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What Is Social Media

In Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Tutorials, Social Networking by Mark GuertinLeave a Comment

What Is Social Media

Social Media – The Good The Bad & The Ugly

What Is Social Media URL: 

Description:  What is social media? Social media has been around for a lot longer than most people realize. Years before FaceBook and Twitter became prevalent; many people made use of Myspace and other social media sites like Friendster. Going back much farther in time, there was AOL and many of us can remember the distinct commercials and that familiar “You’ve got mail.” Today social media is intertwined into nearly every aspect of our culture. Social media can be beneficial and we must not forget that it also has a dark side to it as well. To better understand the current and future dynamics of social media it is necessary to have an in depth grasp of its history, types, platforms, uses and effects.


I.  Social Media Overview

    1.  Before I get too carried away

         Before I go any further you need to know that this writing is about social media as an overview. Social media development is creating and building a digital presence at some social media site. Social media marketing is using those digital presences to advertise and promote.

    2.  What is social media?

         Social media is a digital and virtual environment wherein people can interact with one another in a variety of ways. Social media has been persistent now for more than three decades. It currently shows a strong upward growth trend in a variety of platforms.

         Social media finds itself in many different forms and types albeit the core function is always the connecting and interacting of people. Although there are those who resist it, one could say it has no boundaries in that it transcends the entire globe and spans across all languages, cultures and locations.

         To different people social media means many different things. To one person it is a way to find a mate. To another person it is a means by which to do research and gain insights. To yet another person it is an opportunity to reach out into the markets and promote branding, services and products.

    3.  History of social media

         Most would be surprised to find out that social media began as far back as 1973 with the advent of Community Memory. Community Memory was a simplistic bulletin board system that allowed users to read and post messages and it made use of keywords and search functions. At the advent of Community Memory, it is safe to assume that nobody could foresee what would eventually evolve in the course of the next three decades.

         Technology improved and consequently so did the social media platforms. By 1978 the bulletin board had become more complex and more widespread with the proliferation of CBBS. (Computerized Bulletin Board System)

         The technology became more socially integrated in 1980-1981 and gained new market penetration. Part of the reason for this was the inclusion of additional features such as news reports, weather reports, sports reports, at home shopping, online games, chat and file sharing. This phase of social media was primarily pushed along by the likes of UseNet, Prodigy and Compuserve.

         The next significant milestone came in 1991 with the launch of AOL. (America Online) If you were around at the time there is a good chance you can still remember the commercials that made use of the phrase, “You’ve got mail!” AOL sought to bring the population into the world of the internet and provided a great many features for its users.

         Over the next decade or so other players made their rise and eventual fall in the marketplace. Geocities, TheGlobe, Classmates, SixDegrees, Open Diary and Friendster all grabbed their market share during the mid to late 1990’s. At this time social media continued to evolve and become more capable. It also became obvious that platforms could rise and fall rather quickly as the market shifted from one hot item to the next.

         The next significant milestone came along in 2003 with the launch of Myspace. Myspace was the most advanced platform to ever come along and was actually coded and launched in an amazingly short amount of time. In 2004 the world witnessed the launch of FaceBook and in 2005 it was YouTube. Twitter was born in 2006 and more recently we saw the late comer Google+ come into the foray in 2011.

         As of this writing, many dozens of social media platforms exist and some have experienced more success than others. The huge success of FaceBook, Google+ and Twitter has fueled the social media fire and countless entrepreneurs are continually looking to invent and launch the next big sensation. Even as I write this article, new platforms are being designed and launched at a steady pace.

    4.  Current trends in social media

         Currently social media is penetrating nearly every segment of society and nearly all populations on earth. New platforms are being launched on a regular basis and there seems to be no shortage of ideas on the horizon.

         What is most notable now is that social media is no longer ignored or explained away as it was years ago. Previously, there was a hesitancy to jump on the band wagon and many of the biggest names in business waited on the sidelines and patiently observed the evolution of social media.

