Do You Know Who You Are Talking To On Social Media?

Social media has a positive side and a dark side.  One of the challenges with social media is the anonymity it provides to its users.  It is important to know who is on the other end of the conversations you are having. We often assume that the person conversing with us is who they say they are.  However, have you ever had your doubts that maybe the person was not who they were portraying themselves to be? Let’s look at some ways to protect yourself and ensure the people you are engaging with are who they say they are.


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A “catfish” is someone who is not who they say they are online.  It is not always easy to tell if you are talking to a “catfish” or not but there are some ways to investigate.  The first clue I always seem to pick up on is in their speech. They try to get to know you too fast and ask more questions about you than they are often willing to answer about themselves.  If I feel that there is something “off” I will check their profile.  In my experience, every time I check, I have noticed that they only have a handful of photos and hundreds of followers.  That many people don’t typically follow you if you only have a few pictures.  If you want to double check this, look up the people that are following them, and see if they too only have a few pictures posted with many followers.  At this point I will normally block them if I am suspicious.   Another way to check is to click on one of their pictures and drag it to your Google search bar and reverse image search the picture. (wikiHow, 2019, para 2) Are they who they say they are, or do you find the photo belongs to someone else completely?


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What can you do to protect yourself?  When using social media for business or for personal use, it is important to check out who you are talking to online.  Watch for suspicious signs like people who are asking for money before you receive services or products.  Check reviews and see if the business checks out. “Be smart. Fake Facebook accounts usually have extremely low friend counts, photos with no tags in them (or no tags linking to actual Facebook pages) and photos that don’t include family members, friends, or everyday adventures. If every photo looks like it came straight from a modeling portfolio, raise that red flag. (eHarmony, 2014, para 3)”  Always be aware that not everyone is honest and it is your job to make sure you do all you can to verify what is true.   To be safe when networking, add people you know and build from their friends’ list.

Just like anything else, social media has pros and cons.  Social media can be very useful for many things, including connecting people and networking.  However, one must still be aware of the negative possibilities too.  Even for businesses using social media, it is important to be cognizant of this.   Being aware of these possibilities means that you can be proactive and set some guidelines/boundaries for when it does happen.

What tips and tricks do you have to avoid a “catfish” online?



wikiHow. (2019, December 30). Spot a catfish. Retrieved from

eHarmony. (2014). How to avoid being catfished.  Retrieved from


Facebook: Do you think you are being catfished? Do you want to learn ways to protect yourself? Click here and find out ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Twitter: Catfished? How 2 unveil the mask!

#catfish #fakenews #protectyourself #imsmarterthanu

The Psychology of Social Media

Is social media addiction a real thing?  We live in an age that everyone has a cell phone and is constantly connected.  Is it something that can be controlled, or are we just doomed by the draw of a bright little screen?  Is there hope for us and the next generation, or is it too late and we will forever be helpless to the cravings of hitting that like button just one more time?

Is the addiction real with social media?  It only takes one glance around in a social setting to see that social media has become an addiction.  I have often observed sitting in a restaurant and viewing a table of friends all on their phones.  What used to be a time of social interaction has quickly become social media distraction?  Behaviour that used to be considered rude has now become the social norm.  In the article “What Is Social Media Addiction” it states that, “psychologists estimate that as many as 5 to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction today (Hilliard, 2019, para 1).”

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What makes social media so addictive?  Like any product, there is a lot of research put in to the success of the utilization of a product.  The seller wants to have repeat customers, so everything is created in such a way that an addiction could be formed.  In cigarettes, there is nicotine.  In pop products, there is caffeine. In social media, they depend on the social responses that will keep you coming back for more.  According to Keep It Usable, they say that “social networks are physically addictive as well as psychologically. A study from Harvard University showed that self-disclosure online fires up a part of the brain that also lights up when taking an addictive substance, like cocaine. (Keep It Usable, 2018, para 8)”  So every time someone likes one of our posts or validates one of our pictures, it sends happy signals in our brain, which then creates the addiction to want to do it over and over again.  Another reason we get drawn back in is a feeling called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). “Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is a large driver of social network use, particularly for those aged thirty and under. Sixty-seven percent of users say that they’re afraid they’ll “miss something. (Keep It Usable, 2018, para 5)” We think the minute we log off we will miss something so we stay online.

Can the social media addiction be broken?  Just like any other addiction, it takes a desire and then a plan to make a change.  The same as any other addiction lighting up receptors in our brain, the best way to break an addiction is one of two ways, wean yourself off slowly, or cold turkey.  Personally, I don’t think there will be quite the same side effects as coming of a harmful substance, but it will take a plan to ensure success.

