Like Learning to Ride a Bike: Conquering Your Social Media Fears

I recently just had a friend from Germany get on Facebook for the first time ever.

And no, he’s not a senior citizen. He’s in his 20’s but had heard some horror stories about having his life made public online. Perhaps someone you know has the same fears…

+Everyone will know all of my personal information and business if I get on social media.

+I won’t have control over what people say about me.

+I’ll waste too much time on Facebook and Twitter. I know too many poeple who are addicted!

All these statements boil down to one thing: fear. Getting over your social media fears will enable to to connect with friends, family, and businesses you love without compromising your personal information and time.

So how do you jump into the uncharted waters of social media?

You do what you did when you learned to ride a bike…

Bike children

Bike children (Photo credit: Josh Koonce)

1. You start. Open an account. It’s as simple as choosing a username and a password.

Confused? You were probably confused or scared when you first started learning to ride a bike too, so don’t give up. Chances are you didn’t learn to ride a bike alone–you had someone helping you. Asking someone to help you get on Facebook or any other social media platform is a great way to get started.

2. You Make Mistakes. Unlike riding a bike, your bumps and bruises will be much less painful.

Know this: any mistake you make can be undone. Perhaps you posted something that contained something that wasn’t spelled correctly–simply delete it. Even if others do things you don’t like, like tagging  you in a picture that you don’t want others to see–can be corrected. Simply untag yourself and set privacy settings to not allow people to tag you in photos.

3. You connect! The goal of social media is to connect in new ways.

This doesn’t mean we’re not meeting at coffee shops to have real conversations anymore–it just means scheduling those converstations most likely happens on social media outlets rather than the phone or even e-mail.

Social media is meant to enhance our connections with the people and places we care about. You just have to start, make a few mistakes, and then connect with others who want to connect with you.

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