Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome back to "The Best of!"  This was my second installment recounting how I started out in social media ... fun nostalgia time.
Greg is Having Eggs for Breakfast, Part II
Originally posted on December 10, 2008

Greg is having eggs for breakfast - Part Two

This is the second of several posts (click here for the first) about my plunge into the deep end of the social media pool.  In addition to being wonderfully self-indulgent, I hope that it'll be instructive (and soothing) to anyone who's as cautious as I was about social media.
Once I was up-and-running on my blog, it was time to turn my attention to Facebook. I changed my name from Elmer Fudd to Greg Matthews, posted a picture and a few likes-and-dislikes, and went searching for friends. I was and am fairly careful about who I “friend” in Facebook. As a general rule I only friend people whom I actually know. When possible, I restrict the list to people I’m actually interested in, although I have another rule: Don’t refuse people just because they’re boring. It’s mean. [NOTE: It is perfectly acceptable to de-friend boring people who are also loquacious; nobody wants to have their newsfeed filled with drivel, after all! In fact, I had to de-friend several people during this year’s political campaigns; there are just so many Sarah Palin parody videos you can watch without feeling nauseated.]
When I jumped into Facebook, I jumped in with both feet. By this time, exploring social media had become part of my job, so I made it my business to take that exploration seriously. I was updating my status 3 or 4 times a day, searching for friends regularly; adding applications that made my page more fun and interesting (cool! A movie compatibility test!) and posting pictures of myself. I found myself getting hooked on being able to check in with old friends and acquaintances I hadn’t seen in years . . . and yes, there was definitely a voyeuristic element to the pleasure in reading their correspondence and looking at their pictures. 
I still have fun with Facebook, but I am a lot cooler now. I don’t really care about applications anymore; most of them are pretty stupid, filled with bugs, and send your personal information to God-knows-where. [NOTE: Any application WE develop will be cool, unintrusive, and lots of fun.]  I like to use Facebook as a way to share cool pictures of places I go (in real time, thanks to iPhone’s brilliant Facebook app), to create clever status updates, and most of all to exercise my rapier wit with funny comments on my friends pictures and posts. 
I should note here that my wife has played an important role in my development as a social media creature . . . and the best way to describe that role would be “wet blanket.” My wife is still very much where I was a year ago in terms of her distrust of social media. When I dive into something, I dive in all the way. So when I started spending too much time on Facebook (especially at home, especially after the kids were asleep) we had a big conversation about keeping Facebook in perspective. [NOTE: Conversation is a diplomatic word for this exchange, as my contributions consisted primarily of, “yes, dear.”]
In our next installment . . . Greg tells the world what he is having for breakfast using Twitter.

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