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Don’t Believe the Hype: Social Media Decision Tree Exposed

by Deona Hooper, MSW


I was on Twitter yesterday when I came across the social media decision tree seen above that was designed to assist people in deciding where to update their status and the best platform to use. Foursquare, Google Plus, Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook were the identified social media platforms in the decision tree. Upon closer examination, Facebook emerges as the ideal place to post if you are addicted to likes, if you are alright with your parents seeing it, and if it’s not boring. Appropriate social media decision-making tools on what to share and what not share are not based on promoting any particular social media platform over another rather than the effects it will have on yourself, friends, and family. For an example view, “Digital Citizenship Poster for Middle and High School Classrooms“.

In case you missed it, last week, Facebook unveiled its new search tool called social graph which is being hailed as an enhanced search engine for Facebook users. The new tool adds photos, Facebook likes, and status updates that allows Facebook users to conduct searches on what their friends like. Sounds good right?  For some reason, Facebook users are under the assumption that when you give something a thumbs up that its anonymous. Well I got news for you…’s not!  For anyone who plans to be a business owner and/or have a professional life, I urge you not use the social media tree above.  You have to ask yourself is this new Facebook search engine designed to enhance your user experience or enhance the ability of those who want to market to you?

Several new articles on exposes exactly how the new Facebook search engine will impact Facebook users. For instance, Facebook can now list for you the profiles of married people who likes prostitutes and link the profiles of their spouses. Want to know who likes racism and where they work?  Well, Facebook has now made it easier for you to find out.  Here is an excerpt of Tumblr Serves Up Hilariously Awful ‘Actual Facebook Graph Searches’:

Time to triple check those privacy settings, Facebook users. As Graph Search slowly rolls out to the billion-strong user base, we’re learning more about the bizarre, and somewhat disturbing, liking habits of users.

Enter the “Actual Facebook Graph Searches” Tumblr page, a collection of surprising results found by using the social network’s fancy new feature. The man behind the Tumblr page, Tom Scott, told Mashable that all the results are legit — though some Graph Search skeptics have raised an eyebrow towards the Tumblr. In the page’s FAQ section, he also claims to have found even more disturbing results that he didn’t share.  Read More

Also View:
How Facebook Graph Search Can Descend to Creepiness

Written by Deona Hooper, MSW


Deona Hooper, MSW is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Social Work Helper, and she has experience in nonprofit communications, tech development and social media consulting. Deona has a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Management and Community Practice as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Exactly, Michael….my rule of thumb is not to post anything with an expectation of privacy. Most importantly, everything out there that looks educational may actually be an advertisement. It’s important to analyze these infographics to ensure good information is being giving and not designed to drive traffic as a promotional.

Great article, Deona. I always find it strange when we attempt to separate the personal and the professional. If it’s not an excuse for dissociative personality, it’s an attempt to get away from the “real world” and be alone with our thoughts. That’s easier said than done. My solution: understand that the primary purpose of collecting data at all is to market even more precisely to your customers. The “fun” of the social media is a nice by-product of human interaction. For “we the people” I have two suggestions. First, practice personal-professional value integration. That way, you aren’t attempting to hide who you are behind some professional position or label. Second, figure out what you want to market to others. By definition, human interaction is about the exchange of something. Make your side of the contribution worth sharing.