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Friday, June 27, 2014

MY 1,000TH FACEBOOK FRIEND

BRYCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

- Is it a milestone or a miracle?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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I recently attained my 1,000th "Friend" on Facebook, which I consider somewhat of a milestone. Sure, there are celebrities and other people with many more friends, but mine has been slowly building over the past seven years on Facebook.

Although skeptical at first, I found Facebook to be an excellent way to network with people, particularly those I haven't heard from in many years. In addition to connecting with relatives and friends, I use the social media to connect to neighbors, high school and college chums (I even have a few from grade school and junior high), members of clubs and computer groups I've been involved with, fraternal acquaintances, politicians, media contacts, business contacts and former employees, younger people I coached years ago who have grown into adulthood, and followers of my columns, as well as detractors, including political spies.

I have personally met most of my friends, but there are also some I know only through the Internet. The lion's share of friends are in the United States, but I also have many contacts overseas. I know of at least five friends who have passed away, but relatives maintain their profiles in memorial. I have also been approached by several spammers over the years, trying to sucker me into illicit activities, but I have been fortunate to avoid their advances.

I have had to "unfriend" at least three people over the years as they do not observe basic common courtesy on the Internet. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed corresponding with the many people who have crossed my path. We obviously do not agree on everything, but at least we have developed a dialog. I cannot possibly comment on each posting of a thousand people, but I do frequently scan it and comment where I can.

The most rewarding part of Facebook, as far as I am concerned, is to hear news from old friends, their humor, and their spin on today's whacky world, particularly politics. I have an old friend in California who has done some remarkable work in photography. I can still sense his personality through his photos. Then there are the business contacts who are frustrated with the lack of management in their companies. Politicians like to discuss what a great job they are doing, even though we know better. And my journalist friends still practice cut-throat news. God forbid if anyone gets in their way.

My readers either love or hate my "Bryce is Right!" column du jour. There is very little middle ground. The objective is not to get people to agree or disagree with me, but to engage their brains and think about things they may have overlooked or taken for granted, a little humor doesn't hurt either. This is why we refer to it as, "Software for the finest computer - the Mind." We have too many people operating on automatic. Instead, I want people to engage the clutch, shift, and look around at the highway around them. I realize this may be asking too much.

There are two things I've learned from using Facebook; first, not everyone gets my postings and, consequently, I do not see all of the postings from my friends. This is just a foible of Facebook. Second, you have to be politically correct when using this service. I have seen people cast out of the service for a slip of the tongue or the wrong political agenda. Certain postings are deliberately censored if it doesn't meet with the satisfaction of the Facebook management echelon. Aside from censorship though, it is a fine way to stay connected with people.

I do not want to mention the name of my 1,000th friend as I do not want to embarrass him by turning the spotlight his way. I have never personally met him, but I have corresponded with him as a result of my column and radio segments. He is from Western New York and shares my concerns about our political world and is considered a pillar of his community. I would not have made his acquaintance without Facebook, for which I give thanks.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IN PRAISE OF SALTPETER - How do we deal with incompetence?

  - With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
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