How to take your first step into social media
Social media is a term for sites that allow people to interact, Facebook being the most famous by far. It all started on the internet years ago with sites that allowed people to talk to each other, or "chat". Usually these places were organized by subject, so people could talk about their favorite movies, or video games, or kitties, or well, whatever.
If you've heard some terrible things about these places, I'm here to tell ya, it's true. People can be awful on social media sites, they can be rude, and obscene, and just plain terrible. It's the same thing that causes "road rage" on the freeway, and it just has to do with human nature, and how easily people get upset, and lash out. And it's as old as human nature, it will never go away, people get upset.
If you've stayed away from social media for that reason, I don't blame you. Even innocent conversations about how cute kittens are can suddenly turn into "flame wars" - which is the internet term for two people screaming at each other in comments in social media. And if the topic has any degree of controversy, like politics or religion, you can rest assured that the exchanges become even more nasty. I personally dislike a lot of drama, it's bad for my nervous system, so I try to stay away from this stuff, but as a graphic designer social media is something that I had to learn, as it ties into marketing and promoting on the internet. And if you're running a business in the 21st Century, you really do have to have a presence on the internet.
If this is all new to you, I recommend that you don't just jump in nor do I recommend that you sit around listening to people like me talk about it. Instead, I recommend that you observe. Go ahead and create a Facebook account, and look around. At first you don't have to do any more than that. Your next step will be to create an "avatar" - which is a tiny photo of how you want to represent yourself in social media. I use my face, and I recommend that you do at some point, but you can start with a "blank face" or a cartoon if you want to. Right now you're just sitting in the audience, and it doesn't matter what you look like.
But since Facebook is so popular, I'd recommend that you start with something less popular, and I recommend Google+. Yes, it's a competitor to Facebook, but it's not nearly as popular. If you've never heard of it, I'm not surprised. It's a good place to start out on, and take it all step by step. Because that's the best way to learn about it, by doing it. People could talk and talk, and you wouldn't learn as much listening to them for hours as you would actually doing it, in minutes.
I hope this helps. Social media is like any other social thing that people do, it's about interacting with groups of people, and in any group of people there are some wonderful people, like you and me, and there are some stinkers. It's up to you whether to join in, but I kinda wish you would, because social media, and the world, needs more people like you.
See you in cyberspace! My Google+ page is here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BradHall
Posted by Brad Hall