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FOSMI - Fear of Social Media Interaction

Again and again, I run right into this wall. And it’s me that needs to see the wall before I hit it. I’m so immersed in social media I forget the rest of the world is not 20 years old with a phone glued to the non-dominant hand.

Because of the “curse of Knowledge” and due to the desensitizing of daily use I need to remember not everyone has my intimate knowledge of Social Media savvy.

I will add my disclaimer I DO NOT KNOW everything about social media. My knowledge is in the backend of Online Platforms, not the public side.

You will not see me posting for BWCI three times a day. Which is a very good example of a conscious choice.

BWCI’s business model does not warrant 3 posts, comments, and/or emojis every day. BWCI is not an influencer but a media creator. See my article “Influencer - To Be or Not to Be” for the difference between influencing and posting for business. Choosing what's right for your business with the knowledge of what a specific platform does and the appropriate way to use it is key.

Looking back, I’ve participated from the beginning of SM’s short lifetime, it's birth(AOL, Myspace), wobbling toddler (TY, FB, IG, Snapchat), and then blossoming into its screaming runaway adolescence rage in 2016 during Brexit and The US presidential elections.

I feel we have turned yet another corner and social media is maturing THANK the heavens! Of course for the kid in all of us, there is TikTok.

Moving Forward

Meta and Goggle have made it very clear that they will not be the social police and they have developed guidelines that are truly working. Free speech is a double-edged sword and one worth fighting for. Do you really want Zuckerburg, or worse, some unnamed figure in Alphabet in control of our media?

In a democracy, we have the final word, no one else. I'd like it to stay that way.

Click wisely.

YES, each of us has THE ultimate control at our own fingertips.

So here are some guides to stay safe and build a kind culture on your feed.

The #1 guideline to follow is “do no harm.”

I began my professional venture into social media capturing kids skiing at competitions. The biggest concern of parents was, “is posting this safe for my kid?”.

2400 videos, 150K views, and 10 years later I believe it was my two policies of #1 “Do no harm” and #2 If you call me I will have your kids' video down in less than 5 min. that allowed parents to have control.

Only once in ten years (2400 posted videos) was I called and the video went to black while still on the call with the mom. I move quickly.

At first, I had the good sense to only pull public access. Within 15 mins the same parent texted “PUT THEM BACK! PLS” in all caps.

She had failed to ask her son his opinion of his spectacular fall. Without injury! (policy #3 Show no harm- the kids called it the mom filter.) My takeaway, the value is in the eyes of the beholder and the person the video is about. Their wishes must be respected. (only to be overridden by Mom or Dad).

So is it safe? I would love to give a resounding YES but that would not be true. Social Media is as safe as you make it, your guidelines must be in play before you post and that you follow them so you will avoid trouble and trolls.

We all tell our kids don’t post anything they don’t want to live forever online and that is a good guideline and solid words to live by.

What if you make a mistake?

Well (s#)it happens, and it’s how you deal with it that counts.

Four more guidelines

If You:

  • Are not sure you want the message broadcasted to the entire world then STOP there.

  • Have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.

  • Need to complain? Follow with a solution. Or report if its misinformation. Believe me, the gatekeepers move fast when a report is filed. Hours not days.

  • Make a mistake? - own up and remove anything offensive with an apology. The better the apology the quicker the wound will heal for all. Try to sweep this and the mess can spread fast.

Trolls happen and that’s the sadistic pleasure they seek, creating chaos where it does not belong. Rest assured the powers that be are tired of these little bullies and there are consequences.

If you are trolled - Respond as best you can, NOT to the troll but to your followers and report it - The social media consequences to a troll are substantial and quick. Do not misreport or you will pay dearly for your trollish behavior.

Last but definitely not least

Our online world is run by algorithms, they are not human but formulas, so, if your feed is filled with rage, rants, or fuel for gaslighting it’s time to have a talk with yourself about how you use the internet.

Every click counts. You have the controls.

Need a shift to the joyous side in your feed?

  1. Go click on some rainbows and happy puppies. Send them thumbs up’s and hearts.

  2. Block a few ads you feel are offensive. This works and keeps us, advertisers, in check!!!

  3. Put a hold on a local ranter without disconnecting them. There is a don’t show me this person for a month option upper right of the post. Very handy and it’s anonymous, only you know.

Go and put some good vibes back in your social feed.

The goodness is out there when you look for it, and, will populate your feed quickly if you feed them with shares, likes, and loves.

FOSMI is real

With knowledge and guidelines you can keep it to reasonable levels. Feel safe in the control of your feeds.

Allow your business to thrive online and get your message seen and heard.

Remember, you have THE control. Don’t be afraid to use it. Do some house keeping and gain control back in your feed.

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Trina Gold

BWCI - Master Creator

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