- Facebook. Replaces real eye contact with a carefully crafted and meticulously well-thought out version of you that you want to present. The purpose of Facebook is to: squeal over cute cat pictures, post pictures of what you made for dinner, break up with your stupid boyfriend and tell the world (or at least 473 friends) what a jerk he is, brag about and show the world a picture of the new boyfriend you hope to meet someday, promote your business, get a message to your children, and stun the world with your new high score on your favorite game. Also, you can grow lots of veggies and build towns. Virtually.
- LinkedIn. A site where you post all of your accomplishments, past jobs, resume, 10 year-old picture, community service and goals in order to network and expand your career opportunities. Kind of like a giant, global meat market in suits. Purpose is to indirectly shout, "Hire me, please!"
- Goodreads. This is the mecca for all readers and lovers of books. The purpose of this site is to share the books you've read . . . or skimmed . . . and give reviews of them. Rate them by number of stars. Make recommendations. Show the world how literate you are. Or want to be. Great place to find new authors (Subliminal message: BeckyLynRickman. BeckyLynRickman. BeckyLynRickman. BeckyLynRickman.) Did I mention I'm an author?
- Pinterest. An awesome site where you can set up virtual bulletin boards and "pin" great ideas on them to do when you have time which is not now because there's all these great boards to look at to find ideas to do when you have time.
- Twitter. On Twitter, you tweet, which means you don't have space for long dissertations on the human condition, but rather 140 character limit which means yo
- Google+. Kind of like Facebook without the games. A place to post updates on your life, pictures of new babies, new job, and places you've visited. More streamlined. Fewer selfies. A thinking man's Facebook. You're also allowed to put people into different circles. Like Business Contacts, Shared Faith, Photographers, and People with Funny Names.
- CaringBridge. Can't poke fun at this one. It is a brilliant site where folks can update other folks on the medication conditions of hospital patients. If you are with a loved one in the hospital, you can update everyone with a single post and the people you've added and log in and check their status. I love this site and it is a great place to make a donation.
- CafeMom. A place for mom's to virtually hang out and either 1.) brag about how advanced their babies are in every single thing they do (spoke fluent German at 3 weeks) or 2.) share a little too much information on how rotten their kids are (painted the wall with the feces out of their own diaper) and how much they regret not having been a cat lady instead.
- Wikipedia. Not so much a social media site as Facebook, but a place where you interact with others by out-knowing what they know about everything from astrophysics to twerking. Kind of like an encyclopedia of knowledge written by Joe Schmoes.
- Classmates. This is a site, where, for a fee, you can look at old yearbooks of pictures you would just as soon forget (see: 60s bouffants, 70s bell bottoms and halters and 80s perms). For a little more, you can communicate with the classmates you've lost touch with, probably for a good reason.
- Youtube. A place to post humiliating videos of friends in unusual situations, watch compilations of cute cats trying to get into small places and sing like there's no one watching only you hope they are and that they contact you with an offer of a 3-year recording contract. Also a place to comment on videos, like "Why did you post that video of me? I hate you!" or "Squee!" or "Don't quit your day job, sugar!"
- MySpace. The forerunner of Facebook. The retro Facebook. The Facebook for retro-thinkers and hipsters too cool for school.
With so many social media sites on the internet, how do you choose which ones are right for you? Here's a breakdown of what they are all about to help you make your decision.
Becky Lyn Rickman
Mom of many, servant to my cats, Cary Grant's other girlfriend (still trying to work out the logistics of that one).