Blog | Jun 15, 2012 | 4 Comments

[facebook and your personal values]

Do you ever think about how your use of Facebook–or any social media, for that matter–reflects or doesn’t reflect your personal values? Social is personal, so shouldn’t we try to be our highest and best selves on these networks?

Doing what is most important requires articulating your values.

I’m reading Leo Babuta‘s book, The Power of Less. A key principle is learning to choose the essential, because we have become overwhelmed with too many choices about how to spend our time and we risk becoming ineffective and chronically frustrated. Because work was on my mind, I started to think about how we are constantly bombarded with social media messages and posts, and new sites and networks to try. It frequently feels like that old cable TV series, Short Attention Span Theater. We are literally being encouraged to become scatter-brained, if you ask me.

What’s the answer? Leo says, “You must ask yourself in everything you do, what is essential?” Then he gives a list of questions to help you determine the essential. The very first question is, “What are your values?” I really had to think about that.

After some reflection, I came up with this list of personal values to apply to Facebook.

However, it does seem like a lot people are not being their best on Facebook.

Danny Brown recently published a series of facts about various social media sites, and this is what he found about Facebook:

1. 85% of women are annoyed by their friends.
2. Links about sex are shared 90% more than any other link.
3. More than 350 million users suffer from Facebook Addiction Syndrome.
4. 25% of users don’t bother with any kind of privacy control.

Danny got these statistics from the Economist, Social Times, and CNN.

What about you? What personal values do you apply to social media?

 Photo credit: bluemoondream on flickr



Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.


Dear Claire,

excellent, excellent points. some of what you say (staying positive, respecting privacy) seems like common sense. But, I wonder the style is a generational thing. I don’t feel entitled to dump a lot of highly negative, personal stuff on virtual strangers. Just musing.

re typos: what a pain. between dyslexia, aging eyes and an aging brain…and as an ole editor. I really try to avoid them while typing them all the time. LOL

Ah well, I guess I’m human. hugs, Peggy/Doc peg


Claire Wagner Reply:

Peg, I know what you mean about old eyes, especially on mobile devices! I tend to want to whine to someone a lot–maybe because I mostly work alone. So I have to resist that impulse. And sometimes I think social media encourages us to revert to that toddler worldview, where everything revolves around us. But we do have to learn to limit our expression.


People who are into Facebook should use it for more than just a hangout place or an online bulletin board on which to paste mundane stuff. Instead, they should use this social network to cast a light, leave something good for someone to hold on to. Use it positively and proactively.


Claire Wagner Reply:

Donna, sorry for the late response to your comment. I like how you’ve summarized the highest and best use of this social network. As with all relationships, our online relationships should add value to people’s lives in addition to making them feel appreciated or amused. Thanks.


Leave a Reply