         At the time of this writing, current trends show stable and upward growth for a number of different social media platforms. The improvements in mobile device technology and increases in mobile speed and bandwidth have been a help to the industry. Also, internet availability and faster network speeds have helped social media to more deeply penetrate the global market.

         Current trends show a literal frenzy of businesses and organizations fully engaging social media platforms. Their objectives are greatly varied but they all rely on the use of social media to reach out, connect, share and promote. Instead of being unsure of social media they have whole-heartedly jumped in.

         As a result of this movement, an entire industry has emerged for the purpose of catering to those who wish to penetrate social media. There are countless businesses such as Impact Social Media which offer services to design, develop, build apps and market for the various social media platforms.

    5.  The future of social media

         The future of social media looks to be very strong. When we gaze at the timeline from 1973 until today we can clearly see a pattern of increased sophistication and global penetration. Increases in world population, technology for mobile devices and increased global availability of high speed internet will all serve to aid for exponential future growth.

         I also anticipate seeing greater sophistication in the platforms as hardware, software and networks evolve. My biggest anticipation is the shift in the virtual environment from two dimensional to three dimensional.

         Currently nearly all platforms exist in a two dimensional realm and may include text, photos and even videos. In the future you can expect to see these realms become three dimensional and will include interactive three dimensional objects and much more sophisticated user interactions.

         Second Life and Entropia Universe can give you a glimpse of what a three dimensional social media community looks like. Life-like avatars move about in a rich environment that includes real physics. Content is interactive with the user in a real live way. Users can do all of the activities that you find in two dimensional platforms and so much more.

         Great attentions to details include grass and trees that sway in the wind, timed motion of the sun, moon and stars in the sky and hair and clothes that have real life-like movements! Instead of the limitations of a two dimensional environment users can hold hands and walk, dance together, drive a motorcycle or fly a helicopter while simultaneously chatting via text, live voice or live video. Anything you can do in real life is also done in these worlds.

         Another change I foresee in the future is the overcoming of the limitations of screen sizes on mobile devices. Currently, screen size is one of the great limiting factors for mobile users. In the future I anticipate this problem to be eliminated with a projection type of display. Instead of being limited by screen size, mobile devices will project their display onto any readily available surface.

         As social media moves forward, many factors will contribute to its increased sophistication and global penetration. A future existence is guaranteed and it will continue to interconnect all walks of life in all parts of the globe. In 1973 nobody could have foreknown what social media would be like today. I humbly submit that as in 1973, people today truly cannot imagine what social media will evolve into 40 years from now.

II.  Types of Social Media

    1.  Blogs

         Blogs are one of the most common and versatile types of social media. Blogs allow for the publishing of all types of content including text, links, photos, videos and more. Blogs are great for end user involvement since they can be syndicated via RSS feed and email newsletters. They can also allow for users to comment on and share the content. Currently, WordPress is the big giant of blogs and is open source and in use in millions of sites around the globe.

    2.  Dating

         Many social media sites are of the dating type. ChristianMingle, eHarmony, howaboutwe, Match, and OurTime are all good examples of this type of social media site.

         As the name implies, these sites are all about dating and romance. Users create profiles and then seek to make connections to other users. For some the goal is friendship and for others the goal may be dating or even marriage.

    3.  Discussion boards

         Discussion boards are the oldest and most established type of social media. Consequently you can find them in use everywhere and for many different topics and purposes. They are also called forums or bulletin boards. A good example of a bulletin board is the community forum at phpBB.

         The typical discussion board revolves around users posting and responding to content that it usually grouped into topics and categories. Discussion boards can be very sophisticated and include internal messages, live chat and other features. Users can post text, links, photos, files and videos.

    4.  Educational

         The educational type of social media site is uniquely designed for education. These sites incorporate virtual classrooms and virtual libraries to make information and curriculum available to students.

         Educational sites can be setup for a small group or a large group and have the advantage of giving access via the internet so users can be scattered around the globe. A great example of an educational type site can be found at the Moodle demo entitled, “Mount Orange School.”

    5.  Gaming

         The gaming type of social media site typically intertwines user interaction with different types of games. This adds another dimension to playing games since users can chat with each other and also play as a member of a group or team. Many game consoles make great use of this and there are also stand alone websites built on this format.

         A lot of money has been made with this type of social site and there is a lot of competition. Currently Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, Daybreak Games, EverQuest and Age of Conan are all very popular examples of gaming type social media sites.

    6.  Live chat

         The live chat type is centered on users chatting with each other. Often times it will include other features like the ability to transfer files, photos and videos. Some live chat will be text based and others will include capabilities for file sharing, live audio and live video.

         Yahoo has dominated and mastered this type with their amazing Messenger application. Another example of a successful chat based site is Skype which also integrates chat for calling cell phones and land lines. Snapchat is a fairly new player in this market. A good open source application for setting up your own live chat site would be phpFreeChat or X7 Chat.

    7.  Photo sharing

         The photo sharing type is centered on users displaying images but can also include links, videos and other media. Currently Pinterest is the top dog for this type of social site. Two other great examples would be Flickr and Photobucket.

         If you are interested in developing your own photo sharing site you have many open source options. I would recommend you check into Coppermine Photo, Gallery, Piwigo, Pixelpost and Zenphoto.

    8.  Polls

         The polls type is also referred to as a survey. Typically a question or group of questions is asked and then a range of possible answers are displayed for the user to select their choice. Also, polls can allow for users to comment to each other and also create their own polls.

         Polls have many valuable uses. They can be used to gauge customer satisfaction on products and services. They can also be used for political purposes and research. Some examples would be Micropoll, Easypolls and SurveyMonkey. You can develop your own polling site using open source software such as Advanced Poll, LimeSurvey or phpESP.

    9.  Question and answer

         The question and answer type is just at the name implies. Users generate questions and answers on a wide range of topics. Two very successful sites of this type are Ask and Yahoo Answers. Q & A can also be used for customer service by creating FAQs. (Frequently Asked Questions)

         One very popular online example of a Q & A site is GameFAQs. You can make use of a Q & A as a standalone site or you can include it into your E-Commerce or Customer Service site. There are open source programs available for this such as phpMyFAQ and FAQMasterFlex Plus.

    10.  Social networking

         The social networking type is best known by examples such as Google+ and FaceBook. These allow users to create a personal page or wall where they can display comments, links, photos, videos, files and more. They may also incorporate live chat, video chat and internal messaging

         Social networking sites are fabulous for building vibrant online communities. You can make use of open source software to develop your own social network site. I would recommend you consider Elgg, Jcow, or OxWall. ThinkUp is a great application for integrating multiple social networks.

    11.  Video sharing

         The video sharing type gives users a place to upload and view videos while also allowing interaction through comments and other methods. Another great feature is the ability to copy and paste code for embedding stored videos in any website you choose. YouTube and Vimeo are currently two of the biggest video sharing communities.

    12.  Virtual worlds

         The virtual world type is focused on providing a social media experience within a three dimensional world. Some of these sites are geared towards gaming while others are more geared towards social interaction. Second Life and Entropia Universe are very successful and have a large population of users. I would say these two inventions are literally ahead of their time. These worlds have a unique property in that you can purchase and own “virtual real estate.”

         Virtual worlds are amazing with their realistic renderings and they also incorporate all of the features you find in two dimensional platforms. One unique feature is that they have their own micro-economies complete with virtual currency and the ability to convert it into real money.

         The potential for profit is very real and can get into large sums of money. I used to be heavily involved in developing and selling three-dimensional-content for Second Life. At one time I accumulated over 1 million Lindens of their virtual currency in my account. This equates to more than 4k of USA currency. My best month there produced around 10k in gross sales and that is 10K of USA currency!

