A few months ago, I had my good friend Michele PW visiting. We tag-teamed a special workshop teaching people the ins/outs of social media and some web traffic strategies. Because I teach various social media platforms in a variety of my programs, I am very active on some of these platforms.
Facebook and Twitter are my favorites- (I reserve the right to change my mind as new platforms develop AND my social network migrates to new playgrounds).
Back to the story: After the workshop, Michele and I are headed out for dinner. Not being very familiar with downtown Salt Lake City, I decided to ask my “tweeps” (twitter peeps) if they have any suggestions. I get a response from someone and we are off. After, I update my tweeps about our delicious meal and there is some more interaction about restaurants, new items on the menus, and good food. If you know me at all, you know that I am “all about the food!”
So at dinner the next evening, with my family and teenage daughters around the kitchen table, I share this great story about how I asked my tweeps for advice and they came through. I am really LOVING these relationships and the ability to connect virtually with great people (In my opinion, people who love food are great people!).
My 16 year old daughter, Jackie, then explains to me that this “Twittering” is just not right-it goes against everything we have taught our children about “stranger danger”! I am communicating with people I have never met about personal things like what restaurant I am going to for dinner! Hmmm–she might have a point!
So how do you explain it’s different to you child? While Jackie was really giving me a hard time (because that’s what kids do to their parents), I was stumped for a little while. Of course, in business, we HAVE to reach out to strangers on a daily basis. But with social networking platforms like Twitter, you have strangers around the world “following” you. Hmmm!
Here is a great response from my good friend, Andrew Stone:
I read your email and I do have a comment on the “stranger danger” aspect of things. Your daughter is right and my wife is right for that matter. We have to be careful what we discuss and how we discuss it.
Our lives are an open book and it is a little freaky. However, it has to be that way in my business and in yours. So how am I careful? I may ask for advice on a restaurant, but I don’t say when I am going. I
mention the neighborhood I live in, but I never mention my address. I may tell people when I am home sick, but I never tell them when I leaving or for how long. I use YELP.com religiously, but I never review while I am on a vacation, I post them when I am back home. I may mention that I love to walk my dog to the dog park, but I never mention that I make it a daily practice between 5pm and 6pm (not my real times, LOL).
We have to be very careful on all of these sites. There are crazy people everywhere and I don’t want to meet them at home. We tell our children to be careful on the net and regulate their use, WE have to be
careful as well. We can put our children’s and our families lives in just as much danger as we put our own lives.
Remember that everything on the web is out for the world to see FOREVER. It may get buried, but it is still there.
Another little tidbit of information, we protect our networks and our computers with firewalls, but if you have a network connected gaming machine (wii or xbox), the world can have easy access to your home
network. Turn it off completely and even unplug it when it isn’t in use. Save power, the planet and your network!
I’d love to hear what YOU think!