Why Illness and Social Media Do Not Mix

For the last several days I have been (as many other people are at this time of year) struggling with a terrible cold. This tiny virus in my body comes complete with achy muscles, stuffy head, chest congestion, and frequent headaches. I can feel my body’s resources fighting it off, and the conflict distracts my brain from more insightful thinking.

I did manage to post two blog articles successfully while under the spell of that horrible demon, illness. But today I was messing around with my blog and clicked the “Publish” rather than the “Save Draft” button for a draft article. Boom! Instantly, this article with a few weird lines of text shot out to the world via email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

My sluggish brain did a few moments of rough calculation over how to rectify this mistake. Thank goodness, I thought to myself, that I didn’t write anything really embarrassing! Tons of gaffes happen on social media everyday – sometimes leading to firings or just plain social embarrassment. Social media can be a powerful tool, but companies are only slowly and retroactively learning how to utilize these forces. whatsapp

Happily, however, experts like Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes are predicting that 2014 will see a rise in ‘ephemeral’ social networks; essentially, tools like WhatsApp and Snapchat will allow you to share content immediately and without concern over whether it will be visible over long periods of time to the world (Holmes, January 2014). This shift goes hand-in-hand with the decline of the desktop and the rise of mobile technology – a situation which may not help with company marketing strategies, but allows more people than ever to keep in touch around the world.

Major players on the social media scene, most notably Facebook, are also expected to decline into 2014 (Shaughnessy, December 2013). This comes as no surprise to anyone in the younger generations, who are chaffing over the presence of parents and grandparents on these sites (Shaughnessy, December 2013). I expect that in the coming years the content on Facebook will shift from showing young people partying to showing young-ish and middle aged people enjoying the company of family and friends.

And now that I’ve had my lesson in not messing around with my blog posts prior to publication ‘just for fun’, I am going to return to an intense nap session.

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