Pet Peeves: Social Media Edition

I love social media. Sure, it has its downfalls – like face-to-face interactions overtaken by technology, anonymity that makes bullies feel brash, less personal privacy…the list could go on forever if we wanted it to. But social media also has a lot of great benefits, like connecting people from around the world, sharing stories and pictures, opening doors to what the rest of the world has to offer, and it gives us the ability to connect with our favorite companies and brands.

Many of my social media pet peeves arise from how people use social media.  Dozens of game requests bogging down my notifications, poor use of grammar and spelling, hashtags on Facebook (am I the only one bothered by this!?), redundant content…just some of the things that tend to grind my social media gears.

One such example: I have a friend or two who consistently and frequently post complaints about their jobs, their coworkers, everything and anything they have on their plate.  I get it – it always feels great to vent a little and let out some stress and frustration – but I personally don’t think that doing so on social media is the route to take.

Why you ask?

Well, for starters, you never know who could stumble across one of your heat-of-the-moment grumblings.  What if it was a coworker you had complained about? Or your boss? A future employer?  Are those really the messages you want to send to the people in your life? Is that really the professional identity you want to establish on the Internet?  If we’re being honest, I know I get incredibly annoyed by friends whose complaints constantly pepper my various news feeds – I get it, no one wants to have to work, but if you’re blessed enough to have a  job in the current economy, recognize that while you may not have the job of your dreams, you have something giving you income and experience.  Unless you’ve just won the lottery and are set for life, no one should stick their nose up at either of these!

My advice for unhappy employees:

Take a few deep breaths or head outside for a walk.  Afterwards, ask yourself whether what was bothering you is worth complaining about.  Chances are, it probably isn’t.

Find a body to vent to; your friend, your roommate, your mom, your dog, anyone who you can trust not to broadcast what you’re saying.

Get a journal – not a blog – a real, paper journal and vent there.  Then go back a few days later and read what you wrote. You’ll probably realize that whatever was frustrating you was pretty insignificant in the scheme of things.

Consider addressing your discontent – rationally and calmly – with the people directly involved, whoever they may be.  Communicate!! After all, they might not know that they’re causing you stress.

And, if you find you’re still unhappy…it might be time to search for a new job.

What social media habits drive you crazy and momentarily make you want to cancel your accounts and go off the grid? Let me know what your social media pet peeves are!

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A New Year, A New Blog – Mixing Things Up

I know, I know – I’ve been terrible at posting anything recently! Bear with me though, I’ve had a lot on my plate what with finishing up this semester, transitioning jobs and navigating a career path, and…successfully finishing my graduate program!

That’s right, you’re now looking at a girl who has a Master’s Degree in Management Communications! Admittedly, I feel happy and sad all at once about it. On the one hand, I’m incredibly proud of myself – for moving 3,000 miles away from everyone I knew and cared about, creating a life for myself on the West Coast (or the ‘left coast’ as my brother calls it), growing and changing as a person, and for finding out a lot about myself in the process! On the other hand, it feels so alien and strange to know I’m done with my formal education – I’ve been in school straight for the last 18 years and the nerd in me loved every minute, from the friends I made to what I learned to who I became because of it. It’s also more than slightly overwhelming, because now I need to pay off student loans, and launch a career – which is surprisingly challenging considering that most entry-level marketing, PR, or communications positions want more experience than I have – all while balancing my desire to be young and live this ‘perfect’ life with friends and a cool apartment and amazing experiences.

So originally, I started this blog for a class assignment and – since the class was about social media – a lot of my posts were geared around social media, digital technologies, and the class itself. Now don’t get me wrong, I love social media and I have a strange fascination with it – its reach, power, how it works and ebbs and flows – but I’m going to be switching gears a little here. I’ll still focus on social media, but I’m going to throw a bunch of other things in here too; marketing, digital media, personal revelations or accomplishments, stories that make me sit up and think, really anything I come across as I try to figure out my life. This will – I hope – work itself into a place for me to share what’s on my mind, but also a place for me to continue learning (about anything really).

In honor of the new year and the changes I’ll be making here, I’ve changed my design up a little too – let me know what you think…and Happy New Year!

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