To: Social Media Icons
From: 24/7 Modern Mom Media
Re: SM Friends & Parasites: Givers, Takers, Strategists, & Paparazzi
Okay, boys and girls, I’m going to tell you exactly what I tell my children. Much like you have probably told your own children. Not everyone is your friend. I know that we have been taught to try to be friends with everyone. That’s just a bunch of blabber-talk. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be nice to everyone. You should. Just teach yourself to distinguish between friends and parasites. Yes. Parasites. Friendships are not made by trying. At least, not in Social Media. They are maintained that way. Not made. Friendships are made through the natural evolution of the connection. That’s what you are trying to do. You connect.
When you try to make “friends,” your focus and priorities shift in the wrong direction; away from your filter, instincts, and red-flags alert system. Of the Givers, Takers, Strategists, and Paparazzi that you will find in Social Media, only the Givers and Strategists are worth your time. Takers and Paparazzi are the parasites.
Yes. You matter enough that you shouldn’t waste your time on the wrong people. You don’t go around looking to make friends with the anti-you in real life. Why do it in cyberspace?
Givers will promote you because promote you because they are rooting for you. They will even ask you if you need help, regularly. If they don’t have time, they make time. If you offer to reciprocate the support, they might politely decline, cordially dismiss the offer, or quietly accept, while all-the-while feeling awkward and hoping it’s not too much of a bother. They are the Social Media Cheerleaders. Social Media would suck without them. Let’s be honest. They are the happily-ever-after types, hopeless romantics, and sometimes their own worst enemy. Predominantly, they are good people who will rejoice in your successes. They are not looking nor waiting for anything in return. Contributing to the success of others makes them happy. They don’t gossip. Their biggest weakness strength, is that they genuinely like (almost) everyone and give because it is their passion. They are often very successful both in their personal lives and in business. Call it what you want. #Karma #Justice #reapwhatyousow
Takers are often mistaken for friends. They’re not. They are selfish, narcissistic beings, incapable of sustaining meaningful relationships. They move around from circle to circle, infiltrating established bonds, and preying on weak links, for their own benefit. In time, they are accurately identified, removed from the circle, and off to begin a new cycle of destruction. It is easy to feel an instant-bond with a taker. They are great at telling you what you want to hear. They are expert manipulators. They will always offer to help. When it is time to be a “woman-of-her-word,” they pull from their arsenal of very convincing stories that will have you feeling sorry for them, about the gigantic obstacle that is preventing them from follow through on their empty-offer. Next thing you know, you are helping them, again! “I wrote an article. I just got nominated. Hook me up. Me. Me. Me. Me.” They will keep the communication going, as long as it is about them. They will flood your email, FB, Twitter with messages asking for your support. They will say thank you and even tell you how much they love you for your friendship. When you write an article, get nominated, or want the hook-up, they are nowhere to be found. Ready to put out a missing-persons bulletin out of concern for your good friend, you try to reach out one more time. Then there it is, the story I warned you about, above. Once you call the Taker out, she puts on that special hat she always wears for the finale. #Hater
Strategists are some of my favorite people. They can be great friends. If you become friends with one, she will usually become a split between giver and strategist. If your relationship with a strategist is strictly business, the relationship still has great potential. It will likely be a mutually beneficial and enjoyable one. Strategists are typically kind and supportive. But make no mistake, they are strategic. In fact, many of them are brilliant. They know who they are, what they want, and associate themselves accordingly. They want people in their circles to be successful because they understand, in depth, how their associate’s successes can contribute to their own. They look for and nurture win-win relationships. Connecting with them is not always easy. They seek out, not prey on, specific attributes in a Social Media Icon and Brand. Usually, a strategist will make the first move to connect. It’s pretty much the only thing they have in common with the Takers. Strategists tend to avoid Social Media drama and are genuinely good people. They usually have philanthropic tendencies and know how to separate and switch back and forth between business and friendship mode. Strategists are usually successful in their personal lives and in business. They are well connected and in-the-know. #Productive #Top10% #Loyal
Paparazzi like to be in-the-know. They tend to run in larger circles. They like to have friends and followers. They enjoy being thought of as well connected. They are the most difficult to figure out. Since paparazzi is more of a platform than a character definition, they are found in the Givers, Takers, and Strategists groups. Use careful consideration when dealing with them. Figure out what group most defines them. Act accordingly. If you find a giver, she will support and promote you like a fan. Consider yourself lucky. If she is a Taker, RUN! Seriously. If she is a Strategist, do not engage unless you are sure you have something to offer. Otherwise, the likely well-intended will be over you before you can tweet #FF. If you cross a paparazzi, you might end up being #collateraldamage. Take time to get to know the Paparazzi on a personal level before furthering your business relationship. It is important that you know who you are dealing with. In their personal and professional lives, they tend to range from being seeds of growth and natural disasters.
Social Media offers the same array of people as real life. In general, there are great people out there. There are also people that we should keep as far away from us as possible. When you meet someone new on Social Media, consider the “crowd” they run with. Evaluate what that person stands for. Most people, not all people, are good. Make good decisions about the company you keep.
By: Alicia Gonzalez