I hope you are having a Happy New Year so far! We have left behind the successes and defeats of the past year. It’s time to face the present and the future.

Since we’re already more than halfway through the second decade of the twenty-first century, we just can’t live without Social Media anymore. Let’s make it worthwhile by working on 5 Social Media habits to develop this 2016.

Learn something new.

We don’t really have an excuse for not learning anything new. There’s YouTube for recipes, learning to play the guitar or piano, ukulele, or even this awesome Chapman stick (which, by the way, is being played by Abby Clutario, the lead vocals of Fuseboxx, a Filipino band I like).

That’s my son Coco, sampling the pandesal I baked.

Last December, I learned something new–I baked Pan de Sal! That was the first time to bake anything in my 33 years of life. It wasn’t perfect. But I tried it and I’m going to try and perfect my pandesal-baking skills this year.

What skill do you want to learn this 2016? (Share yours in the comment below.)

image credit: Jason Howie via Flickr

Share more positive, instead of negative posts.

Negativity flotsam and jetsam abound on Social Media, and if you’re not careful, you can spread a little too much of it. Remember the Amalayer incident?

If you’re not careful, you might find yourself part of an unthinking and judgmental cybermob. As you participate in reckless discussions, you may end up bullying someone, or you may help spread wrong information.

Why not read inspiring articles? Or share something that helps uplift moods and lives? It’s easier than ever to discover these positive stuff online.

I’m not saying that you should stop posting well-thought out, and well-argued posts directed to government leaders and even the broader public. We need those discussions, even if they venture into the negative zome sometimes. What we need to avoid are the negativity vortex that just suck hope and leave us more cynica.

Don’t just share anything. Verify, verify.

Satire websites are, well… not factual, but are meant for humor and sometimes, political criticism. They have their place, and it is for some laughs. Websites such as TheOnion.com, AdoboChronicles.com and SoWhatsNews.Wordpress.com post articles that look like news, but they’re not. So before you share it as news, check it out first to avoid looking like an idiot online.

Debate ideas, and don’t spread the hate.

It’s okay to talk about ideas, debate about different side of the issues, and it is okay, sometimes, for the discussion to become heated. But there is never a good excuse for name-calling, and insults.

The election season in the United States, and in the Philippines, is drawing out the worst behaviors from all sorts of people online. Ideas, opinions, and perspectives may change over time, but words spoken in hatred are very difficult to erase. If you want to learn more about logical fallacies to avoid committing them, check out this page: http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm

Be critical. Learn to “read between the lines.”

Blog posts, articles, and Social Media posts may not say all there is to say on a topic or an issue. Just because a friend or relative’s Social Media post ‘seem’ to point to you does not necessarily mean it is.

Also, not every good post (or review0 is really good. It may be a paid post, or what is called an advertorial. So dig deeper, be critical of what you read online. Don’t just accept things on face value.


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Get A Life OnlineFor more Social Media tips and tricks, check out my book “Get a Life… Online: Tips & Tricks para sa Hardcore na Netizen” available in all major bookstores nationwide and online.

It costs only PhP 75.

5 Social Media Habits to Develop this 2016

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