COM0011 – Blog 2 DO WE LOVE THOSE EMOJI, EMOTICONS, ANIMOJI and MEMOJI?

Do you feel like I do? When I think of an emoji, emoticon, or animoji, it takes me back to my elementary school days, when you got rewarded with stickers from the teacher for your accomplishment. 

😊👍💖😘✨🎁🐱‍💻🌹😎🤞😁👩‍🦰🥨🥓🥗🚲🧭🏝💥☮🛑✅🆗

Do you think that today’s virtual on-line presence of the use of emoji, visually express different emotions and reflections of fulfillment? Do you think emoji (depictions of faces, people, animals, nature, food, drinks, activities, travel, places, objects, symbols, and flags), viewed daily, on various social media platforms, create a whole new on-line interpretation and relationship? Think of it another way – what has on-line conversations with the inclusion of emoji been able to project? Are you physically feeling an emotional response with the addition of an emoji in a text? 

A face to face conversation is expressive. When you add facial expressions, emotions, and different pitches to your words, it takes on a whole other meaning. It could insinuate judgment, acquiescence, opposition, ridicule, amusement, to name a few. You know, the phrase “giving you the look”, or the “eyes give it all away”. Do you believe these emoji bring a whole other dimension and perspective to non-verbal or non-word communication rather than the written word?

THEIR HISTORY

First came Emoticon, then the Emoji, and now Animoji (animated emoji). Did you know that half of all Instagram posting now contain some sort of emoji, emoticon, or animoji? The iPhone 11, now allows your animoji to act and look like a robot. You chose your animoji or a memoji, record your voice message, forward it in a text, and it plays back with capabilities that mimic your body movements and facial expressions that you projected while speaking and recording your message. What can we expect next in the virtual world?

You Tube – How to Use Animoji with iPhone 11

The first emoticons appeared in one of the issues of Puck magazine in 1981. 4 faces were published in the magazine, which were meant to convey astonishment, joy, indifference, and melancholy. They were called “typographical art”.

The first use of an emoticon online dates back to1982. Scott Elliott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University proposed “:-)” to be used as a “joke marker” in a message.

Emojis, smiley faces, hearts, winking eyes, were created in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita, an engineer at the Japanese phone company, NTT Docomo. His job was to create a way for customers to communicating using icons. His efforts resulted in the creation of 176 icons, which he called “emojis.” the name is driven from 2 Japanese words “e” (picture) and “moji” (character)

As of March 2020, there were 3304 emoji, and another 217 scheduled for release in 2021 as per Unicode Standard. You can view all of the emoji on the Unicode Standard page.

Emoji, when uploaded to various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google will differ in look based on the font used in each platform or app.

ENTERTAINMENT, “We’re no. 2”

You Tube – The Emoji Movie – Official Trailer (HD)

How about that “Emoji Movie”, with all of its colorful emoji depictions and cuteness geared to the younger generation. Having seen the movie myself, with my grandchildren, it made me laugh. However, it also made me feel agitated and worried. It was perfectly accomplished by the emoji parents’ characters in the movie. When you type a word, an approved emoji will pop up to insert in your text, rather than a word, but it might not always be the one you would use to express what you want to say. Choosing that memorable emoji can be a challenge for an effective online presence, and that is another type of internal battle in itself. I am a mature adult, and I wonder what it’s like for the younger generation. Do they feel the same, or do they simply take it in stride? It is a whole new visual vocabulary, as a code per se.

WHERE IS THIS TAKING US?

Presumingly, this new tool, created back in the ’80s, was harmless and intended for fun. However, like some technologies that started by being unoffensive, have been diverted and sent down an unrelated path and used for a different purpose, to the detriment of mankind. Hopefully, emoji tool will remain creative, playful and entertaining only, with no secondary hidden agenda.

