How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

Recently, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing happen. When you work in the social media realm, people expect certain things. They expect you to share. And yet, although some of my best friends knew about the terrible event, I did not share it widely.

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Being “friends” on Facebook does not mean that someone is truly friends, despite the saying that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. If you are squinting at someone’s image, wondering where you met them (or if you met them at all), maybe it’s time to cut them loose if Facebook is your “safe place.”

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Being a Private Person

Are you a private person? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about being an introvert because that’s different. But are you private in your communications online? Would you be ready to share something and then have a relative stranger come up and say “oh, hey, I heard that you fell off the roof while on vacation!” If not, then you might consider not sharing that tidbit, although it’s easy to forget that 100s or 1000s of people could potentially see what you post.

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How to Decide What to Share

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you share something:

  • Will this hurt me later?
  • Will this expose a friend?
  • Will sharing this get back to the person I’m sharing about?
  • Could this have any negative impacts?

And here are 9 things you should never share on Facebook, from Post Planner.

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Where to Share

Certain people have places that are more private than others on social media. For instance, I consider Twitter to be the most filled with strangers of all of my platforms. Yours could be Facebook. Or LinkedIn. At any rate, there’s a hierarchy of places for all of us. I might share something in a closed Facebook group before I share it on Twitter.

Some would say that you could share more safely on Twitter, since it doesn’t ask you to share your own or your friends’ information as much. See Facebook vs Twittter: Privacy Issues.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Sharing

There are many good aspects of sharing. For instance, you could share a picture that you want all your friends to see. It beats emailing it to everyone! And you can create an album on Facebook or a secret board on Pinterest for those images. By the way, here are Ten Ways to Be Social, from the archive.

The Bad and the Ugly

There are also many, many ways to fail on social media. For instance:

What’s Something You’d Never Share?

I promise not to tell! Leave me a comment. Thank you.

How to Engage on Social Media: Facebook

How to Engage on Social Media: Facebook

How to Engage on Social Media: Facebook

This is part of my series How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide. The other parts are here:

Why Facebook?

Love it or hate it, Facebook is big and impossible to ignore. It’s not the elephant or the room, it’s the elephant AND the room! At over one billion users, Facebook is the most popular platform for social media marketers. Forbes has some of the top ten reasons to be on Facebook. Many people dislike the platform, since it has become “pay to play,” but you can’t deny that your audience is there.

“Fully 72% of online American adults use Facebook, a proportion unchanged from September 2014.”

~ Pew Research Center

Popular with Everyone

In addition, “82% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79% of those ages 30 to 49, 64% of those ages 50 to 64 and 48% of those 65 and older.” (Pew Research Center). So it’s the perfect place to engage with others.

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Engagement

There are so many ways to engage on Facebook now. There’s live video, there are the usual likes and comments, and you can share posts and tag people or companies. There are ways to send messages either privately or publicly. Here’s one way to proceed–decide which level you’d like to be at, with Level One being the easiest, and Level Five, the most difficult.

Engagement: Level One

Simply read and “like” other people’s posts. This is the most basic level. If you’re engaging on behalf of a company or brand, choose where you spend your time engaging. Then make the rounds daily, just the way you might visit favorite relatives during the holidays.

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Engagement: Level Two

The next level of engagement is to comment on others’ posts. Again, be careful where you spend your time. Choose those who are engaging! By the way, if you make a mistake while commenting, you can go back and edit your comments later.

Tip: Use a timer so you don’t get lost down a rabbit hole, distracted by endless cute videos of cats and puppies. Although that could be your reward once you get done!

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Engagement: Level Three

Know your brand’s voice, and use it exclusively when you post. So, rather than posting with a generic headline, try writing a few different headlines until something comes to mind. Or, alternately, comment upon the content or the headline when you post. PostPlanner has an excellent article about using your brand’s voice to boost your engagement.

Engagement: Level Four

Consider the Five Ws and the H when you post: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

  • Who is your audience? Your ideal customer is the middle of your bull’s eye.
  • What issues bother them? Do a survey to find out.
  • When are they online? Check your page’s analytics to see.
  • Where do you want them to go once they’ve engaged with you?
  • Why do they need the content you’re posting?
  • How will the content you post help solve a problem?

In case you still don’t know why online relationships are important, Justine Pretorious answers that question: “Online Relationships — Are They Important?

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Engagement: Level Five

Experiment and vary the types and amount of posts you make. So, for instance, do a newsy post in the morning, a more meaty post at lunch time, and a light-hearted post around dinner time. You might also post differently depending upon the day of the week. Having a strategy and then mixing it up is important–then keep track of what is working. Some social media managers post ten or more times per day. Others only post once or twice per week.

