And In Twitter, Google +, instagram and virtually the whole of cyberspace
A few months back over dinner an Eighty-Four year friend said to me, “You know i do not consider myself old-fashioned but I tried Facebook and got out of it, so just send me an email. Too many people just saying too much gibberish and details I am not interested in.”
This took me by surprise became my friend is a writer, very active for her age and was usually more than keen to take on whatever new technology had to offer. True most of what she was telling me was true – the outbursts, the too-much-information being shared and a host of other things. My thoughts were interrupted by my friend who asked, “How can you stand it?”.
“Well … When needed I zone out.”
There are five groups of people you meet on social networks – Facebook. You will probably meet them also on Google + , Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, and all over the World Wide Web or the ecosystem of the Internet or Cyberspace. At the moment it seems to be more evident on Facebook and even twitter. These people seek your attention.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
One of the good things about social networks is that it allows you to bypass distance and to a certain measure time to connect with family and friends. It started with mailing lists, yahoo groups and now more easily done through Facebook. Talks, ideas, photos and videos are shared. Family or friend activities can be planned out. No longer will you have to wait for photos of christening, weddings and birthday. It is avery convenient way keeping in touch with friends and families.
Of course this brings with it as well other things. The views and habits of your family and friends are also bombarded upon you and you ( and I ) do it as well. It is all part of the communication process. And we can choose to deal with it as we please. These are of course family and friends.
We also connect with people we met only briefly. We might have met them at a conference, a trip or we worked with them or we just met them on-line. Believe it or not through the social network: social media:the Internet: cyberspace we get to know them better. Ok some we like better than others. And in the fullness of time they may yet become friends.
SPAMMERS, MARKETERS, AND POLITICIANS
These three type of people want your attention for money and your vote. Some will be loud about it; while some will be sly – sometimes relying on astro-turfing or making it sound that everyone is doing it; and a great number will be dangling prizes or even promises if money. A number will not come directly but will have willing or unwitting agents who will promote their cause. And you will probably notice that sometimes the rivalry between two or three contending parties out to get our attention can reach the level of ludicrous.
In a way it is a kind of charm designed to bewitch like the fairy tales of old. Just remember to take everything said with a grain of salt, be wary of giving your personal information away and bear in mind to out think these foxes and wolves. And speaking of Wolves there are those individuals who seek something more sinister than money or votes – and that is why one should always be extra careful and wary when one stumbled upon these types.
HOW TO ZONE OUT
First, Do not take things personally.
Living in the real world and the digital world is the same. Things can be done or typed in haste the same as in the real world. Except in the digital world unless erased it stays there. Actually, even if erased it still stays there, any enterprising person can screen capture it or dig it out of the Cache. As such more care should be given before posting anything and at the same time one should also take things less personally. Delayed or even non-action is usually best in most situations. A sense of humor also helps.
Second, Take everything said with a grain of salt.
Like in real life, everything should not be taken at face value. In a way a critical mind is more important in Cyberspace because what we see online are digital manifestations of ideas and opinions.
Third, Group your contacts.
In Facebook and Google + you can group your contacts. A very practical thing because you can visit a circle ipor group when you want to and if you want to.
Fourth, Customize your Privacy settings,
In Twitter you can set your time line to private. in Facebook you can customize your settings so that you can control what appears on your timeline and wall. All the things you need to be not stressed.
Fifth, the Un-Option is within reach at all times.
Also, if worse comes you can choose to un-link, un-subciibe, or un-follow the source of your stress. And of course it helps to un-plug from the Matrix we call cyberspace – the Internet and the World Wide Web – Facebook, Twitter and the rest, maybe except for Instagram – which seems to be less stressful for most people.
Then again its the people you choose to connect with that makes the difference and I guess that is another tip in zoning out.