Social networking is fun, useful, and can even be profitable if you’re into that. Brands and businesses are catching on to the direction media and promotion is moving, so we’re really just scratching the surface of what is to come in forging online connections between people.

But some stern warnings are needed for all who are venturing into the world of social networking. Personally, I utilize blogging, bookmarking, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a few other outlets for my inner expressive, connecting, and writing soul.

In all of my posting and interacting, there are some “isms” I’ve had to struggle with and lay to rest in order to maximize the personal benefits and enjoyments of social networking.

I thought I’d share them – as kind of a warning label for you who are getting your feet wet as well…

1. Egotism

Be careful about how you see yourself. A little humility goes a long way. The reality is, 95% of the web sites currently online could disappear and the world would go on spinning. If you quit blogging today, not too many people would lose sleep.

2. Narcissism

Narcissism is a bit different than egotism in that with narcissism, you buy into the delusion that everybody is ultimately concerned with what happens in the world according to you. You become the center of your own universe.

You suddenly begin to think that if you don’t tweet to the world that you’re in the shower, everyone will stop what they are doing to send out a rescue team. What stories can you tell that really make a difference? Those are the stories worth sharing with the web wide world.

3. Voyeurism

This is quickly becoming the age of the amateur investigative reporter. When somebody is going through a major problem in life, there is most likely some juicy bit of information (aka, gossip) about it online somewhere, so we dig.

There’s nothing wrong with reading and browsing, but watch your heart. Are you concerned or just thrilled at the misfortune of others? Oh, and by the way, get back to your own life – fix things there before glorying in the tribulation of others.

4. Pessimism

News travels fast these days, and bad news travels faster and farther than good news. The internet provides a useful means of remaining informed, but sometimes the bad news can feel like the Niagara coming at you.

Depression is at an all-time high, perhaps due at least in part, to our exposure to all the negative stuff of the world around us. Feed on the positive.

5. Isolationism

This is perhaps one of the more serious and common mistakes of those involved in social networking. It’s the impression we get that online relationships are the equivalent in quality to real relationships. I know I’m treading on sensitive ground here. I don’t mean to pick on you if this thought stings a bit, but you can absorb yourself so much into a digital life that you lose the face-to-face, touch-to-touch interactions you were really created for.

We need to smile at people in ways that emoticons can never capture, which requires that we engage in real-life relationships, offline.

Perhaps you know of other “isms” that could be added, and they don’t have to end in “ism.” What have you struggled with? What would you warn others about?

This article is a very brief excerpt from my book, Rewired.

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