The internet, Skype, texting... there are so many ways to connect with people these days. For those of us over 20, there were "the old days," when you talked on the phone, went over to their house, and wrote letters, and then there was technology, starting with email and landing us where we are today.
For the under-20 set, they have NEVER known life without cellphones!!!! I remember, my first cellphone was a brick I got in 1995 when I graduated from college and was living in someone's spare room. I was a substitute teacher and needed a way for people to contact me at 5 am. But I digress...
I urge you to keep two things in mind.
#1: There is a person, with thoughts and feelings, on the other end of whatever you are about to type.
#2: If what you are about to type would be better said in person, with facial expressions and tone of voice, find a way to "be with" the person rather than writing it. Google Hangouts, Facetime, Skype, Oovoo... these free options offer you a way to see and hear the person you need to communicate with.
So much gets lost in translation on the web or via text. You can make or break any relationship by not communicating properly, by typing when you should be taking the time to talk.
This is true in social networks too. You can make or break someone's day in a forum or on Facebook, all with the power of your fingers. So use your powers wisely.
And for god's sake, don't break up with someone or give them bad news via words that you type. At least give them your face and your voice.
So tonight, a business associate who wants to work with my on freelance graphic design projects (hire me!) visited my blog to check it out. Then he advised me that in my header, where it says "Photoshop expert," it actually stated that I am a "Photshop expert."
I suspect (know from my stats) that hundreds of people have visited my blog since I changed to that header, and no one said a thing. Hell, I designed it and thought it looked AWESOME and so did my two business partners, one of whom is ALSO a graphic designer.
Can I just say two things? Deep regret... and roflmao.
I quickly thanked my associate who pointed it out, and immediately opened Photoshop and fixed the banner image and uploaded the new one.
Believe me when I say this right now- You can be too close to your project. It can look incredible, be totally awesome, EPIC even, and have a glaring typo you just don't see. Maybe because Photoshop is a word I see all the time, all day, all night, and my mind just put in the missing O.
Let other people see your work. Ask them for advice, get a trusted friend you can bribe with food to be your "editor." Don't go it alone, especially when it has to do with YOUR web presence!
YOU are not your blog, facebook wall, your pinterest page, or your instagram.
These are just some of the silly ways we have become total narcissists due to the fact that we have all this technology at our fingertips. Everyone has a still camera and camcorder with them at all times, most people have the internet at the touch of a finger. That means we feel "connected," and sometimes we forget that no one actually cares.
Oh yes, let me remember the last time I made an awesome recipe, photographed every step, got the film developed, and sent photos of last night's dessert to 100 of my closest friends. ???
Yet we don't think twice about doing it on Facebook or Instagram. Why is that? Have you ever really thought about it?
And as someone who wants to live with integrity and perhaps make some money from your online creative pursuits, what the heck are you "supposed to" post?
I am guilty of the Instagram food fail. Although I will say I've become more discriminating and I only post food when I want to show some new healthy and good tasting thing I've discovered. That's because I'm on a mission to be a little more healthy, eat more natural food, and evangelize my friends and acquaintances if possible. So think about it that way- are you being helpful, or trying to be? Or are you being stupid, cute, or just foolish?
I want to take some of the younger set and tell them that yes, indeed, they are being extremely foolish. What they don't seem to understand is that what you digitize, you can't delete. It is on someone's feed, somewhere. That naked photo of your left nipple could come back and poke your eye out later, depending on what kind of job or life you have planned to pursue.
So as you think about who you really are, remember that everything you upload, someone else can download. Make sure you won't mind in 20 years, and make sure it's helpful so people actually want to listen to what you have to say :)