Top 10 (or so) Tips to Survive in Social Media

I know this has nothing to do with OUAT, but I think it’s important to remind us (including me).

Note: This post I originally posted elsewhere in 2007.

Whether you are a podcaster, blogger, Tumblrer, Facebooker, etc these are (important) things that I have;

Tried to learn the hard way,
Seen friends try to learn the hard way, and
figured I’d share these old tips with you all.

1. 30 minute rule. Never communicate if you are in high emotion mode. Wait 30 minutes, talk a walk (sometimes, a long walk) and come back, then try it again.

2. Never assume your email made it to the person. Yes friends, even Gmail may throw your message in the other person’s junk mail.

Tip: Wait a day or two, then email them again, MySpace message them, FB message them, and ask if they received it.

3. Emails don’t have tone or feeling. Use smilies more often, that can help. Realize that you are already at a disadvantage when you use computer typed words to reflect feelings. It is almost impossible, but if still want to try, cut the other person a huge bunch of slack, when they don’t understand exactly where you are coming from. Vice Versa, If someone you don’t know all that well (sometimes you may know them well, too) responds to you via email, you don’t know what the reader of your email is going through, whether they have thick skin or not, whether what you said or posted pulled an emotional trigger you never knew they had, their age, upbringing, etc, cutting other people slack is an important gift in dealing with people via messages. It’s not fair putting your rationale, thought process, etc on someone else, because they aren’t you. You can’t make anyone “grow up faster” in an area you feel that you have mastered, because I’ll bet there are plenty of things others feel that you can grow in a little faster, too. Just sayin’

4. If there is confusion in a back and forth email disagreement- Stop, and do your best to explain what you mean to say. If you can, maybe talk on the phone. Nothing beats a voice, nothing. However, these days we connect digitally only with text, so a phone convo maybe a bad idea or impossible.

5. Never assume (remember what they say about assuming) that the receiver has actually read your email. It made it to the person you sent it to, but it is number 555 in their inbox. This really is the case, if its a podcaster, they probably have a whole bunch to read. Give them some extra time to respond. Try a VM message, audio feedback, etc.

6. The old compose/throw away/cancel rule. If you are angry/fed-up/frustrated with a situation, and you must write something down, do it, but do it safely. Take out one of those, uh, pieces of paper and a pen, write and write and write, then wad it up and throw it away. Obviously, you can type on a Word doc, but no fair saving it! After the throwing away or canceling, take a long walk.

Note: Remember, once you send an email, you can’t get it back.

7. This may seem redundant, but it bears repeating. The person you sent the message to, doesn’t know your state of mind. They may be going through something worse/better/or something else. Don’t assume they can read your mind.

8. Be patient. Yep, that’s it- be patient. You only see with your ‘to-do’ list, your schedule, etc, you have no up-to-the-second clue of what the other person has to do.

9. Use spell check. Spell check. Spell check (You get the idea). You can add constant spell check in Firefox. that has saved me many, many times.

10. Proof read visually before you send your email. Sometimes the words are spelled right (Meaning you ran spell check), but the wrong words are used. Just give it a once over, before you send it off.

11. (If you get emails for your online venture (If you have one)) Keep the good emails (Seriously, hang them on your wall to look back on them in the tough times. Note: You will have tough times), and

12. Read the bad emails, yup, read them; Sort out the things written that are mean-spirited, short-sighted, etc, and keep the things in the emails that are “growth opportunities” for you (This may take a huge dose of humility to find in these emails), and delete when done. Forget the wording, try to forget the sender, but remember the “growth opportunities,” and adopt them. Gold is found in thrown rocks sometimes. Hard lessons, I know. Oh yes, if you want to respond in kind to the bad emails, read #1 again (and again, etc).

13. So change the Karma level, try this. Send a compliment email to an unsuspecting person. I now induct you as a “Compliment Delivery Person”. Maybe there is a podcaster, podcast listener, blogger, tumblrer, facebooker, friend, old friend that you haven’t seen around or heard from in awhile. Maybe someone has been sick, sad or both- go and deliver a compliment to them.

You never know the full implications of giving goodness.

Sadly, we all don’t do enough goodness-giving.

Sermon over.

Remember, you can’t control the emails that come to you, but you can control the emails that come out of you.

Signed, The biggest offender of all of these (Remember, we can always start over.), Jeff

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