III.  Top Social Media Platforms that we use

    1.  FaceBook

         FaceBook is the top dog of social media with more than 1.26 billion members! FaceBook has very advanced and varied API’s. (Application Programming Interfaces) Applications can be developed for iOS, Android and websites. You can investigate their API offerings at the developer’s page.

         FaceBook has many tools for marketing with their dashboard for management and their insights for analytics. Many options exist for businesses as you can build pages, develop apps and make use of paid for advertising and post boosting.

    2.  Google+

         Google+ has only been around since 2011 but that has not detracted them from becoming one of the top power players of social media. Their platform is very advanced and offers great features for networking and community building. Their interconnectivity with YouTube and Gmail also adds a powerful punch to their offering.

         Google+ also offers advanced API capabilities so that you can develop apps and interface it to Android, iOS and websites. Google+ also benefits from their seamless integration with Chrome, Games, Google Maps and Google TV. They offer many methods for advertising and results monitoring with their interconnectivity to Google Ads and Mobile App Analytics.

    3.  LinkedIn

         LinkedIn is a top contender for social networking of working professionals and businesses. A great feature is that you can build a company page with separate pages for your products or services. You can also garner followers and endorsements. LinkedIn also offers an assortment of API’s.

         LinkedIn offers paid advertising which you can target by job title, function, industry, company size and seniority. They also offer sponsored updates for raising brand awareness. I also wanted to mention that LinkedIn is a great place to look for job opportunities and to also seek for employees. Take a look at their advertising page and learn more.

    4.  Myspace

         Myspace is a very sophisticated community site that is focused on the music and entertainment industry. They have done a great deal of remodeling there and have made enormous improvements. Although they have lost a great deal of user base I truly anticipate them making a big comeback in the near future.

         Myspace is a fabulous platform for promoting movies, television, music, art, videos and any form of entertainment related content. Since Myspace is owned by Specific Media they are very connected for advertising opportunities. If you are interested in advertising at Myspace you need to get in touch with the website for Specific Media.

    5.  Pinterest

         Pinterest has climbed the social media ranks and is now a major force. Their focus is the display of images and they do have a mostly female audience. Pinterest is very strong for displaying any type of artwork or digital imagery.

         Pinterest has a range of API’s for Android, iOS and websites. They offer paid advertising opportunities and you can read their How-To-Advertising-Guide to learn more. You can also visit their advertising page to learn about marketing with their pin boards. They are working on developing new advertising options so be sure to keep yourself updated.

    6.  Plurk

         Plurk has a smaller community than many of the other platforms listed here but they are still of great value. This is because they have a unique demographic in that most of their users are not U.S.A. based. Plurk is also a good place to reach out to the members of the Second Life community.

         At Plurk you can develop a unique and branded theme with access to the template CSS. Plurk offers a variety of options for API’s which you can read about at their developer’s page. If you are interested in doing paid advertising there you can send them an email from their contact page.

    7.  Tumblr

         Tumblr is a blogging based community and has a very large and diverse user base. Tumblr allows you to theme and brand your blog page as you desire. Tumblr has many options for API’s which will allow you to access, import and export a variety of data from their blogs.

         Tumblr has ways for you to get free advertising if your blog content is worthy. Popular and highly desirable content can find its way into the spotlight for brands or Tumblr Radar. They also offer up paid advertising for highlighted posts.

    8.  Twitter

         I would define Twitter as a micro-blogging type of community where user posts (Tweets) must be 140 characters or less. Twitter is known for a dynamic audience and rapid fire of ongoing Tweets. Twitter allows for complete theme and branding of your page there. They also have an advanced selection of API’s and you can study them further at their developer page.

         Twitter offers cost effective advertising for promoting your account. This can aid your exposure and also increase your follower count. Ads can be very selectively targeted when you set up your campaign. They also provide a very nice dashboard interface that allows you to monitor your ads. You can learn more by visiting the Twitter Ads page.

    9.  YouTube

         YouTube is a video sharing site and is a very good way to get exposure for your products and services. YouTube is very valuable because you can upload videos there and then embed them wherever you choose. In this fashion you are literally using their disk space and bandwidth for your own benefit!

         YouTube offers many API’s for data, analytics, live stream and more. YouTube also has many advertising options and you can target by gender, age, interests and location. A big advantage of YouTube ads is that you only pay when someone actually watches the ad. Advertising can be a good way to increase your subscriber count which also extends your penetration and reach.

    10.  Wanelo

         Wanelo is a social platform that is purely focused on online shopping. Users create collections and then add tangible online products. The users can post stories and share products with each other. Wanelo has mobile phone apps and a browser add on that aids in adding products from any website.

         Be sure to visit the Wanelo downloads page where you can get their browser extension and phone apps. At this time Wanelo does not offer paid advertising. However, if any user adds your online products at Wanelo you have the chance to claim a “store” there and use it for promotion!

    11.  WordPress

         WordPress is a social site for blogging. There are millions of blogs there and the range of topics covered is from A to Z. WordPress offers a great community service because they provide users with free blogs. Users can share all types of content there. They can also comment and follow each other’s blogs.

         WordPress has many available API’s that allow you to integrate your third party apps to WordPress. Because WordPress is so popular, there are many examples of different applications on the internet. WordPress has an effective paid advertising program that can bring viewers into your WordPress blog. Also, for a small fee of $30 per blog per year you can get permission to build any type of custom theme you want.

IV.  Social Media Uses

    1.  Charity and humanitarian

         Charity and humanitarian organizations have made great use of many of the social media sites. They garner followers and donations by reaching out and connecting to interested people. This is aided by the fact that they can make great use of text, links, photos and videos.

    2.  Communication

         People from all walks of life use social media to communicate. They may post comments or use private chat. Others make use of internal messaging and still others prefer live video chatting. In some instances one can literally replace the telephone by using services such as Yahoo Messenger and Skype.

    3.  Data mining

         The amount of data that is produced from social media is mind boggling. This data reveals many things about the users from where they are located, who they know and what they like and do not like. This data is mined and then leveraged to provide more relevant advertising amongst other things.

         Some have argued this is a form of privacy invasion while many others either do not care or do not realize it is going on. Advancements in face recognition software make it possible for you to be identified in photos that are displayed on the internet and law enforcement has made use of this.

    4.  Dating

         Countless thousands of people make use of social media to look for and find friends, companions and mates. Some scoff at the very idea of such a thing while others have had great success. It can be advantageous to those who lack time to get out and hunt in the wild due to busy careers and other distractions. For others it allows for meeting and getting to know people from a somewhat anonymous and safe distance.

    5.  Education

         Social media is a great way to present educational material. This is in part because the material and the student can be any distance apart and still interact. Another advantage is that study aids and resources can be readily available at the click of a mouse.

         Classrooms are not the only educational use of social media as you will find organizations also using it to educate people on a wide variety of subjects such as health, environment, parenting, politics, etc.

    6.  Gaming

         Gaming has become more and more intertwined with social media over the years. This is because it enhances the gaming experience by allowing players to interact with one another. It also allows people to play together as teams or groups even if they are separated by vast distances.

    7.  Learning

         Social media can be a powerful learning device. An example of this is using ASK or Yahoo Answers to get expert advice and opinions on a wide range of subjects. Another example would be using discussion boards to learn about various subjects. Nearly any subject you can think of can be effectively researched within some form of social media.

         To drive this point home just go to your local library sometime and observe how many people are sitting at computer terminals doing research on the internet! It is almost ironic to view this because they are sitting in a large building filled with books and yet they choose to use the web for learning!

    8.  Medical

         Medical professionals make great use of social media for collaboration and sharing of knowledge. A very good example of this is the variety of different medical groups within LinkedIn. In these groups medical professionals talk about new technology, diagnostic techniques and various observations that they have made. Regardless of their locations they are able to effectively group and discuss many topics of interest which benefits the entire group. Their non-group-participating patients can also benefit.

    9.  Networking

         One of the main uses of social media is for the purpose of reaching out and connecting to others. It allows us to connect to childhood friends, classmates, college associates, relatives, strangers and more. Because I am a lover of people, culture and language, social media has always fascinated and captivated me.

         When I was a child, the only way to interact with people far away was by finding pen pals. Phone calls were simply cost prohibitive and to think of live video chat was unimaginable. Now, all of those barriers have been broken down and we can befriend and closely communicate with other people anywhere in the world by simply having a computer and internet connection!

    10.  Political

         Political entities have quickly learned to leverage social media as a powerful tool. Some have suggested that President Barak Obama showed great mastery of this in his first election. Everywhere you look you can find political groups making use of social media to argue their points while searching for donations and supporters.

    11.  Polling

         Polls and surveys are making more and more use of social media. By connecting with social media businesses have a great tool to get consumer feedback on products and/or services. Under development products or ideas can be tested for interest before they are even released.

    12.  Predatory

         I am very sad to enter this point but since we are covering the many uses of social media we should not leave out the dark side. People in general and particularly parents should be informed so they can make wise choices. Social media is a preferred method of many different types of predatory individuals.

         Some predators use it for phishing scams where they seek to obtain your personal information. Others use it to run various types of scams for profit and these run the full gamut from fake charities to the proverbial snake oil sales.

         The vilest forms of predator are those who seek to harm others, most commonly women and children. They use social media to stalk, deceive, manipulate, locate and then victimize their unsuspecting prey. Dateline has done extensive reporting on this very thing. I will discuss measures to protect you from this when we talk about the effects of social media. (Security)

    13.  Profit generation

         A discussion of the uses of social media would not be complete if we left out the topic of making money. As of September 2012, the founder of FaceBook Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth was reported to be a whopping 9.4 billion. We also understand that LinkedIn has an estimated value in the neighborhood of 7 billion dollars.

         These statistics make it crystal clear that enormous sums of money can be incurred with the invention of a top social media platform. I also want to add in here that profit generation does not just occur for the inventors and owners. Many companies and organizations have also found ways to net positive cash flow by making use of someone else’s social media business.

    14.  Promoting

         Under this heading of promoting I also include advertising and marketing. Social media has become inundated with every form of promotion you can think of. Embedded ads are targeted to viewers based on all types of previously mined data. Nearly all of the top companies and brands now have some form of promotions in the various social media platforms.

    15.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

         Social media can be used to give benefits to SEO. This is because social media signals are now a part of the search engine ranking calculations. By generating end user engagement at social media locations, a website can climb higher in rank. This is why we see so many promotions going on that are focused at motivating people to like, share, and participate in a promoter’s content.

V.  Social Media Effects

    1.  Bullying – Cyberbullying

         Cyberbullying is a new word used to describe acts of bullying that are carried out in social media or other digital media like smart phones and websites. The problem is very serious and has even been an integral component in a number of violent acts and suicides.

         People need to become more aware of cyberbullying. There is also an urgent need to learn methods to protect from it and how to properly react to it. Just take a look at some of these very alarming statistics from DoSomething.Org:

  • Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online
  • 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once
  • 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online
  • 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse
  • Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims or perpetrators
  • About 75% have visited a website bashing another student
  • Victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide

         If you are victim here are some helpful guidelines to follow:

  • Do not retaliate but instead withdraw from the situation
  • Do not take it personal but instead realize they need help
  • If you are at school immediately inform a teacher or staff
  • If you are alone notify authorities and move to a busy location
  • As soon as possible always let your parents know what is going on
  • If it is a text forward it to parents, family member or trusted person
  • Try to avoid locations where the bully hangs out or frequents
  • Consider temporarily changing your cell phone number

         Here are 10 helpful online resources for you to study:

    2.  Emotional

         I have studied a great deal of research on the different emotional effects of social media and I can tell you that some people can be severely and negatively affected. The good news is that the vast majority does just fine and especially when their time spent online is kept within reasonable boundaries.

