You ever feel like you are walking on the ragged edge?
I have come to the conclusion that it is only a matter of time before I get lost in the specifics of all my technological fascinations, and make the whopper of all mistakes. It's kinda like when I was a kid and I desperately wanted one of those chronograph watches with six thousand functions. And when I went to my "dad" and asked him for one, he said "you know, the more bells and whistles you have on it, the more that there is to go wrong."
Well, this particular watch isn't just gonna stop glowing at some point, it has the potential to leave a crater where I once stood.
Like many bloggers, I love the feeling like I am building something. And the tools available to build a following are plenty. But those tools don't discriminate between a wife and an ex girlfriend, or between your boyz and your boss.
See, I'm a blogger. And I Twitter. And yes, I Facebook. And that doesn't even account for email, two cellphones and a texting addiction. Oops, one more...I sit by the mailbox every day waiting for credit card offers...but thats a whole other thing.
When the pieces begin to be put together, you quickly uncover pitfalls with each. And you work through the problems to put in place the safest, most productive combination possible.
On my blog, I like to think I can say whatever I want. My domain, you know? Only, the wife is watching. Sometimes other family members do. What's more, it's out there to be found by search engines. And folks I work with? Human resources? Careful...
However, on my blog I have the ability to edit, or even remove a post that I should have been more considerate about...unlike Twitter. With Twitter, once it leaves your keyboard, it's out there. Gone, and permanent. Plus, you see all those followers that you are "best friends" with? What's to say one isn't your creative boss, watching from the darkness? Much as I think I know every sordid detail about every Twitter follower, I'm also pretty sure I'm an idiot.
And that brings us to the beloved Facebook. Spouses, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, bloggers...not to mention exes of every variety. Some of whom know about my blog, some who don't. Some who have wives or husbands who don't understand any of the social media thing, think it's stupid, and who are nervous about their newfound connections. And they should be, as divorce rates are climbing, especially among Facebookers et al, who use these vehicles as opportunities to see if "the one that got away" is at all...interested.
With Facebook, the biggest pitfall is the diversity of your friends. What is gonna crack up one is gonna insult another, and a new, even remotely attractive "friend" is potentially an invitation to the Spanish Inquisition hosted by your spouse.
For a blogger, Facebook provides an opportunity to develop more of a following of your work, and a very good one at that. Benefits can be great, mistakes can be costly. Wire in your blog using NetworkedBlogs, and every time you post, it runs on the wall for all to see. But write a controvercial piece and forget for just one second that your boss is a Facebook friend, and a wisp of smoke will be where your career once stood.
My advice is simple. Develop a list of questions to ask yourself before posting anything anywhere.
Blog - Who is this gonna hurt? Do I care?
Twitter - Will I hit enter on this Tweet and wish I hadn't? 5 minutes from now? 5 years from now?
Facebook - Is this status/wall post appropriate for Trixie, my wife, Mr. Lumberg, and Pastor Stephen?
Write 'em out. Sticky them on your monitor if you have to, or staple them to your forehead, as I have done. Take a minute, and think about it. Be as controvercial as you want to, but be ready. Mistakes are gonna leave a mark.
And that ex-boyfriend?
There was a reason why you dumped him before. Same guy.
Friday, September 18, 2009
posthumous pointerTo laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson