People Have To Balance Their Use Of Social Media And Technology

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Randi Zuckerberg believes the strength and weakness of social media talk about the same thing: being always connected.

If she had not been the elder sister of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a former long-time executive of his social networking company, her statement would have simply passed for late night news. But they are siblings who actually worked together in the world’s largest social network some time ago.

In her book, Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives, Zuckerberg shares stories about the initial stages of, the struggles of her work at Facebook, and the proper balance in using technology at a time when the world is more connected than ever before. And thanks to her brother’s project, the disconnected remote areas now have a silver lining.

During her tenure as head of marketing at Facebook, Zuckerberg introduced social media to politics through an agreement with CNN for a live social engagement during the night of the November 2008 elections. Even though only a small number of people participated, she believes it paved the way for Facebook to become a platform for news conversations.

Pew Research recently released findings of a study that revealed 30 percent of U.S. adults go to Facebook to find the latest news, besting other news-centric social media platforms such as Twitter.

In an email conversation with Mashable, Zuckerberg shared what she thinks is the irony between the best and worst of social media: “the fact that people are always connected.”

Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, told Mashable that services such as Facebook Live actually help people not to miss out on news and updates from friends, and that smartphones give her the ability to handle multi-week book tours and keep connected with family.

Those technological advantages of being always connected actually develop an “overwhelming pressure” for people to respond to messages immediately to avoid negative impact on relationships, or stymie a creative train of thought if often used.

“I think that most people would be surprised to know that a lot of the inspirational tech leaders of today are very good at knowing when to unplug,” she told Mashable in an email.

“Otherwise, they would never be able to dream up those innovative, world-changing ideas!”

One of her tips for active social media and tech users is this: Be yourself online, and know when to press delete instead of share.

To quote her words from Dot Complicated: “I never post anything online that I wouldn’t feel comfortable having reprinted on the front page of the newspaper.”


Maria Burda and Randi Zuckerberg

(Flickr / David Sifry)

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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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