In this, my second piece on your Facebook makeover, I'm going to ask you to join my grassroots effort to help social networking deliver on the potential to enrich our lives. I have but one simple request: Think before you tweet. Ask yourself, "Does the update or tweet that I'm about to unleash across the Internet add value to my "friends" and "followers," or have I become a poster child for TMI (that's "too much information" for people in my age bracket)?
Very early in my business career, I was fortunate to work for a remarkable manager, who after observing me in a meeting, noticed that I was eager to prove myself and spoke every opportunity that I could, with little regard as to what I was saying.
Thankfully, he pulled me aside and taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my professional life. "Think of every point that you want to make, and save your comments for the silver bullets in life, those statements that are truly insightful," he said. "Even if you go a whole meeting without uttering a word, if you wait to speak until you have the opportunity to use a silver bullet, people will come to value what you have to say.
Just recently, when contemplating a status update, my old boss' advice seemed newly relevant. What if my Facebook news feed and Twitter application were filled with silver bullets versus today's variety of OMGs and fan page suggestions for "I bet this page can't get 1,000,000 members."
If we all take that moment to pause and think about enriching the lives of others versus just making our own voices heard, imagine the possibilities.
Bill Tancer is an Internet trend analyst, columnist and author of the New York Times best-seller Click: What Millions Do Online and Why It Matters.
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