Social media and social skills are the new confidence-building life skills each young person should know as you pursue your dreams toward real life success. This series will help you develop your God-given talents and skills, encourage you to make the most of each day, pursue the best education possible, have a heart for those less fortunate, and to the degree that you apply yourself, you will discover success. Forget the image. I want you to become a success for real.
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Social Media, Say Hello to Social Skills
By Paula Bond
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Paula Bond
All rights reserved.
Social Media, say Hello to Social Skills
The Benefits of Social Media
Social Media revolutionized the ways people interact with one another. The benefits of social media are as far reaching as they are intimate. For example, one of the biggest demonstrations of social media benefits took place back in 2008 when America experienced the first Presidential election that was truly influenced by the role social media played. To our personal benefit we've also seen the technology literally reunite families. Keeping up with your cousins in the Mid-West, your Auntie down South, or long-distance friends on any continent around the world is both fun and easy to do. Through streaming, webcasts, videos and more, we're able to participate in academic or extra-curricular studies, plus share significant personal events such as weddings, graduations or the birth of a new baby. Those separated by distances will FaceTime, share photos, videos and information in ways that keep families and friends connected. Honestly, the benefits of social media continue to evolve, adding to the quality of life for many who are smart enough to gain the best from the technology.
You may be one of millions of people who play games, chat in groups, take classes on-line and never know what others in the group look like. Of course video calls reveal you to one another, but when you've gathered around a shared interest, the interaction doesn't rely on you seeing the other person. It doesn't matter how tall they are, what color hair and eyes they have, or how cool they look in their jeans. Through the internet, people can unify around common activities without allowing differences like race, religion, gender or political beliefs to divide us.
Since virtual connections don't require us to meet face-to-face, are people less socially skilled due to the lack of personal interaction? Or has the nature of social networking done away with a degree of personal and social savvy otherwise sharpened through human interaction? Have we become too dependent upon our devices, letting a mobile phone, for example, do too much of the communicating for us? Unlike human beings, machines don't require common civility. If devices are the primary mode of our communications, and not our mouths or our body language, does that mean we, like our devices, require less civility? Are we being conditioned by our modes of virtual communication? Remember, your device is the tool and YOU are the responsible person controlling the tool. You are in control, so make good social networking choices that you and your family can be proud of.
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The Benefits of Social Skills
You'd be mistaken to equate 'social know-how' with weakness or powerlessness. There's a true saying, "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness." A life advanced by social skills requires the type of discipline found in able, strong-minded, brave, smart folks. Social skills are expressed through acts of civility, consideration, good manners and respect. Civility is the ability of two or more people of various genders, ages, cultures, languages and beliefs, to be able to work toward common goals which benefit the entire group. For example it's in the best interest of a neighborhood to keep their yards well groomed, gutters cleaned, and trees trimmed. Adults want clean, safe streets and parks for their children and therefore pay property taxes to keep the public and social services working. No one is policing each neighbor forcing them to do so. There's a personal pride at work, an inner gauge, also called a moral compass. Like-minded people are the force behind a solid neighborhood. At the core of well-groomed yards and paid up property taxes is a belief that one's neighbors are as important as they are. You want this for yourself and for the good of the neighborhood. That's civility in action on a group scale. Another good example can be made of driving. Without complete cooperation, the roads would be chaos. That's civility at work.
We each have a responsibility for personal civility. As individuals it can be demonstrated through our use of social skills. Highly skilled individuals are able to interact with a diverse group of people, maneuver a formal dining table set for a 5 course meal and are versed in the business etiquette belonging to cultures outside their own. On the other hand, there are those with a lack of skilled behavior who come across as being rude, arrogant, selfish, cold-hearted, and uncontrolled, when in reality those characteristics may not accurately describe the offender. It may be a case of never having learned how to maneuver in certain social settings beyond their immediate circle and outside their peers. Civility has less to do with your character and speaks more of how well one navigates through their world. A person of bad character could indeed be someone who is also socially knowledgeable, while the sweetest person you know may be socially clueless. The goal is to combine the best of the best. Meaning, respectable character, in a socially skilled person is a recipe for success.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.
