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How To Declare Independence From Bad Social Media

Break free from the people and habits that are bringing you down on social networks.

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10 Job Search Tools For Recent Grads
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Taxation without representation was the straw (or, at least, one of the straws) that led the colonists to declare independence from Britain. Of course, users of social media don't have as important a cause or as big a fight as our forefathers did. But as we get ready to celebrate the birth of our country, we can't help but think about the ways in which users should be declaring their own kind of independence from people and habits that are bringing them down on social media.

Go on. Rise up and declare independence from:

1. Privacy Concerns

Either get on the ball and vow to truly understand the privacy settings (and implications) of the social networks you have presence on, or get off the social networks. Your privacy and personal information is far too precious to take for granted.

2. Annoying People

When you first joined Facebook, you probably said "yes" to every friend request. You may be regretting that enthusiasm now, as you read yet another thinly described brag session from someone you remember vaguely from high school, or when you cringe at the foul language used by a former co-worker.

You don't have to sit there and suffer. I recommend hiding people rather than unfriending them. The latter just carries with it too much baggage for my sensibilities. On Twitter, you may have found that your initial enthusiasm has you following far too many people. Unfollow 'em. I could be wrong, but unfollowing doesn't seem to carry with it the same kind of connotations that unfriending does.

[ Get more social media tips. See 10 Ways To Get Noticed On Pinterest. ]

3. Oversharing

While you are declaring independence from annoying people, make sure you are not being annoying yourself. Oversharing is one of the most oft-committed social networking sins. Ask yourself: Do you share every meal, every pound lost (or gained), every ache, every pain on Facebook and Twitter? Do you think people want to know the details of your root canal, along with photos? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you are likely oversharing. Take it down a notch -- or 10.

4. Social Ruts

You're more than likely using Facebook and Twitter. Maybe you have also gotten sucked into the product and recipe black hole that is Pinterest. Don't stop there. Innovations are happening all the time, and you often don't know how useful (or just interesting) something will be until you try it. You say you don't "get" Vine, for example? Make (or watch) just one six-second video of your kids or pets and I predict that you will not only be hooked, but that the ideas for how the videos can play out for marketing and branding purposes will start to flow immediately.

5. Professional Suicide

Too many people still pooh-pooh social altogether. It's your choice, of course, but if you have a job or plan to have a job in the future, you need to be on social. Yes, I said it. It doesn't matter if you work as a developer or a marketing executive or a customer service representative. If you work in the business world, HR professionals and hiring managers will Google you at some point in the candidate vetting process. If you are on social and your presence is littered with questionable photos and posts, you won't get the job you are after. If you have no social presence whatsoever, you are very likely not to get the job. Social presence is just part of the resume for most jobs these days, and it will not be long before it is a requirement for all professionals.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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Slebnartch
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Slebnartch,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2013 | 11:07:03 PM
re: How To Declare Independence From Bad Social Media
Yes, you're right. As an in-demand programmer three years out of college
with a bunch of fresh skillsets, it is imperitive that I hand Mark
Zuckerberg and our government all of my tracking information.

I was extremely boneheaded to think that as someone with actual technical
knowledge who exercised both sides of her brain instead of complaining
that maaaaath is haaaaaard, I could just build my own portfolio and bio
on a self-hosted website or wordpress.com account.

I'm glad I have an experienced expert* to set me straight**.

Hugs and giggles,

Annie

*See number five at http://theoatmeal.com/comics/w...

**And yes, that *is* a bit of hostility you're detecting. Because of people
like you, I regularly have to work twice as hard just to prove that as I
woman, I'm competent at something technical. Or at anything, really -- I mean good God, look at your "writing" portfolio! If you insist on going the verbal-only career route, at least go read some Violet Blue to see how actual tech reporting is done.
pwndecaf
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pwndecaf,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2013 | 6:37:11 PM
re: How To Declare Independence From Bad Social Media
Overshare!
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2013 | 11:04:38 PM
re: How To Declare Independence From Bad Social Media
Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to provide your opinion.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, InformationWeek
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