Three Ways to Ruin Your Online Influence

Facebook’s IPO launches today.

Twitter breaks loose in the United Kingdom.

Pinterest raises $100 million to bolster it’s incredible growth spurt.

With the proliferation and exponential growth of social media, it’s sink or swim for those wishing to harness its capabilities. Self-declared ‘gurus’ and ‘internet ninjas’ spew forth from the nooks and crannies of the world wide web, providing commoners with proclamations of wisdom, often resulting in social media gaffes.

Creative Commons: By EMMAMMME

Want to ruin your online influence? Here’s how to make that happen:

1. Be Incredibly Selfish

Guideline:

Online or offline, no one enjoys selfishness. We’re taught from our elementary school days to share what we have, to not just talk about ourselves, and to listen well. A great way to ruin your online influence is to not share your thoughts and not share the thoughts of others. Bifurcating our ‘Internet life’ from our ‘offline life’ is a grave mistake.

Application:

Tout others on Facebook. Be generous with a kind @mention and/or RT on Twitter. Sharing is essential both online and offline.

2. Be Amazingly Transparent

Guideline:

“TMI” doesn’t just stand for Three Mile Island; its also interpreted as “Too Much Information.”

Another great way to ruin your online influence is to relay personal details you’d only tell to your closest of friends. In private. With a pinky swear to seal the deal.

Remember: what happens in Vegas stays on Facebook. In other words, whatever is shared over social media is forever on the internet. For better or for worse, that way-too-transparent information could cost you a job, relationship, or even your safety.

Application:

Think twice before hitting share, send, tweet, or publish.

3. Be Terribly Negative

Guideline:

Another great way to ruin your online influence: look at the dark side–of everything. Online or offline, no one wants to befriend a harbinger of perpetual bad news. Remember the Debbie Downer sketch from Saturday Night Live? Debbie has a knack for spinning to the negative (even at Disneyworld).

Application:

Communication, at its core, is a transfer of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Ensure that what you’re sharing will help others and provide value rather than stripping the silver lining from a cloudy day.

June Carter Cash said it best:

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,

Keep on the sunny side of life.

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,

If we keep on the sunny side of life.

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