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To tweet or not to tweet

Wow. I have a social media headache. Between all the Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, blog rolls, and page likes, I can't even remember what I was going to say anymore.

Wow. I have a social media headache. Between all the Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, blog rolls, and page likes, I can't even remember what I was going to say anymore.

Did you know that @MargaretAtwood is trying to save public libraries in Toronto? @Iansomerhalder advocated for the environment, picked up a Teen Choice nomination, hopped on a plane after Comic-Con, and is now back at work getting his makeup done on the set of Vampire Diaries. @CBCHealth is discussing public advisories, monkeys on airplanes, and an alternative medicine for arthritis.

@Slash returned from tour in Serbia on a plane that did not have working lavatories and just learned how to cook risotto; and apparently, some random person I don't even know is getting a Starbucks coffee.

Do I care? Strangely, yes. Well, maybe I don't care about when someone is going to get a coffee or when they are turning in for the night. But on the whole, I find it interesting to see what other people consider tweet worthy.

So far, I haven't come up with many tweetworthy enough things to say. I have mostly retweeted other people's, so I don't think I can officially be called a tweeter.

I can't be officially described as a blogger either, since I only have a few posts so far.

I have to admit that six months ago I didn't even know exactly what a blog was or how Twitter worked. At first, when a person I didn't know tried to follow me on Twitter, I thought it was strange and I was scared of them - a stranger following you, that's bad right?

Eventually, I realized that the purpose of social media is to network with people who you don't already know. Now I follow other writers and people all over the world who share similar interests.

I'm still learning all the etiquette and nuances of social media, so I'm sure it can do many more cool things that I still haven't discovered yet.

Unfortunately, it can do some pretty scary things too. For example, it is possible to link Facebook and Twitter to pretty much any other website or blog. So, what this means is that posts and pictures that you think are just on one site can actually be rolling on all sorts of sites for anyone to see depending on what your friends chose to do with it.

This sharing feature is neat if you realize that any-one in the world might see what you have written and you actually want that to happen to promote a service or product. It's potentially embarrassing or professionally damaging if you post personal or inappropriate information and haven't taken into consideration the repercussions of it being seen by people who wouldn't appreciate it.

We all say, do, and write things that we might not necessarily mean for all audiences - or we did mean it at one time, but no longer do.

There are also things I would say to my friend, but not my boss; and things I would say to my sister, but not my grandmother.

When we post on the Internet, we can assume the information will exist forever. We might offend someone unintentionally. We might open ourselves up for harsh criticism by angry people who lash out from behind the anonymity. Yikes! I just scared myself into mutism.

There is so much to consider; hence the headache that I mentioned earlier.

None the less, happy blogging, Facebooking, and tweeting to everyone. If you have a favourite Family Function article from the past, let me know and I'll post it on my blog at

Danielle Aldcorn is a registered clinical counsellor at the Satori Integrative Health Centre.