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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Why I Am on Facebook

I was resistant. How do I have time to get on that site and isn't that for kids and college students? Then we went on vacation this summer and we were watching our friends check their Facebook pages and I got curious. They didn't fit the profile I had drummed up in my head as the type of people who would be social networking. As we talked about it, they set up a page for me in what seemed like just a few seconds. Soon I had a profile picture, was listing my favorite books and began searching for people I was curious to find. I'm hooked. I am the face of Facebook, or as some call it, FB.

This is my current profile picture. My 13 year old son took it while we were in the car at the carpool line.

Social networking used to mean going to Chamber of Commerce meetings and then it got real fancy with targeted opportunities like organized weekly networking groups. With online social networking, now you can stay in your PJs and network. I don't even have to do my hair! There are currently 39,911,920 people active on FB. When I looked to see how many people in the U.S. ages 35 and up were on FB, I found out there are 9,823,660. And I'm one of them!

Here is how being on Facebook and social networking keeps you in the Smart Zone.

  • Stress Management: I believe everyone has a bucket inside of them that gets full when they feel aggravated or frustrated. We need things in our lives that empty our bucket so it doesn't get full. When it gets full, we have what I call an exaggerated response. While I don't always have my FB up throughout the day, I do get on it sometimes between patients, at the end of the day, and when I am hanging out in the airport waiting for my flight. It empties my bucket and I enjoy some of what my FB friends post. Here is a video that came recently from one of my friends.

  • Relationships Build Business: Many of the speakers I present with and many of those who hire me to speak are people that I really enjoy getting to know. There is an excitement about the speaking business and there are so many things we may have in common. A recent article in Fast Company shows how those who use the social networking site, LinkedIn, make more money. While I never intend for my FB page to be an advertisement, it is only natural that there are opportunities that will come your way.

  • Social Networking supports the Smart Zone Secret: The Smart Zone Secret is to get out of your head and put the focus on someone else. I believe we all have the tendency to take ourselves too seriously. Recently I had a bad fall on an icy day. (What is a Florida girl doing in Texas anyway?) The fall ended up being serious enough that I got a few staples in my head. One of my best friends growing up, Don, is now a professor at Oregon State University. He and I stay in touch on FB and he called me "metal head." Only Don can get away with that. Don knows how to remind me to not take myself too seriously. He knows the Smart Zone Secret.

One caveat. Sometimes FB can fill your stress bucket. Using it during productive work hours can waste time and is unfair to your employer. Or if you stay up until the wee hours of the morning it can steal needed sleep time. This is an issue with all of us as we have the ability to work 24/7.

Keeping the above caveat in mind, I'd love to be your FB friend! So please send me a friend request.

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