Which Engagement Level Are You?

Are you a six? Or are you closer to a two? Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

People have complained about information overload since, well, since there were people. And I suspect that before homo sapiens, cro magnon man (and woman!) were also complaining about too much change.  Now that social media is here, change is happening faster than ever.

Insta-Updates

Insta-Updates

Insta-Updates

With the advent of social media, we can find out about our relatives’ health, life changes, and new pets instantaneously. And even if we don’t want to know, we hear about political opinions. By the way, here’s a fun piece about the latest election: Albert Einstein and the Menace of the November Election. Even on Instagram, which is the best place for introverts, in my opinion, people are yelling–YELLING!–about politics lately. Ugh.

Eustress

Eustress

Eustress

Change produces stress, and there are some types of stress that are in the Good Camp. Promotions at work, getting a seven-letter Bingo in Scrabble, or learning that you won the Lottery could be in this category.  As Elizabeth Scott outlines in When Stress is Good for You,  you don’t need to worry about all kinds of stress. Acute stress is particularly harmful. We humans like some things to remain stable, and not to have shifting sands under our feet.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram--Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Just as all kinds of stress are not alike, not all social media platforms are created equal. Let me explain. Twitter moves fast and can catch you off-guard with its constantly moving articles, memes, and newsy tidbits. Facebook can be a rabbit hole of articles about cats who think they’re dogs (and dogs who think they’re cats!), and people ranting about every possible first-world problem.  The videos and sponsored posts can move quickly as well. If you want a more peaceful social media experience, Pinterest and Instagram are much quieter–without tons of ads or newsy posts screaming at you to pay attention.

Reframing Information Overload

There are a million rabbit holes and tasks that call out to us. There are parties and business events. And there is that little voice that says “you should…”. For myself, deciding what I could do versus what I should do makes all the difference. Did you know that there’s an Information Overload Awareness Day (October 18)? And an Information Overload Research Group?

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Meditation and Quiet Time

Everyone needs some time to completely withdraw from the world, whether that’s through meditation, yoga, or simply quiet time in the car. For all you introverts out there, here’s Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends.

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How Do You Manage the Speed of Change?

Do you withdraw from the world or does being involved and “on” 24/7 excite and exhilarate you? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

 

How to Avoid Bad News on Social Media and Keep Your Sanity

How to Avoid Bad News on Social Media and Keep Your Sanity

How to Avoid Bad News on Social Media and Keep Your Sanity

Those of you on social media know that being there too much can almost make you have ADHD. Here a squirrel, there a squirrel, everywhere a squirrel squirrel. Am I right? Oh, look! A squirrel! Seriously, though, how do you keep the omnipresent bad news at bay? Here are some ideas.

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Use Lists

Vigorously maintain your lists in Twitter. Do not enter the mainstream every day, for that way madness lies. Clip unwanted accounts in your lists, like you would trim the unwanted branches of your beloved shrubberies. Chop out those on your lists with tweets you don’t like, and look for others you do like. You may want to take a deeper dive into using lists.

Hide Posts

Yes, you can hide posts in Facebook. You are not obligated to follow everyone’s sad, crazy story of how they were once beholden to the circus, forced to eat Spam, or nearly drowned that one time in Buenos Aires. Really. For some clues on when to do what, here’s a post about how to unfollow a friend without unfriending.

Unfollow

Sometimes you need to unfollow people. If they always post bad news, if they badmouth others, if they sell sell sell! Those are good reasons to unfollow. You may have others. Also, if they haven’t posted since 1999, that’s a good reason, too. Why are you following them? And here is one of my favorite posts from friend Bridget Willard about your “safe place” on social media.

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Get Outside

We all need a break from social media. Take a break every hour, two hours, or whenever you need it. Don’t follow someone else’s rules. Take a day or a weekend off. Heck, take a week off if you can! When you return, everything will look fresh.

Post Less, Curate More

Maybe you could simply post less, but better stuff. Some accounts seem to post everything they find, rather than what’s perfect for their audience. If you curate, only the very best will get through your filter.

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Focus on the Good News

There are some places that publish good news. Here are some of the best:

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How Do You Avoid the Bad News?

Do you have the skin of a rhino? Does bad news roll off you like water off a duck? Leave me a comment! I’d love to know!

 

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

People are always complaining about the amount of noise there is on social media. Clients want to know how to cut through the tremendous ruckus and hear the good stuff. Here are some surefire ways to listen better.

Twitter Lists for the Win

My number one piece of advice for new clients is to set up lists on Twitter. You can make them secret or public, but either way a list is how you can follow many people and listen to the best ones. For a deeper dive, here’s my post about lists for the power user.

Google Alerts

Did you know that you could set up a Google alert for any keyword you like and then add it to a column in Hootsuite? Each Google Alert has an RSS feed. So for instance, if you have a Google Alert for your own name, you can add that. You could set one up for all the people in your startup so you can monitor who’s talking about you. Then put them into columns using HootSuite Syndicator.

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Facebook Groups

You can have different groups on Facebook. That is, you can create groups of friends, people who are restricted, or those you’d like to see less of in your newsfeed. It’s already built into Facebook. So if your coworker is meddlesome, put him in a group other than “friends.”

Personal Hashtags

You can create your own hashtag by typing a pound sign (#) in front of any word. Use it to organize a search or any time you want to be found. Make sure your content matches your hashtag. For instance, my chat on Twitter is #DigiBlogChat. For a deeper dive into hashtags, read the excellent The Only Hashtag Guide You’ll Ever Need.

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Pinterest Guided Search

If you’re on Pinterest, use the guided search. You can pin from the feed, but a better way is to use the guided search. Listen to what people are pinning on a particular topic relevant to your business. Start with the highest-level (for instance, a hair dresser might search on “short hair,” then let Pinterest guide your search.

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Local Search by Keyword

If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you could search by hashtag to see what people in your area are saying. For instance #SF or #SanFrancisco. I search on #SantaCruz in Twitter quite a bit. Then retweet, repost, or comment on those posts. Brainstorm other keywords your ideal audience might be using.

Make Listening a Habit

Julian Treasure, in his wonderful TED Talk about listening better, recommends trying to listen to different channels to deepen one’s connection to the world around us. If you have a chance to listen to his video, please do.

 

The Surprising Importance of the Offline Meeting

The Importance of the Offline Meeting

The Surprising Importance of the Offline Meeting

People crave connections. While those connections may begin with an online conversation on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, the best connections morph into face-to-face meetings. People sometimes then move back online, and stay in touch for years, meeting online and offline over months and years. But the offline meeting is what forges the connection.

Brainstorming, Laughing, and Whispering

Brainstorming often occurs best in offline meetings, where people are talking, interrupting, laughing, whispering, and in general having a good time. Social media can provide a strong introduction–and you can feel as though you know someone you’ve met online. But you won’t truly know them as well until you meet them offline. For instance, someone you thought was the biggest extrovert IN THE WORLD could suddenly turn into an introvert. Has that happened to you?

Technology Can Only Go So Far

Although we have wonderful technology to bridge the distances between colleagues, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Blab sessions can’t replace the face-to-face meeting, where we can see people roll their eyes, tap their fingers in frustration, or stifle a smile. And many entrepreneurs may dislike online meetings, especially Baby Boomers. By the way, here’s my post about Baby Boomers and Social Media.

Real-Life Meetings Drive Business

In an article from Entrepreneur, 3 Benefits of Meeting Face to Face, Katherine Duncan mentions that Simone uses a personal approach because it’s about “how you make them feel.” You’d never know without meeting in person that a serious person could be the class clown. Or that the class clown online is deadly serious offline. For me, meeting in person has led to more solid connections, and more business.

Body Language

How a person stands, sprawls on a chair, or crosses their arms say a lot about what they’re thinking. None of that comes through online. In this article about The Surprising Power of Body Language, Ronald Riggio writes about how power poses and eye gazes can cause a shift in power. We all know someone whose body language is intimidating. And we all know that person who shrinks when you meet them in person. That first meeting in person is always a surprise.

Get Off Your Phone

Instinctively, we know that meeting in person helps build trust, although being connected to a smart (or dumb!) phone doesn’t. It’s similar to receiving a handwritten card in the mail–something unexpected and unusual, and a good way to stand out. Not to mention when you’re in person you can show off your good manners.

Face to Face Still Matters

Face to Face Still Matters

Face to Face Still Matters

One story stands out to me, and that’s the day a year ago that I met some online friends at WordCamp San Diego. Bridget Willard (You Too Can Be a Guru), my bestie, was going to see Heather Steele of Blue Steele Solutions, since Heather was speaking, so we all decided to meet up. Then we also got to meet Frank and Adam (also of Blue Steele Solutions). We all still talk about that meeting and the long dinner we had with Tracy Phillips and Chef Ivan Flowers. Even though it was a year ago, we all remember that day. Could a tweet go that far? Or a Google Hangout? I don’t think so.

Your Turn

Who have you met and how did that meeting surprise you?

 

 

10 Social Media Transitions and How to Use Them

10 Social Media Transitions and How to Exploit Them

10 Social Media Transitions and How to Use Them

Transitions, those edges around your social media accounts and jobs, can get messy and weird. Many people don’t plan for transitions. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t think about them! Here are some thoughts on the transitions that I’ve witnessed within social media.

When Friends Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil

This has happened to me a couple of times. One friend used to send me links to country-western songs every morning. We had never met. And it was quite sad. I never had the usual closure you get when someone you’ve met goes to that great tweetchat in the sky. There was no memorial service to attend. Just a message posted by his family that he had moved on. Talking to a mutual friend or writing about it (see below) may help to ease the pain.

When Looking for Another Position

When Looking for Another Position

When Looking for Another Position

You probably don’t want to check in on Foursquare when you’re out looking for another job. Also: ixNay on the acebookFay. That is, don’t make friends with your soon-to-be coworkers all over the place and start chatting with them before you even get to that cool new position. Here’s where the word S.E.C.R.E.T comes in: it’s ok to write their names on a Cootie catcher, but don’t get their name tattooed anywhere just yet.

When You Leave Social Media Accounts Behind

Naturally, the company where you worked owns all the accounts you created. Even if it was a lot of work, they own all digital assets unless you’ve made other arrangement. You may be able to maintain friendships with some of those you’ve met, though, if you reconnect with people through your new accounts, once you’ve left the old ones behind.

How to Say Good-Bye to Online Friends

Even a simple plan can really help when getting ready to leave. Yes, it’s difficult. Even if you’ve never met most of your followers in person, you can get attached when you spend all day online and share each other’s ideas. I really like this post about updating your title across all your social media all at once, from The Muse. After you’ve expressed your gratitude about all you’ve learned from your soon-to-be previous team, and let that news sink in for a few days, it’s time to make that announcement that you’re leaving.

For Any Occasion: Writing as Ritual

For Any Occasion: Writing as Ritual

For Any Occasion: Writing as Ritual

For me, since I’m a writer (or pretend to be one on T.V.), writing helps a lot. Writing a letter to someone saying good-bye, and stating what their friendship meant, helps to move through the emotions since there is no formal ritual. If there’s anger involved in your decision, writing helps there, too. Writing an angry letter that’s never sent, then rewriting it, helps to displace the anger. Did you know there’s a journaling tool called the unsent letter? Yup!

When Alliances Change

For those of us who freelance, gigs can change suddenly. A client might decide to go in another direction or retire. In any case, you may want to let others know what’s going on with you and that company if your friends have followed you on that journey. People aren’t always in sync with what you do, though. Don’t expect your friends to drop that company like a hot potato if they’ve taken a liking to the place you work.

The Internal Transition: Passing a Milestone

Do you celebrate when you pass a milestone? However phony the idea of a milestone is (especially if it’s a “vanity metric”), many milestones mean more engagement on social media. For instance, when you pass that 1,000 follower mark on Twitter, you will have more engagement, at least if you’re doing social right. If you’re freelancing for someone, you may decide to raise your prices if the number of engagements goes up dramatically. Here’s a piece I wrote about my 100th blog post, and what I learned.

When You Move a Community

When You Move a Community

When You Move a Community

When I ran a chat and moved it to a new chat, #DigiBlogChat, that took a bit of doing. That is to say, some moved with me and stayed on, and others were left behind. We all need and want more community, and having one online can help to replace those in-person ones we’ve lost along the way. #DigiBlogChat is the highlight of my week, and one where many of my virtual friends reside. By the way, here’s my crazy long list of Twitter Chats: 101 Tips For Success.

When Do You Train a Replacement

Hopefully, the company or startup where you work already has a set of guidelines in place. That said, there may be some words of wisdom that you could impart to your replacement if the parting of ways was amicable. In a perfect world, we’d all leave on good terms, but that isn’t always the case.

 

Exit Strategies

Exit Strategies

Exit Strategies

As far as saying the final farewell, it could be a good idea to let a trusted friend know what you’d like to do with your social media accounts when you go to that Facebook group in the sky. Some people even go so far as to write their final tweet while they still can. Have you done anything about this? For me, letting my lawyer know my final wishes was a great relief.

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance

Finding that sweet spot between live interaction and posts can be a tricky business. Some people like to automate everything, and others are purists about live posting. A hybrid approach can save you time and energy, but what is the best ratio of automated to live posts? And how often can you post before your audience starts to roll their eyes and unfollow you? Here’s a look behind the curtain, so you can choose what you want to do.

