s something I strive for every day, I hope all of you do as well.

Treat everyone with dignity and respect Don’t trash people with different opinions than yours. Again very much like some of the others I have mentioned. I think it would be a very scary world if we all had the same opinions and ideas on life. I love reaching out to people that I don’t agree with for reasons I noted earlier. Don’t be rigid and intolerant of people who think differently than you. Respect their right to express their opinion in a public forum. And if you don’t like their stuff, why not reach out and have a dialogue with them. You all may be better for the experience.

Thanks for reading this article. Whether you are a long time user of social media outlets like Twitter or you are just getting started, I hope you find my suggestions useful and that they can play a role in establishing your own social media presence. I am always delighted when people tell me they like what I have written. I don’t expect my audience to agree with me, but dialogue and discussion is the essence of a tolerant, open, diverse and inclusive society. I hope that’s something we can all agree on. Oh – and if this article encourages you to follow me on Twitter, I’d love to have you join my online family. You can find me anytime over at Greg’s Twitter account Have a super day folks – until next time!

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