References:

Why Do We Use Emoticons and Emojis? Science-Based Facts. – Pinngle blog

• Chart: In 2021, Global Emoji Count Will Grow to 3,353 | Statista


DO WE LOVE THOSE EMOJI, EMOTICONS, ANIMOJI and MEMOJI? https://bit.ly/3pAw91R

DO WE LOVE THOSE EMOJI, EMOTICONS, ANIMOJI and MEMOJI? https://bit.ly/3pAw91R

Blog #4 – Social Media and Mental Health

We all use social media to a certain extent and some people use it more than others. We use it to connect with friends and relatives, share pictures and to find out what’s happening in our social circles. Some experts believe that the more we engage with social media the lonelier and more isolated we feel. Does the use of social media negatively affect our mental health? 

According to Forbes, it is suggested that the persistent use of social media can result in sadness, feelings of isolation and depression. (Walton, 2017) It’s strange that the very thing we look for in social media, social interaction, actually leaves us feeling worse and more alone. When we use social media we often compare our lives with the lives others are projecting online. We judge ourselves based on the things that other people post. This is called the ‘Comparison Factor’ which can lead to negative feelings about oneself as well as feelings of jealousy and envy toward others. (Walton, 2017) Feelings of inadequacy and lowered self-esteem definitely have a negative affect on our mental health. 

Why do we continue to use social media if it makes us feel bad about ourselves and our lives? 

In the same Forbes article it suggests that we continue to use social media because we are addicted to it. (Walton, 2017) I think we all wonder sometimes if this is the case. Do you check your phone first thing in the morning? I know I do. In a study from Nottingham Trent University they discovered that some behaviours associated with social media are similar to those associated with other forms of addiction such as drugs or alcohol. Some of those behaviours are: ‘neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, escapism, mood modifying experiences, tolerance and concealing the addictive behaviour’. (Walton, 2017) They also discovered that stopping the use of social media resulted in symptoms of withdrawal in some people both behaviourally and physiologically. (Walton, 2017) 

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, researchers have used MRI scans to monitor the activity in the reward centres of people’s brains while using social media. It has been found that we react positively to ‘likes’ on social media networks at a neurological level. The activity observed in the subjects’ brains in this experiment has also been compared to drug or alcohol addiction. (CMHA, n.d.) 

The CMHA has also said that, not unlike alcohol and drug addiction, the precursors for excessive social media use are existing mental health issues and well as loneliness, low-self esteem and depression (CMHA, n.d.) As mentioned earlier, some of these are also caused by of the overuse of social media.

How do we free ourselves form this vicious cycle?

We can wean ourselves off of social media by removing the apps from our phones to help limit our use. If you are looking for encouragement the CMHA has a number of helpful suggestions. 99 Days of Freedom is one of them. It is an experiment where people try to stay off of Facebook for 99 days. Researchers check in with the participants periodically throughout the 99 days to monitor the participants progress. There are many other resources available if you feel you need help with your social media dependency: The Centre for Internet and Technology Addiction, ementalhealth.ca or Humanetech.com.

Do you feel you suffer from social media addiction?

Promotional Posts

Facebook: Are you addicted to social media? Check out my blog about Social Media and Mental Health https://bit.ly/2Ngm9ZP

Twitter: Are you addicted to social media? #hcsm #mentalhealthawareness https://bit.ly/2Ngm9ZP

Resources

Walton, G. (June, 2017), ‘6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health’ Retrieved From https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/#5eeb5faf2e5a

Canadian Mental Health Association, (n.d.), Addictions and Problematic Internet Use, Retrieved From https://ontario.cmha.ca/documents/addictions-and-problematic-internet-use/

Blog #3 – Cyberbullying: The Down Side of Social Media.

There are many upsides to social media, especially these days, when we aren’t seeing our friends and relatives in person because of social distancing. Social media has become our lifeline, our way to socialize, to keep up with current trends and it’s where a lot of us now get our news. However, there are many downsides to social media, Cyberbullying is one of them. When we think of bullying we often think of teenagers. We think of the schoolyard bullies that exist in every school, in every country in the world. Social media was not around when I was in high school, something I am very thankful for. I cannot imagine what that would have been like. Social media has given the schoolyard bully both the power and the weapon. Cyberbullying is a plague upon social media. However, bullying isn’t just for teenagers, adults do it to. 

Image Source

According to Wikipedia, Cyberbullying is “an aggressive, intentional act or behaviour that is carried out by a group or an individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.” (Cyberbullying, n.d.) In our current social climate this happens online everyday regardless of age.

