Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social media networks can be a great way to keep in contact with friends and family, network with clients and business partners, share tips and interesting information, and meet others with similar interests. These networks can also be a time waster, give identity thieves your personal information, and cause misunderstandings and hard feelings.
One way I limit the negative side of social media networking is by limiting the number of people in these networks.
If you request to be my friend, follower, link, etc. and are rejected, ask yourself the following questions. Add up the total and see how you score!!
1. Do I know you? - Yes (1 pt) - No (0 pt)
If I don't know you at all, have never conversed with you, and wouldn't be able to ID you in a police line up, you probably won't be accepted in my network.
2. Are you a good person? - Yes (1 pt) - No (0 pt)
This isn't only what you think of yourself, but also the general consensus amongst your peers and family. If you are a liar, a thief, a racist, or a jerk in general, don't even bother trying to connect with me.
3. Do we have anything in common? - Yes (1 pt) - No (0 pt)
If you know me, then you know some of my likes and dislikes in art, music, politics, work, hobbies, and lifestyle. If we don't share any interests, it's pointless to connect.
4. Have we been getting along lately? - Yes (1 pt) - No (0 pt)
If we recently had a disagreement or things have been tense between us for a while, let some time pass and make an effort to work through the issue with me before trying to join my social media network. I won't risk getting virtually yelled at just to have another person in my network.
5. Do you genuinely want to network with me? - Yes (1 pt) - No (0 pt)
Networks are for interacting. Unless you are very interesting to me and offer a product/service/skill that I want in my life, I won't follow or friend a one-way info blast.
0 pts - Who the hell are you and how did you find this blog?!
1 pt - Maybe I met you on a message board or some other virtual space. I might let you join, but don't feel rejected if I don't. My time is limited and I need to keep up with close friends and family.
2-3 pts - We probably have met once or twice and had a good time talking. I probably will let you join, but my interaction with you may be limited.
4-5 pts - FRIEND! Glad to see you!! (If your request was rejected, either I didn't see it or accidentally pushed the wrong button.)
If we're gonna meet up online, check out these important tips from Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports' 7 Things to Stop Doing on Facebook