Psalm 119:66 (NIV)
There is great value in mastering Social Media Networking and Social Skills. Both bodies of knowledge are tools designed to serve you, to give you a better life and provide the intellectual and creative expressions that contribute to your personal and professional fulfillment. Just think how much better you will do in relationships with friends, family and teachers. How worthwhile would it be using your knowledge of social skills in sports and other competitions? Or use this information on interviews for special school assignments, internships, college or that first job. Not in a stiff or robotic manner, but with ease. This knowledge permits you to conduct yourself with the sort of comfortable confidence that comes with the practice of what you are learning throughout this book and the entire 'Know Better 2 Do Better' series. Would learning social skills at an early age put you into position for academic or sports scholarships and other special considerations?
Through these fun lessons, you will become qualified for opportunities reserved for young people who display leadership potential and promise. Along with solid academics, through mastery of both Social Networking and Social Skills, you will gain your competitive advantage.
Good etiquette suggests you introduce strangers in your sphere to one another so let's put into practice what we've learned and say, "Social Media, say Hello to Social Skills".
Social Media Etiquette
Etiquette is the application of appropriate behavior to a particular circumstance. Social Media is the broad name given to the wide range of media apps and information sharing sites that allow us users to participate in social networking. Social Networking is simply interacting with others through various devices. And it is through our devices that we are free to create, network, do file sharing, play games, view media, communicate and more.
Where did social networking all begin? From the 1990's through today the ways in which we communicate were dramatically revamped. Scientist and inventor, Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the telephone in 1876. Over the following decades telephones grew in popularity as an indispensable household and business item. Wireless technology had evolved throughout many years by the time the first wireless phone, headed for public consumption, was revealed in 1973. Since its invention, the nature of telephones did not change much until the wide usage of mobile phones began in the mid- 1980's. But it wasn't until the late 1990's and early 2000's that our phones developed into more efficient modes of communication. With the inclusion of the internet, our devices became Smartphones. This provided the ability to IM, text, e-mail, direct message and socially network through an endless variety of apps and sites. Additional devices became handheld, or worn on our wrists, enabling us with the latest wireless technology, GPS, plus cameras, video recorders, music players, with games, and the capacity to view videos, TV and film. Back in the day, each household often had one telephone line, now where possible, each person in the household can have their own phone, plus additional convenient technology.
Over time our mobile devices have become something we prefer not to live without. It's a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and is fun during play time. As an instantly informative educational tool with fingertip access to knowledge, there's really no excuse to be uninformed. Along with all the enjoyment our devices provide, mobile phones have also saved lives when used as an emergency safety tool to call for help.
Now that you understand more about that device in your hand, it is now time to learn about how to master Social Networking. In other words, safe, mature, responsible management of your Social Networking experience will result in knowing ways to best deal with a variety of circumstances. For example, it's important to note that Social Media is also widely used for advertising and marketing products to YOU and others around the world. All those ads and commercials are created to try and influence the ways in which you spend your time and money. There can also be unsafe experiences associated with Social Networking, which you should be aware of and we'll discuss very shortly in the next section.
Many of you have your own mobile phones, others of you will have one soon enough. Enjoying your own phone is a responsibility! Just as caring for your pet is a responsibility, babysitting and taking care of younger ones is a responsibility, and learning to drive a car is a huge responsibility. If you are responsible enough to utilize the services of a mobile phone or internet sites, you should also be prepared to abide by your parents guidelines, plus the policies of the site, as well as understand the appropriateness of your phone's use.
Each social media site comes with its own rules and regulations, its own etiquette. When you become a member of a site it is your responsibility to read the guidelines and abide by them as long as you are a member of that site. It may also be helpful to share this information with your parents and guardians. They may want to know more about your participation in the continually evolving world of Social Media.
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Seven Keys to Social Networking Success
Often, our devices, monitor screens, phones and doors that contain something of value are secured with a lock. Having the code or a key to the door provides easy access to the important items that are behind the door. To ensure your on-line experience is the best you can make it, you are about to receive 7 valuable Keys to help you increase your Social Networking Success.
1. Keep It Real
I worked for a brief time as a producer on a 'reality' TV show. It was a cool experience, with a good idea for the show, but 'reality'. ... not fully. Those shows are well thought out, deeply planned and when necessary, they will do multiple takes if the producers didn't like what happened the first time. The show may be called 'reality', made to look exciting and glamorous, but behind the scenes, many of them don't live up to their appearances. Unfortunately, there are girls who are drawing their sense of reality from some of these shows and music videos. I know this is not true for everyone, but there are girls who may not be happy with their real lives and prefer what they see on the screen. Sure, we can all be influenced by those things we admire. But don't be deceived by the hype beautiful young lady. Even if you have not yet discovered the truth about yourself – give it time. Trust me, your REAL life is so much more valuable, worthwhile and important than any damaging programs created to display the worst in us, and they do it just for the ratings. I want you to know the truth so you won't spend your time on social media as a pretend character involved in a whirlwind of mess. Your life, dear one, is not a low-level 'reality' show, lift your head up and don't follow bad examples.