According to study in Psychology Today, adults are just as likely as teenagers to be involved in cyberbullying if not more so. Adults 18-25 years old experience the most elevated levels of bullying online, followed by those 26-35 years old, of which 24% claim to have been cyberbullied. This study suggests that people of all ages report having experienced forms of online harassment, including 6.5 %of those over 66 years old. (Scheff, 2019)

Cyberbullying can take on many forms. It can be as simple as name calling, emotional intimidation or spreading rumours and can escalate to harassment, torment or threatening behaviour. (Birdsong, 2017) We see it on our social platforms and in our work lives. Online harassment and bullying can have a lasting affect on one’s mental health, reputation and in extreme cases can lead to more dangerous situations like cyberstalking or suicide. There are many potential long term effects of cyberbullying. According to the End To Cyberbullying Organization: Depression, low self-esteem and dating abuse can be some long-term effects of cyberbullying. In the most extreme cases suicide is a serious risk as well. Rehtaeh Parsons of Nova Scotia is a well known example of this. She was a seventeen year old high school student who committed suicide after having photographs of her alleged gang rape posted and shared online. (Suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, n.d.)  As terrible as this case was, it did have a positive impact on the laws surrounding cyberbullying. More information can be found here: Intimate Images and Cyber-Protection Act.

Social media makes us susceptible to the Bystander Effect. By definition the bystander effect is “is a social psychology theory that states that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when there are other people present” (Bystander Effect, n.d.) Because social media is public, we assume others will do something to help so we don’t have to. 

So, What can we do if we think someone is being cyberbullied? How can we help?

There are a couple of steps that can be taken. Firstly, do not engage with the aggressor, do not ‘like’ or forward what they are posting. Report the incident to the social media platform they are using. You can also private message the victim and offer support. (Scheff, 2019) If you want to offer professional support to someone who is being cyberbullied, for adults contact The Cyber Smile Foundation’s Global Support Service and children can always contact the Kids Help Phone.

The next time you see someone being bullied online will you reach out and help? 

References

  1. Birdsong, T. (January, 2017), Trends: Adult Cyberbulling is No Laughing Matter Retrieved from https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/family-safety/trends-adult-cyberbulling-is-no-laughing-matter/
  2. End Cyberbullying, (n.d.) A Surprising Long-term Effect of Cyberbullying Retrieved from https://www.endcyberbullying.org/a-surprising-long-term-effect-of-cyberbullying/
  3. Scheff, S. (November, 2019), Psychology Today, ‘Adult Cyberbullying Is More Common Than You Think’ Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/shame-nation/201911/adult-cyberbullying-is-more-common-you-think
  4. Wikipedia (n.d.), Cyberbullying Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/shame-nation/201911/adult-cyberbullying-is-more-common-you-think
  5. Wikipedia (n.d.) Suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Rehtaeh_Parsons
  6. Wikipedia (n.d.) Bystander Effect Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

Promotional Posts

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Twitter – Cyberbullying: The Down Side of Social Media #cyberbullyingawareness #rehtaehparsonsishername #cyberbullyingkills https://bit.ly/3hitru7

Has the pandemic changed how businesses use Social Media?

I have worked in the same restaurant for 13 years. For most of that time we have used some form of social media, primarily Facebook and then later Twitter and Instagram. We are told that there are rules for engagement for all social media platforms. We must aim for the “Baby Bear” approach for content and posting, not too much, not too little, it has to be just right! In this new reality, when other forms of customer engagement aren’t possible, are businesses changing the way they interact with customers online? Has the pandemic changed how and when businesses use social media?

Image Source

Businesses all over the world have been forced to shut their doors to the general public. Online shopping has become the new normal for many businesses and consumers. Some retail are now allowed to open again in Ontario, however a number of them are only at half capacity or by appointment and restaurants remain open for take-out only for the foreseeable future. Either way, social media has become the main form of communication for businesses. Do the old rules still apply? Have businesses changed their approach to social media?

