Don’t Be That Person – Avoid Etiquette Goof-Ups

The Internet has integrated all of our worlds – professional, social, personal. This is great because coworkers and even bosses seem more human. Of course this is also terrible, as every status update and comment reach every corner of our world. As in the classic Seinfeld conflict of “relationship George” vs “independent George” – all of your different facets are forced to co-exist in cyberspace, which can be a dangerous situation.

To avoid the repercussions that may result from this small world, PC World Business Center gives us Facebook Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts.  This article offers great tips on how to make your profile picture, tone, biography, and content suitable for all the different areas of your life, both professional and personal. One key takeaway is the importance of a “polite and measured tone” even on more relaxed sites like Facebook. Social media is too public to truly let your digital hair down.

You should also approach LinkedIn carefully. The Social Times published the top LinkedIn Etiquette Tips. LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking tool, and should be used as such. “Make sure your updates are helpful information about your company or profession. LinkedIn is not Twitter or Facebook. ‘Less is more’ applies to this particular platform. Keep the updates to a minimum.” Updates should be focused on valuable information such as sharing articles, video, or event announcements.

I personally use the embarrassment test. I think, “Would I be okay with my parents, grandparents, and boss reading this?” before I post something, and only post if the answer is a solid yes.

What are your rules in etiquette in social media, particularly when using it for professional networking? What is an absolute no-no in your opinion? Share your stories!

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

This is Your Brain on Facebook. Any Questions?

There’s a link between the size of certain parts of our brains and the number of friends that we have on Facebook, according to recent studies reported in this article.  This discovery only indicates a correlation however, not a cause-effect relationship. It’s hard to say, reports Reuters, whether “having more Facebook connections makes particular parts of the brain larger or whether some people are simply pre-disposed, or ‘hard-wired,’ to have more friends.”

Online social networks are so novel that it’s hard to say what kind of effect they have on us. Four parts of the brain were discovered to be larger when a person had more friends – but interestingly enough, “the thickness of grey matter in the amygdala was also linked to the number of real-world friends people had, but the size of the other three regions appeared to be correlated only to online connections.”

Could that be an indication our online relationships cause different reactions in our brains than the real world ones? What do you think? Do you treat online friendships differently?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Should a Cover Letter Ever Have a Smiley Face?

Emoticons have become ubiquitous. Although they seem like a more recent trend, in actuality emoticons are over 30 years old, according to this piece by Mashable author Amy-Mae Elliot. The birthplace of emoticons was Pittsburgh, where a Carnegie Mellon scientist first used a plain text hyphen, bracket, and colon to signal an emotion.

Fast forward to the present: A barrage of emoticons are dancing, winking, and even sticking their tongue out all over the social web – love it or hate it.

Due to the fact that often times tone can’t be conveyed in a text, or an email, or even a Facebook wallpost, people have turned to emoticons. It seems like an obvious choice for friends – but what place should they have in business communications? Can someone who plasters yellow smiley faces throughout a Skype conversation be taken seriously? How many :) is too many? Are there off-limits zones – like cover letters, for example?

Have a great day! :p

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Relationship Roundup

Three things we’re buzzing about this week.

What do Seth Godin, “Rich Dad” Robert Kiyosaki, and PayPal co-founder and Facebook angel investor, billionaire Peter Thiel all have in common? They lent their expertise to our friend Michael Ellsberg’s new book The Education of Millionaires. A must read for the next generation of entrepreneurs who’d rather invest in their business ideas than an education.  Get a free chapter here.

The New Currency. I was inspired by this New York Times blog post on Time Banks and how their providing solutions for thousands in the Big Apple. Excellent example of how your talents can be valuable currency to others and vice versus.

Face lift at Facebook. Everyone’s buzzing about the implications of the new Facebook changes so we thought we’d be generous and break down the top 6 things you must know, so you can continue to friend without fear.  Check it out!

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager