Social Media paranoia comes from Social Media ignorance. Ignorance is not a bad thing unless you let it continue. Read on and maybe I can help resolve some Social Media ignorance and paranoia.

The bulk of the paranoia stems from some of the following issues:

  • Big Brother is watching me
  • People I don’t know will learn too much about me
  • Bad people will find me and come to my house
  • My Boss will see what I do and may fire me
  • Someone may steal my identity
  • I may do or say something that may embarrass me.
  • and other issues.

Here are some steps that you should consider in order to minimize if not eliminate all of these issues and then some.

  1. Know the setting options in all of the Social Media platforms (streams) you participate in.
    1. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, WordPress, FourSquare, Gmail, Pinterest, Circle Me, AboutMe, Posterous, etc. All Social Media platforms have a menu option where you can change the default settings to meet your business, personal, security and privacy settings.
    2. Find these setting menu options, look at every single setting and set them to what works best for you.
    3. I REPEAT – Find these setting menu options, look at every single setting and set them to what works best for you.
  2. If you do not want to share your personal/business phone numbers, setup a Google Voice or phone number for use in your Social Media profiles. Don’t forward the calls to your cell phone, instead let all of the calls go to voice mail and forward the wav file messages to email.
  3. If you do not want to share your personal/business email address thru your Social Media profiles, setup an email address that you use only for Social Media profiles. Don’t forward these messages to your regular email, instead monitor them separately thru a web browser interface.  Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail are all good options for email services that you can use for this.
  4. Don’t share your home address in Social Media profiles
    1. If you want people to be able to communicate with you via mail, use a Postoffice box.  Use the same PO box for all Social Media profiles.
    2. Don’t Check in at your home address with FourSquare. No need repeatedly advertising where you live.
  5. Stay between the lines in Social Media Streams
    1. I recommend that you do not get into political or religious debates or arguments on line. It’s OK to get into spirited conversations, but if the thread begins to get hot, get out, get out quickly.
  6. Post publicly acceptable pictures of yourself and others.
    1. If you would not show the picture to a Priest, Rabbi, Minister, the Pope or the little old lady down the street, think twice about posting it on any Social Media platform.  You may still post it, but at least you thought twice before you did.
  7. Don’t let fools tag you in unflattering pictures or pics of you doing something stupid.
    1. These pictures happen all the time, for some of us, more often than others. However if you monitor when you get “tagged” you will be able to untag yourself and then you can hunt down the fool and break his/her fingers.
  8. Don’t talk bad about your boss or company online.  PERIOD!
    1. You can’t eliminate the possibility of your boss seeing your profile even by blocking him.  The receptionist you friended on Facebook may be looking at that post, laughing her butt off as the boss walks by.
    2. REPEAT – Dont talk bad about your boss or company online. PERIOD!
  9. Don’t connect with complete Strangers on Google+ and Facebook.
    1. You can’t control who follows you on many of the open Social Media Streams, but when you can, control who you connect with and why.
  10. Lastly – Pay attention.
    1. Don’t jump into the Social Media world and start posting commenting & sharing without paying attention to what is going on.
    2. Revisit your settings periodically and watch the changes that the Social Media programs make.

Paranoia is not necessary. Ignorance is not acceptable. Get invoiced, pay attention, set the account, security and privacy settings that best suit your needs. Then, get involved and participate in Social Media with the rest of us.

If you have another fear of Social Media, comment below and I’ll help you address them.

Author: NCWiseman

I am a Networking Strategist and LinkedIn coach and Trainer. I live by my personal edict, "Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward thru life." I want to help people become better Networkers and better LinkedIn users focused on their business and career goals.

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