According to Forbes, social media usage is up, not only for individuals but for businesses as well. Businesses are posting 15-20% more on social media than there were pre-Covid. Businesses are also changing how they use it. Social media has become more intimate, more personal, companies are taking the time to engage one-on one with their customers. Things have definitely been headed this way for a while. Marketers have seen the light, feedback and direct contact with customers does improve brand and customer loyalty. Listening to the customer has become the new norm, especially during these uncertain times. Is this something that will persist post pandemic or is it just a way to keep us spending in uncertain times?

Image source

Before the Pandemic there were specific times of the day that were seen as most optimal for posting. According to Sprout Social those times have also changed in the last couple of months. People’s routines are different and many are working form home. Where 11am to 1-2pm, somewhere around lunch hour, was previously a sweet spot for posting, it turns out that is has changed to 11am. Even the peak days of the week for social media traffic have shifted.

Most businesses have had to pivot in one way or another over the last few months as the world has changed. It looks like businesses have altered their social media practices in order to conform to new norms. They are posting more, interacting more with consumers and are posting at different times of the day and week in order to keep up with society’s new schedule. Will this be a permanent change in the way we see businesses interacting with customers? Will social media practices continue to pivot as our society adjusts to our new reality?

Promotional Posts

Facebook – How have Businesses have pivoted their social media use during quarantine? https://bit.ly/2BG83yA

Twitter – New trends in Social Media #socialmediamarketing https://bit.ly/2BG83yA

Oversharing on the Internet: When Authenticity Goes Too Far

I recently listened to a podcast episode called “The Age of Oversharing” by Approachable (Samantha Ravndahl & Alyssa Anderson). Sam is a pretty popular beauty influencer with over 2 million instagram followers, and Alyssa is her best friend from high school. I love their podcast for this reason, because I think it’s super interesting to hear the different sides and different views the two of them have over topics such as this one, of oversharing on the internet.  

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Coming soon… 💕

A post shared by Alyssa💋 (@alyssanicanderson) on

In the episode one of the big things they referred to was that you’re almost in a sort of catch 22 with how much you share on the internet. Followers always want you to be open and transparent with them about things that are going on behind the scenes and to know every detail that is happening, but then sometimes when people overshare they’re seen as narcissistic or full of themselves. You really need to find the balance in pleasing your followers and giving them some information about your life, without sharing too much and still having the ability to keep certain things private.

Photo by Fauxels from Pexels

One of the things Sam brought up really resonated with me. She’s recently been a lot more open on social media about her mental health and dealing with depression, but she acknowledged that it’s still a battle, and she doesn’t exactly want to talk about it sometimes. Yet, because she was open and talking about it, people now view her as a sort of advocate for mental health, so she’s been thrust into this mentorship role whether her mental health is in a good state or not. It’s hard when you see that the things you’re sharing are helping people, I know personally that Sam’s conversations about mental health have helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone in the way I was feeling, but then you have to wonder if sharing all of this information designed to help people was to her own detriment. 

Photo by Tofros.com from Pexels

Personally, I would like to brand myself as being authentic, and not purposely being fake for the camera, and things like that, but I do think there is a fine line between being authentic and real and sharing too much with others. There is the struggle of trying to figure out where this line lies. All of social media is new to the whole world, and different generations are adapting differently. The truth is: nobody has the answers and we’re all still learning. That said, there are some things we can do to try and mitigate the risks of social media. 

PsychCentral has a blog post by Paula Durlofsky, PhD, discussing the benefits of not oversharing on social media, and she’s offered some tips on how to prevent yourself from sharing something you may regret later. 

  1. Don’t post when you’re feeling emotional 
  2. Use private messaging to resolve conflicts 
  3. Prepare yourself for negative responses 
  4. Protect your privacy 
  5. Be aware of social media overload and internet addiction 

Please make sure to check out Dr. Durlofsky’s post for more details and information! 

If you haven’t heard it already, please make sure to check out the Approachable Podcast wherever you listen to Podcasts! (Spotify, Youtube, Apple, Google, etc.)

So I’m curious: how much are you willing to share about yourself online? Do you think there are some things that should never be shared on social media? 

