Originally, I had planned on sharing with you today about how to get familiar with your favorite social media application or platform. But after some thought, I have decided to put this topic off for a later date. Instead, I want to share with you about what I have learned in the last few weeks between the snowstorm that made it virtually impossible for many to communicate with loved ones, my pending last day at my current day job and the training I am doing for those training in the positions I have held for the past eighteen years, and the ongoing marketing I am doing for my first book.
First, let’s remember that social media nor Internet technology needs to be stressful. We do not need a college education to learn how to sign on to a social media account.
Often, we can develop a fear of what we do not understand. So, let’s look at the difference between social media and Internet technology:
- Social media consists of various platforms or applications, otherwise known as “apps,” that allow you to connect with others in various ways including but not limited to comments, photos, and videos, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Twitter.
- Internet technology allows us to access information and communicate through the World Wide Web using web browsers, email, hardware, Internet service providers, and other components.
Just understanding the difference between the two terminologies helps to alleviate anxiety over what is what. And, to help alleviate any potential anxiety on my part, I do a lot of research to understand what I need to know for my job and to market my book.
Learning to do my research is the biggest thing I have learned in feeling comfortable blogging about social media and Internet technology. I am no expert by any means and, other than the LinkedIn Learning account (that I didn’t cancel in time before the free period was up), I have no degree in any of these areas. I simply have the school of hard knocks. I have learned everything as I have needed to learn it. I print out what certificates I can from the LinkedIn courses that I complete; but other than that, no diplomas hang on my wall. The information I share with you and the encouragement I offer is all from a place of first-hand experience.
I encourage you to, if you yourself do not have time to research what you do not know, then ask a trusted friend for their input or hire a qualified person do the work for you. Also, and very important, if you or your company pays for a maintenance contract with any of your programs, be sure to use it. That’s what the experts are there for. When you or I cannot figure it out, it is okay to say I tried and then call for reinforcements. This does not constitute failure. Failure is throwing up your hands, not calling the technical support department, walking away, and letting someone else figure out what to do.
Here are two examples of when I could have otherwise considered myself a failure:
- Recently, I tried loading my first book onto another retail website. It was a challenge to get the cover situated but, after emailing support, about a week later their reply revealed several helps for my artist to try. While uploading the adjusted cover, I discovered that the interior pages of my book, which I had already previously uploaded, were missing two vital components. So, I fixed the items and re-uploaded the pages to which I received a message that my fonts were not embedding. It was almost comical to me because the fonts had previously embedded just fine. However, after several attempts and no success, I contacted their support again and am now awaiting a reply.
- Then, on my day job, while training a new hire, several elements to getting the position – or desk up – and running properly required several different calls to our IT company and the technical support for our scheduling program. Once I determined that the new hire could handle the call and how to communicate the problem, I went on to check with someone else I was training and then to do the work I am still responsible for. It was a hectic week in which I took many deep breaths, prayed under my breath, and treated myself to a favorite latte once in awhile to keep from getting too stressed out.
So, what did I learn in the past month that I wanted to share with you? Several things.
- One, take it easy on yourself. We’re all in this together. Everyone is learning the way of the Internet. It seems foreboding and overwhelming, but when we take it step-by-step, we can keep a better perspective.
- Two, don’t let needing to ask for help be considered failure. Look at it as we’re all at different levels in the learning process. If we can’t do it today, we can do it in the future. Then, in turn, we can share the knowledge which we gained with someone else who needs help and reduce their anxiety.
- Three, it helps to research what we don’t understand at first. A few clicks of the keyboard or phone pad can do much to alleviate unwanted stress.
- Four, decide when to ask for help, be sure you ask the right person, and let someone else handle it if they are qualified to do it. Then, step back and let them do their job, trusting that their skill level will resolve the problem. If not, there are always other alternatives. Never be afraid to ask for someone else, more skilled, to help.
- And, five, just breathe. Really. One deep breath can do much to alleviate stress, anxiety, confusion, frustration, or any other emotion we may encounter while dealing with the World Wide Web and all it entails. Yes, just breathe.
I’m sure there was more I wanted to share, but this is enough. I will be covering the topic of social media once a month through December. If you have any subtopics for this subject, please feel free to comment below or email me. I will be happy to share – and do any research needed. In the meantime, have a great rest of March, stay safe, and continue to be kind.
My book, “HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within” is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in e-book and soft cover formats.
“HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within” was written for those searching for their purpose in life, that something more, or their higher calling. Each letter, A – Z, offers a one-page thought-provoking reflection to inspire you, encourage you, motivate you or that someone else you may know who is looking to know themselves better.
Follow the link in my book title, visit my books page on this website, or visit me at amazon.com/author/virginia.alice.crawford or Virginia Alice Crawford | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com).
Thank you and have a blessed week.