You've observed people being bullied on some 'reality' shows and for those who use Social Media to bully, it expresses that they are actually insecure, unhappy and angry. There are also those who hide on the other side of a keyboard, doing anonymous, which really means, that person may struggle with issues of being a coward. If you know of and care about anyone like that, please let them know, they are better than that and they have so much more to offer.
Ok, this is where the courage comes in. Don't go along with the crowd just to have friends, hold on to your beliefs, or begin to establish some solid values and get busy doing YOU.
Key number one is 'Keep It Real', meaning be you - because no one else can. If you haven't already done so, it's time to do the work in discovering your authentic self. You have great qualities and through this 'Know Better to Do Better' series you are in the process of learning to become the best YOU on the planet. Being your authentic self is not a new concept. Famous 19 century author and poet Oscar Wilde put it this way, "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." That's your goal, figure out who you are. Knowing yourself will allow your true personality to come through and have a much better social media experience. Be the Leader among your friends - do social networking with self-respect and in ways that honor and respect the persons on the other end of your messages.
2. Please Don't Make Me Unfollow You
Have you unfollowed someone due to their bad attitude, the type of language they use, because they're a bully, or the content of their messages are ridiculous? Maybe you found them too argumentative, or they poured out their harsh tone at you or someone you care about. Have you left a site because it was not what you expected or moving in a direction you refuse to go into?
Your social networking experience should be fun. It should do 3 things:
A. Keep you close to family and friends.
B. Work as a tool that keeps you up-to-date on current events in your neighborhood, at school and around the world.
C. Provide answers to your questions that expand you knowledge academically, personally and socially.
Whether communicating on your computer, phone or tablet the networking is meant to be worthwhile, a good use of your valuable time. With worth and value in mind, be sure that in your communications you too are providing a useful experience for family and friends. Don't reach out to others so often that they do not look forward to hearing from you. No need to send a photo or video of everything that happens throughout your entire day. Though you may find them interesting, we don't need to know the details of all your conversations. Be considerate of others and if you haven't already done so, begin applying careful thought and good judgement before sending another message. And remember, that while you communicate through a lot of abbreviations on social media, understand you cannot use that same spelling or abbreviations in other forms of communications such as on homework, term papers, college applications, resumes and e-mails. In order to display your smarts you must use standard English in your other writings.
3. Oooops, Shouldn't Have Sent That
Appropriate choices refer to applying correct actions to a particular instance. Knowing that all information is not appropriate for public sharing, what type of messages do you believe to be inappropriate via social media? You will know because those communications unfit for public social sites are in the categories of being sensitive, personal, private or simply too special to share in any other way than face-to-face. Yes, of course there are circumstances that won't allow an in-person conversation, distance for example. You may be hundreds or thousands of miles from the one with whom you want to communicate. That's a perfect opportunity for a phone call. Voice-to-voice offers a more personal and private exchange than reading shocking news through social networking. Better yet, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. are versions that add an even more personal touch. Those options are the next best thing to being in the other person's presence.
As you consider the question on, what is best not sent through social media, you are on target if you thought of - sad news, such as a family or friend's illness, death, critical accident and items of that severity. Also, personal and private information which may or may not have a disastrous effect if communicated socially such as medical, financial, school or job related, or any information, which if leaked, would be hurtful. What about the other end of the spectrum - exciting, wonderful, joyful news? The type of happy announcements you want to make personally in order to see someone's reaction when you share the thrilling details. When you find yourself faced with sharing something very important don't simply react without briefly pausing to think. If it is a true life-threatening emergency then dial 911. Otherwise, for serious news family and friends need to be made aware of, take a breath, calmly think about what you want to say, get smart advice if time permits and then determine the best non-public method to communicate the news.
Excerpted from Social Media, Say Hello to Social Skills by Paula Bond. Copyright © 2016 Paula Bond. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsI. The Right Choice?, 1,
II. Welcome, 4,
Book One - Social Media, say Hello to Social Skills, 7,
PART A. The Benefits of Social Media, 8,
PART B. Social Media Etiquette, 10,
PART C. Seven Keys to Social Networking Success, 11,
PART D. Become The Solution Not The Problem, 16,
III. Dear Parents, 22,
IV. Paula Bond Brown, 22,