By the way, you may have missed this post about social media automation.

Being Informative vs Being Annoying

Hardly anyone sets out to be annoying, but sometimes there’s a fine line. Being top of mind is what we’re all aiming for. In an interesting article from Buffer about social media frequency, author Kevan Lee suggests posting 14 times a day on Twitter, or about once per hour. Of course, there’s another ratio to consider: how often to post about yourself. Could you post about your own brand once in five or once in ten times?

Scheduling Tweets

Scheduling Tweets

Twitter: Live Engagement & Automation

For Twitter, I started with scheduling nothing, then went to scheduling 10 tweets daily, then 5 scheduled tweets, and now 0. When an interesting topic comes up, it goes into my scheduler so it appears at an optimal time. Besides that and the Tweet Old Posts plugin (every 4 hours), the rest is live engagement. The result has been that my follower count has gone up. My ratio of automated to live tweeting is about 1:3 or 1:4. By the way, here’s an article about why not to buy followers and who has the most fake Twitter followers.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics

Facebook: Optimizing Through Analytics

Do not believe those articles and infographics about the best times to post. Check your Facebook analytics to find your best times and frequency. Unless you bought followers, you should be able to see when your fans are online. I find the best engagement before 9 am and up to 3 pm. It’s important to use a big picture. Some people like to tag others, but I find those posts annoying. For Facebook, I post about once daily. Hubspot has an interesting article about how often you should post on Facebook. As far as automation goes, I’d recommend it and especially if your audience is up early, for instance, and you’re not. Again, check your analytics.

Pinterest Scheduling

Pinterest Scheduling

Pinterest

For Pinterest, since about half of all users are in the United States, you might want to limit your pinning to those times when your audience is online. I’ve been pinning roughly 8 times a day: 4 times live pinning and four scheduled pins. The scheduled pins are from my own blog, and go out between 5:30 to about 8 pm. The others go out usually all at once.

What Works for You?

Do you schedule? How much? Leave me a comment! I’d really like to know!

 

 

How to Resist Change: Confessions from a Curmudgeon

How to Resist Change: Confessions of a Curmudgeon

How to Resist Change: Confessions of a Curmudgeon

When I was a kid, I looked up to celebrities. There was something magical about their hair, their makeup, and their clothes. I remember being alone, dancing in my room to David Bowie. Sometimes, I would grab a hairbrush (for a mic) and sing along with the Rolling Stones. Sam, our cat, was a willing audience to these outbursts of song and dance. Imagine my dismay when the Beatles broke up. I still can’t believe it’s over!

Breaking Up is Hard to Watch

Breaking Up is Hard to Watch

Breaking Up is Hard to Watch

Miss Piggy and Kermit split up this past year, which was difficult to watch even though they are muppets. What happened to their love?  And their ridiculously cute squabbling? Maybe it was never an act at all. And what about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner? Is nothing sacred? Well, Batman is sacred, but that’s another story, Ben Affleck!

Change is Intolerable!

Change is Intolerable!

Change is Intolerable!

When change happens, we should pull the blankets over our heads and go back to sleep. Like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, we can ignore changes and pretend they didn’t happen. It’s easy, right? Sure! So long as you don’t read your friends’ Facebook posts, or see anything trending on Twitter!

Get Off My Lawn!

Get Off My Lawn!

Get Off My Lawn!

Even though I don’t have a lawn, I’d like to get one just so I could yell that at kids. They don’t belong on my non-existent lawn! Not that there are tons of kids running around where the lawn would be, still it’s troubling to think that they could be. What were they thinking, those imaginary kids?

Ads, Throttling, and Spam

Ads, Throttling, and Spam

Ads, Throttling, and Spam

Facebook is doing more targeted ads and throttling who sees posts. Is that right? No! They should’ve kept it the way it was, where people could see everything. Not only that, but Facebook is terrible for you, says Salon. Twitter has become less about engagement and more about spewing ads. Again, it was way better before. Pinterest now has ads, too, whereas in the beginning it was only about pinning interesting pictures of kittens and flowers.

Deny Everything

One thing you can do to avoid change is to deny it exists. The earth is still flat, Elvis lives, and you don’t have to update that software. Then again, if you procrastinate long enough, you might not have to think about it at all.

Coping with Change

Coping with Change

Coping with Change

Of course, you could learn to cope with change, as this excellent article by Adam Dachis explains. But if you did that, you wouldn’t be able to gripe about it, would you?

 

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