How Should Facebook be Used? – Part II
Let’s continue with yesterday’s article about best uses for Facebook. As you recall, I was commenting on a recent article called The 12 most annoying types of Facebookers. The first three types were covered yesterday, so let’s move on.
The Town Crier – The way we receive news is changing in a dramatic way. Just ask the newspapers. I rarely watch the news on TV anymore because I’ve already seen it on the Internet. Social networks add a new twist on news because there is no individual responsibility to verify what’s repeated. Internet coverage of Michael Jackson’s death is a good case study. I first heard about it from a message board I frequent. That board provided a link to TMZ which I went to. My opinion of TMZ is it has a credibility problem, so I sought other sources. Those sources simply said Jackson had been hospitalized. I kept switching back and forth between several sources including TMZ and quickly realized TMZ had the scoop and the most honest reporting. The news game is definitely changing and the Internet is where it’s going.
Last year I gave a presentation at the University of Utah on fact checking and accuracy when blogging. What I concluded was that as a blogger, one should have two sources to back up anything presented as fact. As merely a participant on a message board or social networking site, our level of responsibility is much lower, but it’s still a good idea to verify news before we shout it out to all our friends and contacts. How foolish would you feel now if you’d forwarded the news that Jeff Goldblum had passed?
The TMIer – I agree with the author, too much information can be a bad thing. As the Internet provides transparency to much of what takes place in daily life, we may be compelled to overshare. It’s no wonder, we’re bombarded with ads for colon cleansing and increasing the size of our private parts. Politicians are pitching pills to combat ED and have you ever listened to some of the side effects of pharmaceuticals? Let’s give it a rest. If you wouldn’t tell your grandmother, you shouldn’t be telling it to us. Some things are better left unsaid.
The Bad Grammarian – I know texting and tweeting are causing us to create shortcuts, but there’s no excuse for bad grammar, misspellings and improper word use. It doesn’t matter the news source any more, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t catch an article with a mistake in it. Yes, you can run it through spell check, but we still need editors. Some common misuses include loose for lose, their for there or they’re and you’re for your. Sometimes there are misspellings that should have been caught and then there’s the purposeful use of “z” instead of “s” plus other abbreviations.
The Sympathy-Baiter – Yes, it’s tough out there, but if you’re going to put out teasers, at least tell us why. I think this falls into the TMI, category unless it’s something newsworthy like a serious illness or death in the family.
The Lurker – It is creepy to think that someone is out there viewing your information without communicating with you. But what are you doing putting out things on the Internet you don’t want people to see? Lurking is common behavior on the Internet for a number of reasons. Besides the stalker factor, a lurker could simply be shy – a real life personality trait manifesting itself online, or they could be fearful. The Internet encourages participation because of anonymity, but Facebook removes that protection because real information is used for the most part.
The Crank – The “Negative Nelly” of the online world. The sympathy baiter complains about things that happen to them. The crank complains about other people. Neither one is fun to be around. I have found cranks to be useful because of their analytical ability. If you have a plan or thought that needs criticism, the crank is the best place to go. They have a laser like ability to point out the weak links you may not have thought about. Then you can decide whether it’s worth improving or ignoring. More and more companies are turning to the Internet to get feedback on new products and services. The crank can be no fun to be around, but it is possible to turn their negativity into a positive.
I’m going to finish up this series in part III of how should Facebook be used.
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