(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

You all know who you are. That group that has decided to take the plunge into social media because you find you’re left out of conversations with friends who talk about nothing else.

A computer has never been a big part of your life because, unlike your friends, you actually have a life.

You actually interact with people in person. You speak rather than type. You don’t think in memes.

You actually have rational thought and have your own opinion rather than one that’s created for you online.

Survival Tips

Way back in the 1920s Dale Carnegie wrote a book called, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

While you might think winning friends and influencing people might be defined as the whole purpose of social media it actually does neither.

You will lose friends on social media. Sooner or later you’ll shoot your mouth off on the wrong topic and the whole world will open a big can of whoopass on you.

And if you think anything you say online will influence anyone, about anything, you probably also believe in unicorns and Christopher Robin.

Safety First

Until you get the hang of social media etiquette resign yourself to posting positive cutesy sayings, wishing people a happy birthday or anniversary, pictures of dogs or cats doing funny things, other animals in some cases, or recipes.

Anything else opens you up to a friendship onslaught similar to the Spanish Inquisition.

If it were possible to burn you at the stake online, i.e. Joan of Arc, there would be virtual reality Bic’s everywhere.

It would look like a U2 concert.

Some Final Thoughts

I think I can sum this all up with a quote from our 16th President Abraham Lincoln who said, “Don’t believe everything you see or read on the Internet.” I may be paraphrasing a little there.

The point is don’t let the net scare you. It’s like any big city. There are good areas of town and bad areas of town — and bad people visit both.

Keep your personal information personal, your strong opinions to yourself and you’ll only go to bed crying a few nights each year.

Trust me — I saw it on the net so it must be true.

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