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As much as social media can be addictive and possibly take up maybe too much space in our life, the addiction can be broken.  Despite the fact that we crave recognition for a photo well taken, or base our popularity on the amount of “friends” we have, our behavior towards social media can be changed.  With a desire and a plan set in place to spend less time on the light that draws us in, there is hope to get back to basics.  I challenge you today to take one day, set social media aside to actually and actively be social.

Will you take the time to engage offline?



Hilliard, Jena. (2019, December 6). Social media addiction. Retrieved from

Keep It Usable. (2018). Psychology of social networks what makes us addicted.  Retrieved from


Facebook – Is social media really additive?  Have you ever wondered why you just can’t resist to click “like,” click here to find out more

Twitter – Is FOMO real? Don’t miss out!  Click here

#FOMO #thestruggleisreal #doeverything #yesman

Bringing Social Media to the Ocean

When we think about travel, we think about social media.  Everyone wants to show what they are doing on vacation, what unique things they have tried and what beautiful things they are seeing.  We want to be able to share those things as they are happening. I know for myself and my wife we will take pictures throughout the day and settle into our hotel at night and post on social media about the highlights of our day.  The access to Wi-Fi should be readily available when traveling, but is it?

Most cruise ships are equipped with Wi-Fi, but how available is it to the passengers?  According to Cruise Port Advisor, “Almost all cruise lines offer internet packages allowing users a certain number of minutes or megabytes per day or week for a set fee, however it can be quite expensive. (Cruise Port Advisor, 2018, para 1)” Most places don’t charge for Wi-Fi, like airports, hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc.  On a cruise boat it is costly to get online and share about your day or let your loved ones know you are safe.  Now, one thing that is available on most cruise ships is an app that helps you stay connected with other passengers.  “Most ships now have branded apps that allow cruisers to chat with each other onboard and superfast high-bandwidth Wi-Fi that makes communicating at sea much easier than it used to be. (Rotondo, 2020, para 1)” Why is there free Wi-Fi provided on the boat to stay connected with people you are traveling with and no free Wi-Fi to stay connected with those we love back home?

There are a few reasons why offering free Wi-Fi on cruise ships would benefit them greatly.  First, when I travel, I take pictures I am in the moment and I want to post them in the moment.  I rarely post pictures when I get home from a trip because that feeling of being in the moment has passed.  Second, without free Wi-Fi, the cruising industry is missing the mark for marketing purposes.  Now with Facebook Live and Instagram Stories being really popular, they don’t give you the opportunity to share anything live while cruising.  How many people do you know that post everything to social media when they get home from their vacation?  By the time you get home, it’s already old news!  Finally, with providing free Wi-Fi on cruise ships, people would be encouraged to travel longer and even be able to work from anywhere in the world.  However, because there is no free Wi-Fi, there is no way that some people can be away from work that long.  Free Wi-Fi could mean a longer vacation!

What are cruise companies trying to do to improve the situation?  Lyons says “Maritime communication companies have sped up this process, which used to take a long time, through various means including adding more satellites, increasing the bandwidth that can be sent during each transmission and linking up with land-based towers when sailing closer to shore. (Lyons, 2020, para 6)” While other companies are making leaps and bounds according to Ship Technology, “using VSAT technology, internet speeds reached 2.15 Gbps at the end of February, breaking the previous limit of just over 500 Mbps on MSC Cruises’ new build MSC Seaside. The average speed for cruise ships is around 10 to 20 Mbps per ship, according to Carnival.  Now, the brand has partnered with SES Networks to introduce 1.5 Gbps on board the Princess Cays, allowing guests to stream Netflix or Hulu – luxuries once only available on land. (Ship Technology, 2018, para 9&10)” Companies are definitely making strides when it comes to internet.  There was a time that there was no internet on cruise ships and now ability to stream Netflix or Hulu has become a reality.

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We live in a society that Wi-Fi in readily available and at everyone’s finger tips.  We have come a long way in technology, but still have a ways to go.  Even with the great strides that are being made to have quicker Wi-Fi on cruise ships, will Wi-Fi ever be free?  In a day where Wi-Fi is free everywhere we go, it should be something that is offered for free, as most people would consider it an essential when out at sea.  Maybe one day in the near future, there will be free Wi-Fi everywhere, including in the middle of the ocean.

Do you post on social media while on vacation or do you wait until you get home?