         The negative emotional problems are most often associated with spending too much time in social media sites and disengaging from the real live world. This can lead to depression, lethargy, social withdrawal and other problems. Be warned that excessive and unchecked overuse of social media has the potential to eventually lead to a real addiction.

         If you or someone you know is spending too much time in social media I suggest you consider getting professional help. The reason is because the problem can grow roots and become more severe if not recognized and dealt with.

         Here are some online resources for you to study:

    3.  Employment

         An often overlooked effect of social media is how it can impact your employment. One would be wise to understand this and the possible implications of what you say and do in social media environments.

         Case in point, a close friend of mine was terminated from a very good job position because of a joking remark they made online. The comment was noticed, reported and a job termination ensued! Until now, lawyers and litigation have failed to resolve the issue and the impact has been disastrous in many ways.

         Not only can social media comments get you fired from an existing job, they can also damage or kill your job seeking. It is a well-known fact that some employers will do investigation into your social media content as part of their considerations to hire you. Depending on what they find and how they view it, you may not be hired for the position.

    4.  Finances

         While some people make money from social media others are not so fortunate and are actually impacted with financial losses. One way this can happen is through identity theft and fraud. Another way it can happen is by becoming a victim of some type of a scam.

         For your protection, never give out sensitive or personal information online. Be wary of people seeking money as anyone can post text, pictures or video that will play on your compassion and sympathy. If you do decide to give we recommend that you stick to well-known and reputable groups.

    5.  Relationships

         Be wary of how your involvements in social media can have adverse effects on your relationships. Do you chase off your kids so you can post online for hours? Does your spouse ask you over and over to come to dinner or bed while you endlessly scroll your favorite social site? Do you cancel or avoid time out and about because you are absorbed in a social site?

         If you answered yes to any of those questions the best thing you can do is acknowledge that you have a problem and deal with it. My best advice is to learn to moderate your time online and keep it within reason. Spending some time online is okay if within reason but if you become too absorbed your relationships can and will suffer and no social site is worth that.

    6.  Security

         You can potentially compromise the security of you and your family without even realizing it. Always be sure to be aware of your privacy settings and set them at the highest level you can make work. Always use common sense when posting things online.

         An example of what not to do would be; posting something about leaving your kids home with a teenage babysitter while you get away for the weekend. The more information you put out there the greater your chances are to have a problem.

         If you meet someone through a dating site and agree to meet in person always meet them in a crowded place and if possible bring along a friend or two. Also, make sure that somebody knows about your plans and make arrangements to have them call or text to check in on you periodically.

         In summary, play it safe and always use common sense when posting information online. Never take for granted that your safety and security is at risk because you never know who might be out there viewing your information.


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Impact Social Media

         Impact Social Media can help you launch your very own social network. We specialize in developing and hosting social media sites through the use of Elgg, Jcow, OxWall and others. For a very reasonable cost we can have you up and running with your very own social network that will function just like FaceBook. Your users can join and build their profiles while also uploading and sharing text, links, photos, music, videos and more. Additional features are also coded in that will allow for commenting, tagging, liking and sharing just like you find on FaceBook. Additionally, we can also incorporate useful features like internal messaging and live chat! Imagine owning your very own FaceBook clone website!

         Impact Social Media specializes in social media management and social media marketing. We can successfully design and build your social media presence at any of the top sites. We are also adept at implementing marketing campaigns that will increase your following and boost your viewer involvement. If you have questions or need social media assistance contact us today.

         If you would like to know more about our professional social media services go and take a look at our Kansas City Social Media page.

If you have questions or need professional social media management you can email us at:

You can also call us at 816-743-0525

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