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12 life-changing social media resolutions

Mike Elgan | Jan. 2, 2015
Want to transform your life? No, not your real life. Your online social media life. Here's how.

Want to transform your live? No, not your real life. Your online social media life. Here's how.

The website lists the 10 most common New Year's Resolutions by do-gooding, self-improving Americans.

They're fine and familiar. But it turns out that when you apply them to your life online -- your social media activity -- they can truly make a difference. (Plus, you're more likely to stick to them.) Here are the 12 most common New Year's Resolutions applied to transform your social media life:

1. Lose weight
We all know social media is a massive time sink. It also takes up a lot of mental energy. Part of the problem is that we tend to sign up for new social networks but don't delete the accounts on our old ones. So many of us have 5, 10, 20 or more accounts. It's time to cut some unnecessary fat. Choose the top three social media accounts -- the ones that you engage on not because you feel obligated or addicted but the ones that enrich your life and where you form or maintain real relationships -- and delete the rest.

2. Volunteer to help others
Trolling, shaming, bullying and harassment on Twitter is truly out of control, but less than it used to be. Twitter greatly improved its anti-trolling tools since the last time I called them out for failing to do so.

Now, it's a little quicker to report an abusive account. And blocking actually blocks now.

So here's the resolution: When you see someone else being harassed online, lend a helping hand. Report the abusive account immediately (on the web version, go to the abuser's Twitter profile, click on the gear icon and click "block or report." "Block" will already be selected. Also click "Report," then follow the radio button options to specify the nature of the abuse.

3. Quit smoking
Posting excessively on topics that are likely to cause arguments (politics, religion, smartphone operating systems) are likely to cause flame wars, which alienate people while simultaneously taking up everyone's time.

Instead, resolve to post more productively by avoiding topics that insight flame wars.

4. Get a better education
Instead of just following the people you already happen to know (as people do on Facebook), instead seek out the people you'd like to know because they're super knowledgeable about something you're interested in (as people do on Google+). Engage with them. Learn.

5. Get a better job
Use social media as if it were a blog and post on your professional interests. It not only can make you better at your job, but can also attract others in the field who might hire you. Everyone wants to hire the subject matter expert, thought leader and someone engaged enough to talk about it on social media.


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