Monday, March 12, 2012

Welcome to Social Networking...

As I finish up edits and begin the publishing process on my current book, Break From You, I've decided to dive into the crazy world of social networking. I've taken this step head first, not only am I wanting to start my own pages to spread the word about my books, but I am beginning research on a new book about cyberbullying.

Social networking has many positive aspects. Creating a page can promote a company, sell a product, spread awareness, and much more. Businesses, musicians, actors, writers, artists, and other public figures can use social media to obtain followers. As a consumer, social media is an easy way to stay up-to-date on your favorite things. On a personal note, social network sites can allow you to get in touch with old friends, and stay connected to family and friends who live near and far.

Social media can be fun. People can share pictures, videos, favorite songs, and keep in touch with others no matter where they are. It is a great way to share news or spread the word.

However, there is a downside to social media. Networking is a public thing, regardless of how private you try to be. It is so easy to share information, and that information may not stay secure. Comments may be regretted later or read by people they weren't intended for. Pictures can easily be tagged or commented on and get passed around to multiple users. Many pictures get misused, misrepresented, and abused. Unwanted spam, annoying news feeds, and getting bombarded with advertisements are other negative aspects of social media.

Online bullying is a major problem. Statistics state that over half of teens have been bullied online. More than one-third of individuals have experienced threats online. Most young people do not tell their parents or a trusted adult that they are being bullied. 

The abuse and negative use of social media can destroy positive self image, relationships, trust, and much more. Being bullied online can happen to anyone at any age. Even I have experienced first hand the devastation that the negative use of social media can cause.

Although social media can be negative, it can also be a very positive experience. Being online and connecting with friends is fun. However, when going online, make sure you are safe. Make sure you block people you don't know. Do not share private information about yourself.

 Stop and think before you post.

I take the step into social media cautiously. I am wary of the abuse and bullying that can occur. Yet, I am excited to connect with people, readers, and fans. I realize the positive things that social networking can provide. 

If you or someone you know is being bullied on line, please get help. Block the user, keep a record of all bullying, and let someone know.

When online, make sure you are not part of the problem, but part of the solution. Do not bully.
Follow me on facebook and join me in the effort to stop cyberbullying.

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