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Dear Social Media, I promise…

The video below is making the rounds on Facebook.With good reason, it’s great!  As a baby boomer required to embrace social media for my job, and does so with a vengeance, crossing well over into personal use, I share this video, which serves as the inspiration for my social media resolutions for 2017. The only point I would add, is it is not just the “Millennial Generation” who abuse or over rely on social media, and while I don’t disagree with Simon Sinek’s assessment of instant gratification in younger generations,  I am not a millennial basher. I know many millennials who do know how to balance their social media use and understand the value in mid-century work ethic and culture. My own 33-year old daughter is raising my grandson with minimal exposure and reliance upon device screens. She doesn’t document her entire life through a device. The art of conversation (and it is an art) is valued and cultivated.

Here is my Top 8 Resolutions for Social Media behavior

1. Keep my phone off while dining. Home or restaurant, when your phone is out, you’re telling your companion(s) they are not that important. Otherwise you are sending a message that just in case something more exciting comes across the screen, you will be ready to disconnect from those at the table. Not a good impression to convey.

2. Reduce the food photos. Unless using it for a Trip Advisor, Yelp, or Google reviews, no one needs, or really cares to see a picture of my salad.

3. Rediscover small talk! No phones at business meetings unless it is a social media business meeting. The art of idle chit chat and curiosity about other people is a relationship building skillset. One of the most poignant passages of this video is at the 12:00 mark. If I can encourage you to listen to that one passage, fast forward if you have to, but listen to that segment. Sage advice!

4. Stop recording every single event, especially concerts. Louis C.K has a great bit on this. We don’t watch meaningful events anymore with our eyes. We’re doing it everywhere — at our children or grandchildren’s recitals, sporting events, and concerts to name a few. We hold up a device and watch the event through the device. We want to prove and post we were someplace special. I am guilty of this. Absorb and appreciate the event naturally. Record it with your eyes, ears and brain. Create a normal memory of your experience. And while on this topic…

5. Enjoy a wedding the old fashioned way. Unless they specifically ask, stop taking cell phone shots of brides walking down the aisle. Let the pros do the job and the bride and groom share the photos they want. I’ve seen so many professional videos and photos ruined because everyone in the background has their smart phones out to document the moment. It looks ridiculous too! View article that went with this photo:

5. When I do use social media, I’ll endeavor to spend 50 percent of my time making someone else look good, engage with others, share their content, not mine and try promote positive content as standard practice.

6. Do my due diligence and check sensational “facts” before sharing pseudo-science or fake news not marked as satire.

7. Share nothing unless it’s read first.

8. Next? Not! Social media is all about sharing, but I won’t work that hard to share your trendy, terrific Top 10 list. If you make me hunt and peck for the randomly moving “NEXT” button for every item on that list, meanwhile enduring the 30 or 40 flashing, income-generating, click-bait headlines surrounding your profound list and force me to tolerate the “OMG you wont believe what this celebrity looks like now” baity nonsense, then your content is not moving forward. Not with me. If I can’t scroll the list, or glide back and forward with an arrow embedded in the slide show, your content dies with me. Done. Fin!

Happy New Year!