Friday, September 25, 2015

Dear Abby: Social Media

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a wonderful week!  I am so happy that it is Autumn.  The weather will be cooler and nice for longer walks.   Plus, there are fun holidays to look forward to in the next few months.  Hooray!

I have a great question today from my friends: Barbara, her kitty Zeus, and dachshund Oz: 

We have a topic for you to write about: your experiences with social media. We have made so many wonderful connections and even some lovely friendships. There are some things that we don't enjoy about social media (like gossip, shaming, judgmental comments etc.) but if you are careful and choose your connections wisely, we find Twitter & Facebook to be a really good experience. Do you have any tips to help people & pups with this? Looking forward to your next column. 

Barbara, Zeus, and Oz, thank you for the wonderful question!   My Momma and I love social media too.   It is a great way to connect with family and old friends, and we have made some wonderful friends on social media as well!

I like the way you worded this:  "choose your connections wisely."   I think that is a great point about social media.  It is very public, much more so than email or a phone call, so you have to choose who you want to connect to.  

With online time I believe it is important to trust your instincts and if people or pups do not seem to be friendly and kind, you can just disconnect from them.  We like nice people.

I do not have my own social media accounts (alas!), but I have still made friends with dachshunds, dog people, and animal lovers wherever we go. 

On any of the social media sites, you can search for words like: dachshund, dog rescue, etc. and come up with lots of great results.  That is a good way to find pages and groups on Facebook (those are fun places to interract with like-minded pups!).  On Twitter you can search by the words on their own, i.e. dachshunds, but you can also search with hashtags, like #dachshunds.   

We have learned that lists make Twitter a lot more fun.  For instance, you can make lists of your dachshund friends and click on that list at any time (or save the link) in order to read the latest doxie news.  Momma says you can do the same thing with blogger friends, eBay friends, etc.   We like the free version of Hootsuite to read our Twitter posts.  A neat feature of Hootsuite is you can display all your lists side by side.  Twitter can get very overwhelming quickly with the volume of posts there;  this makes it a lot easier to read. 

One of the biggest issues we have with social media is it is addictive!  Momma sometimes sets the timer when she is checking in on our social media sites for work.  That helps!

We would love to connect with all our friends on social media.   I help with these pages: 

Birdhouse Books on Pinterest (check out the Cute Dogs and Dachshund boards I helped set up) 

Birdhouse Books on Facebook (books, nostalgia, and links to my blog posts, too) 

Birdhouse Books on Twitter (mostly Mom's work but I love to chat with dachshund friends there as well!)

I would love to hear from you about your experiences with social media!   Please leave any comments below.

I'm also looking for questions for future posts, so welcome those in the comments section as well.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Love from Abby  xoxoxo


barbarakwrites said...

Thanks for writing about this topic, Abby. I especially like your tip about making lists. Sometimes the huge volume of tweets in our feed causes us to miss some important messages. I like all of your sites because you have such a positive focus. I think that this is really important as this is the type of connection that makes social media more enjoyable & meaningful. I know what you mean about being careful about the time spent on the various sites. I have actually been late for appointments a couple of times as I have become so absorbed in the conversations & posts!

Abby said...

Thanks, Barbara! I love the lists feature on Twitter and on Facebook as well. I never want to miss important tweets from doxie friends! :-)

Thank you so much for sending this great question.