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Facebook: If you take a selfie while on vacation and no one sees it, did it really happen?  Did you know not all cruise boats have free Wi-Fi?  Click here to learn more:

Twitter:  No Wi-Fi 4 U!  The next wave of technology is about to hit the ocean! #socialmedia #FOMO #FreeWiFi #cruising #sinkorswim



Cruise Port Advisor. (2018). Do cruise ships have free wifi or internet.  Retrieved from

Lyons, Ben. (2020, January 8). Internet at sea: 7 things you need to know [Blog post].  Retrieved from

Rotondo, Andrea. (2020, January 8). Connecting at sea: internet and phone use onboard your cruise [Blog post].  Retrieved from

Ship Technology. (2018, May 15). The race for faster Wi-Fi on board cruise ships.  Retrieved from



Direct Sales: Then versus Now

Have direct sales changed over the last 20 years?  How has it changed? How has social media been part of that change?  Let’s take a closer look at where we came from and how direct sales and social media affect us now.

Growing up in an era where both parents were working, direct sales industry often took time away from  family.  They did not have the tools that exist now and therefore made the job of direct sales that much harder to do.

Those who had direct sales businesses often struggled with a limited audience.  They would have to work endlessly to get any sort of traction.  This traffic would often come from ways such as word of mouth, advertising in newspapers/magazines and of course television.  There were also limited places to advertise, especially if you didn’t have a lot of money to advertise on bus stop benches, printing fancy brochures, or taking out a page in a big newspaper.  Someone with limited funds, might advertise in a small local paper, door to door, or rely only on word of mouth.  Oh, how we have come a long way! Now we can save time, energy and even money.

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The internet age has been a turning point in how we market a business, especially on social media.  I believe that social media can have some negative uses, but I think the positive far outweigh the negatives.  Companies like Beachbody, Tupperware, and Epicure offer their sales people the ability to work anytime, from anywhere in the world.  Where once before your client was your neighbour or from the next town over, you can now have clients from anywhere in the world.  The ability to grow your business using social media outlets allows for endless possibilities.  According to Brett Duncan, direct sales has benefited from consumers in the social media age looking to have personal relationships with the brands they buy from online. Direct sales have been able to meet this need by providing a connection with the consumer and their independent sales person.  Social media facilitates that connection by allowing the consumer to be “virtual friends” with their sales person.

Using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy, allows you to have business accounts which are geared to sharing about your business, allow people to leave ratings, and you can track what posts are popular for your business and which ones are not as effective.  Having these tools at our fingertips, it makes it possible for the user to grow their business while never having to leave home.  The ability to be able to make a passive income with such things as becoming an affiliate, or writing an eBook was something that was not possible even 20 years ago.  Welcome to the new age of direct sales, thanks to social media.

I have had different opportunities to run businesses online with my most recent being Beachbody.  Becoming a Beachbody coach has allowed me to continue working full time while starting a business.  This allows me to explore something I am passionate about without having to quit my job.  It also allows me to grow my business organically without feeling the pressure of having to make a certain amount of money.  I love that I don’t need to leave the comfort of my own home, but when I need to, I can keep track of my business simply with my phone using the free tools that social media offers.  One of the most watched pieces of content that I have created was using Facebook Live.  I notified people ahead of time that I would be going Live to see if I reached my intended weight loss goal.  I had not been able to fit in an airplane seat without a belt extension, so my goal was to lose 50 pounds and go Live for the reveal. I had more viewers than I had friends!  Good thing the belt fit!  Krato’s Team, in the article “How Social Media Helps Direct Selling Companies Grow” says “There’s nothing that says personal more than a live video. It creates an intimate, friendly atmosphere that makes the audience more connected with the speaker.”


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Photo by Julie Platt

Social media is an ever changing landscape.  I’m sure that our mothers and grandmothers selling Tupperware in their living room would have never imagined the possibilities that the future held. In the article “Social Media Tips For Direct Sales Consultants,” one of the tips provided is online parties. This allows for flexibility, a bigger attendance, and the ability to host customers from all over the world.   Social media has had such an impact on the world we live in!  What do you think it will look like in another decade?  Do you think social media has made direct sales easier or harder?  Would this impact your choice to be involved in a direct sales business?



Duncan, Brett. (2019, June 17). 2019: The Year Direct Selling As We Know It Changed Forever, Retrieved from

Frasco, Stephanie. (2013, December 14). Social Media Tips for Direct Sales Consultants, Retrieved from

Krato’s Team. (2017, October 4).  Social Media Helps Direct Selling Companies Grow, Retrieved from


Facebook: Want to get rich without ever leaving your couch? Social media has changed the game when it comes to direct sales!  Click here to learn more:


Twitter:  Has social media impacted direct sales? Find out now! Workin’ the biz!#socialmedia #directsalesevolution #entrepeneur #workathome #blessed