Are you sharing too many private details online? http://bit.ly/2usqAuX #Privacy #Overshare #TMI

How do you choose how much of your life to share online? Check out this post for some tips! http://bit.ly/2usqAuX

The search for the ideal client

I never thought that I was good at writing blogs or content. So, when I found out that we had to write blogs for this course I was frightened and excited at the same time.
I plan to open my own Virtual Assistant business and of course, I will have to market myself and the business.
Even before I started this course, I was thinking about how I can find the right social media platform to market my business and the ideal client. It is just natural for me that this will be my first blog post. I did some research on this topic.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Starting the search for the ideal client

One of the first things you will read is that you will have to find your “ideal” client to find the right platform to market on. Since I’m still in the beginning stages of developing my business and right now I just know that I will offer social media managing, travel planning and probably project management. I kept my ideal client vague for now.

I found a great blog that helped me get started on my search for an ideal client and the platforms to market on, even though I have not a clear picture of my business yet.

Photo by: XPD – https://xsights.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/whats-the-point-social-media-demographics-infographic/

If you look at the info graphic that I found on the blog, you can see, that if your audience is over 30 and if they operate business to business, which mine will probably be. Then it is probably best to market on LinkedIn and Facebook.
If your audience is under 30 then probably Twitter and Facebook are the right platforms for you, depending on what kind of engagement you want from your users.
If you target all ages, then it depends if it is image-focused. If the answer is yes, you will have to publish your content on Instagram, unless you focus only on females. Then it is best to publish your content on Pinterest.
If your business isn’t image-focused however, then LinkedIn and Facebook are the right choices here.

Getting Focused

Of course, this is all very generalized and too broad. Perfect for me right now because I’m in the very early stages of my business. This is just a starting point.
The following short You Tube video explains more in-depth how you market to your ideal client and how you get there.

At some point, I will have to focus my look at the ideal client. Because what was mentioned above is just too broad. I will have to get inside the (buyers) mind of my client.  I must find out who will need my services, I will have to take a close look at my competitors, do my research and of course network, network and network and I will have to decide where my passion is. Who I WANT to work for.
That is all part of finding the ideal client and with it the right social media platform to market on.

But the info graphic I posted above helped me a great deal. I now know I must start to market on LinkedIn and Facebook since I will have a target audience that is 25 years and older. I will keep that in mind for now until I am in the final stages with my business and then take another look at who my ideal client is. Who knows maybe we will explore this even in another blog post, but no promises.

Do you know on which social media platforms your clients are on or have you done some research yet? And do you know who your ideal client is if you have a business and how did you get to that conclusion? Was it like it is mentioned in the articles I posted?

I would love to know. Please write to me in the comment section.



Do you know your ideal client and on which platforms you have to market on? Check out my blog where I give some tips and pointers.

Do you know your ideal client and on which platforms to market on? #marketing #idealclient #smallbusiness


Sources: Facebook and Twitter logo by https://logodix.com



Do Algorithms and Echo Chambers Make Us Nasty?

I’ve recently read an interesting book, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Written by Jaron Lanier who was only a decade ago regarded as the “Silicon Valley digital-guru rock star,” the book presents a number of powerful arguments for quitting social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. While most of Lanier’ arguments sound too familiar to raise many eyebrows, he offers a very novel and illuminating analysis of the heavy toll that social media is taking on political debate and political activism.

Jaron Lanier talks about his book, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Algorithms favour assholes

Lanier suggests that a strong trend towards negativity and polarization is hard-wired into the algorithms that make social media platforms so addictive. It is hard to disagree with this take if you follow political conversations on Twitter where particularly hateful and obnoxious posts tend to attract the most attention. As users flock to comment on and register their outrage about the nastiest posts, conversations gravitate towards the most extreme viewpoints.

Politicians and activists of all stripes adapt to the algorithm-dictated outrage-is-everything pattern by reframing their positions on controversial issues as Twitter-style statements in which there is no place for nuance. Bot and troll armies operated by malicious actors, then, drive the polarization even further by spreading misinformation. Social media users become increasingly confined to and influenced by opinions within their social media “echo chambers”. In the end, we end up losing our ability to see nuance and empathize with people outside our “echo chambers”. Or, in the words of Lanier, social media algorithms turn users into “assholes” and reward those who behave like ones.

