Not sure where or how to start here, as social media is a big topic and it keeps on getting bigger and bigger every day. Fear of social media may be a bit of an exaggeration though, but it is something that exists. The anxiety we have about it be it in an obsessive manner and letting it rule our lives and every day interactions or the fear of losing control over one’s online (and offline) privacy.
One issue with social media is the stigma associated with it. Twitter for non-users and newbies is all about “what I had this morning” while FourSquare to the same people is all about letting the world know which public bathroom you are using (And which specific cubicle). The thing is there is more to social media. I will not deny that there may be some truth to this (but not to that extent, at least I hope not!), but it’s not what social media is all about. Such stereotypes deter new curious users from giving it a shot and exploring the networks that exist out there.
You don’t have to tell the world where you are, you don’t have to Instagram everything you see or eat (Note to self there), and you don’t have to tweet of share your deepest fears or post your most intimate thoughts and emotions on Facebook. You could simply be on social media as an observer. There are many people who seem inactive on social media but are in reality monitoring and consuming information online better than any of us supposedly ‘social media enthusiasts’ might ever do.
One thing people have to bear in mind that social media is not something that has to be done, it is totally up to the user what to share, when to share and how (Or not to share anything at all and just be an observer).
I personally try to encourage my friends and contacts to try new social media networks, as they might see some benefit in them and actually start using them more often. There is more to that world than Facebook! Twitter can be used as a fantastic news source, Pinterest could be used to keep up to date with the latest trends in fashion, culinary and to plan your next vacation, Google+ can be used to meet great like-minded people, Foursquare can be used to explore your city better and to uncover hidden gems on daily basis, you could keep up with your industry’s latest news and trends on Linkedin and so on. There are many ways you can utilize your presence online, you just need to give the internet a chance to astonish you 😉