Source: Giphy

Echo chambers?

But how exactly do otherwise nice individuals who greet their neighbours and support co-workers’ charity drives in their daily lives turn into “assholes” when discussing politics online? What Lanier’s otherwise very informative book leaves unclear is the mechanism that turns social media users into nasty human beings that troll other users and share offensive content.

The book offers only a partial explanation by suggesting that platform algorithms reward hateful and polarizing content. Many other authors, scholars and journalists have argued that the way social media platforms organize users into communities inevitably creates “echo chambers” which solidify and reproduce particular political opinions to the point where users become unwilling to give merit to or even tolerate opposing or more nuanced opinions. This is the view I used to gravitate towards, particularly after realizing that the list of people I followed on Twitter looked surprisingly similar to the list of people I agreed with.

Source: Giphy

The key assumption underlying the “echo chamber” argument is that long-lasting exposure to certain political views and insulation from opposing views drives political polarization. This assumption, however, has been questioned by a recent study conducted by a group of scholars of American politics. The authors surveyed a substantial group of Democrat and Republican Twitter users and had them follow accounts expressing opposing political views. When the respondents were re-surveyed after some time, the researchers found that instead of bringing the users closer to each other, exposure to opposing political views actually increased their polarization.

While this study refutes the core assumption behind the “echo chamber” argument, it does not leave me anywhere closer to understanding what exactly causes otherwise polite and well-behaved individuals to post and share insulting political content online.

Do you have an explanation? Have you read anything interesting that could help me find an explanation? If so, please let me know in the comments section below.

The Ghosts of Social Media Networking Sites Past

Of course, there are the usual suspects. The “Big Three” as I like to call them. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But more often than not, social media sites seem to come and go almost as often as the seasons. One day, you’re hearing all about the newest and coolest social networking app or site, the next day it’s heading straight back to the Silicon Valley start-up it came from. I thought my blog post this week could be dedicated to a few major social media networking sites that are no longer around, but that still had a significant impact on the current social media landscape we now know.

First up, Google +. Google has consistently struggled with their attempt to create a rival for Facebook (looking at you Google Wave). They launched Google Plus in the summer of 2011. You could upload a profile photo, post status updates, include your work/family history, and follow your friends. Sounds familiar, right? Unlike Facebook, Google + proved to be not very user-friendly and provided nothing new and was met with limited interest from the general public. After it was announced that there was a serious software design flaw that put members private information at risk, the site saw a huge decline in their already dwindling members. Google + officially shut down on April 2, 2019.

Google + had such high hopes of being the rival to Facebook.

Up next, Vine. Vine was launched in 2013 after it had been acquired from it’s original developed by Twitter. Vine enabled users to be able to upload and share 6-second video clips on a loop. At it’s peak, Vine was the most downloaded free app. However, its success didn’t last very long. With new competitors like Instagram video and, most notably, Snapchat, Vine declined in popularity. By 2016, Vine was no more, but it left behind plenty of funny videos for us to peruse when we’re bored or nostalgic. This proves that is essential for social media apps to stay on top of trends to be at the top of the heap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHl7jMIFDpU

Last, but certainly not least, the social networking site that started it all. Myspace. Okay, okay. “Technically” speaking Myspace is still around and even has an office and employees and a mandate. However, it is not the Myspace we all once knew and loved. Who can forget streaming your favourite songs and picking your top 10 “best friends” for the week. What nostalgia.

Myspace brings back all the nostalgia for early 2000’s teens

What do you think makes a great social media networking site? What social media networking sites do you miss the most? What is your favourite one now? Leave your answers in the comments below!

What social media networking sites do you miss the most? Take a look at the “ghosts of social networking sites past” here: http://bit.ly/2JTsR7m

The ghosts of social networking sites past. Which ones do you miss the most? http://bit.ly/2JTsR7m #throwbackThursday #socialnetworking

Fear and Loathing in Las Blogas

For those of you, who like me, are new to the world of blogging, you might also feel like the only people you are blogging for are your mother and your best friend. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. Far from it. In fact, many, many successful bloggers have written about how to persevere with your blog when you don’t have an audience. Below is the digest of my research and how I plan to overcome my frustration of writing for no one – YET.

Promotion, promotion, promotion!

I have learned in these last few weeks through a lot of reading and listening to experts, and also through this course the value of promoting your content. Sonia Simone from CopyBlogger writes “until you build an audience that’s interested in what you are doing, you have to promote your content.”

In other words, you shouldn’t just wait for people to find your content. You should invite them to see it.

A little further in Sonia’s article, she writes, “waiting for social sharing to ‘just happen’ is like waiting for search engines to ‘just rank you’. You may be waiting for a long, long time. Until you are well established, you’ll want to get in there and give your content a good push.”

She suggests that sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are a great start for content promotion. I’d like to throw Twitter into that mix.

The flip side of not having an audience

You may think “how could I possibly benefit from not having an audience?” After all, the point is to gather some steady followers who enjoy what you have to offer and engage with them as often as you can so you can stay psyched to keep on creating and publishing, right?

Kali Roberge from Creative Advisor Marketing serves up 4 fresh perspectives on how not having a strong following can benefit you here. I am especially fond of number 4!

“Don’t be discouraged by a slow start. It offers the time and testing you need to lay the right foundation for success.” – Michael Hyatt

A few words about fear

The fear of publishing is real. I’ve been there and I have the tee-shirt in a few colours and sizes. Whether it’s not knowing exactly what it is that you want to write about, the fear of failure or just plain social anxiety, Mike Brown from The Blogging Buddha has you covered here.

He touches a bit on those aforementioned issues and suggests a few strategies to overcome them in a very down-to-earth way.

These posts that I have listed above are definitely ones that I will be revisiting in the future to boost up my confidence level. I hope you will too.

Here are a couple of other noteworthy resources to visit if you are a blogging novice and feeling shaky or you simply want to learn more:

  • Medium (they have an app too!)

Hopefully after reading this blog post, you went from feeling like this:

Source: giphy.com

To feeling like this:

Source: giphy.com

If you had a magic wand that with one wave could solve your biggest social media woe, what would you wave it for?

Tired of blogging for an audience of your mother? Head down here for some pointers on alleviating some of the most common blogging woes.

https://bit.ly/2EsJx3Y

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You’re never too old for social media.

At what age do you stop playing games? Those games we loved as kids, such as jump rope, hopscotch and card games, may have gone by the wayside for some. But technology has resurrected many of these as apps. Games such as Solitaire, Yahtzee and Wii games are not only played by the younger generation but now by the older population.  Many older adults have jumped on the game app bandwagon with their tablets, IPads and IPods.

Social media is no different.  What may have begun as a way to connect with family across the country has turned into daily occurrence for many seniors. As someone who is approaching this ‘generation’, I am finding more and more seniors (ages 55+) are connecting with technology. Keeping up with the grandkids and learning something new have become goals for many older adults and in all honesty, have become part of their daily activities. Many seniors’ centres are now offering a variety of computer related programs and courses, including the how to’s of social media.

Working for the Town of Aurora, I was fortunate to work in the Aurora Seniors’ Centre for a 12 month period and watched first hand, how many of its members, some of whom were in their early 80’s, were utilizing their electronic devices. The Aurora Seniors’ Centre in conjunction with the Aurora Seniors’ Association, for example, is a very active centre with a very engaged computer club; most of the instructors are over 65 years of age. The Club offers weekly courses on a variety of topics which have included social media, as well as monthly TED Talks. They even have their own Facebook page, which is very dynamic.

According to Seniors for Seniors, a company providing home care services for seniors by seniors, social media can provide older adults with entertainment, stimulation, maintaining independence and preventing the isolation that many seniors face today. Technology is important to everyone, no matter the age.

 

So the next time your grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle enquires about your Facebook status or checks out your Instagram pics, remember, you’re never too old for social media. Consider what you would do if your 80 year old mother or father asked for your help in getting connected on social media? They might surprise you with the wealth of knowledge they may already have.

 

  You’re never too old for Social Media. It’s more than keeping up with the grandkids.

#too old for social media?