Category Archives: Social Media Q&A

Q&A: Connect with friends of my ex partner on LinkedIn or not?

Question: I’m a professional who have been a member of LinkedIn for just over a year. To get my head around the tool and how to use it I went to a one day course and also read a couple of books on the topic of LinkedIn and online networking. Everything has worked out really well for me and I even got three different job offers from my extended LinkedIn network.

Now to the problem. My ex-partner’s best friend wants to connect with me on LinkedIn. My ex left under quite horrible circumstances over ten years ago.

In the last few years I’ve lived a good life and I’ve kept him out of my life and I felt pretty good about that.

If I would accept the request to connect my ex would be in my 2nd degree network, just thinking about it makes me feel distressed and anxious. At the same time it’s only online, it’s not as if we are going to be in the same room every week.

What shall I do? Is it normal to feel anxious about this kind of things?

Answer: The world of the web is connecting us with everyone who is online in one way or an other. To be connected in social media is a way to build or maintain a relationship. If your gut feeling tells you that it feel wrong to accept the connection you should just ignore the request and you don’t have to explain your decision to anyone.

Some past relationships are best kept in a closed closet and then you through the keys aways. In most social media networks you can block people from your profile, if someone hurt you deeply that can make this whole experience a bit easier. They won’t find you and they will not be able to send you a new request.

Focus on the connections that you enjoy having in your network, give them more attention and they will do the same to you.

broken heart

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Q&A: Facebook dilemma – friends arguing using my private post

Question: I wondered if you have any thoughts or links on my current social media dilemma!

Recently two friends with opposing political views have used an unrelated post of mine to argue about a political issue (immigration).

I opted to make an off the cuff friendly comment as a way of diverting this, but felt that my personal social media space was being in some way invaded.

I also didn’t like to see two friends potentially falling out on my Facebook page.  I decided the best policy was to avoid pointless one-to-one arguments and stick to the chat and pictures – the purpose for which I used Facebook.

My dilemma is – if I disagree (particularly if I consider something discriminatory) should I wade in or ignore. 

In real life you can walk away from the conversation, but on Facebook it’s different.

Answer: We bring our ideas and thoughts about life online. If we find someone who we don’t agree with some people choose to start a discussion right at that moment. 

For some it’s ok that their private Facebook wall is used as a discussion board and others will feel that it’s invading their space. You decide and you make up the rules. 

When someone comments on a post on Facebook it “bumps” up in the news feed and more people will see it, and if people have an argument on your Facebook wall then this post will be seen by many of your connections. What they say will reflect on you, and if you say nothing at all it will also say something about you when you let the discussion continue. It’s the power of nonverbal communication online. 

If anyone would start using, a threatening tone or language (according to you), you can ask them to stop and continue the discussion on their own page or in a private message.

The discussion will also stay on your page, and it’s up to you to decide if you would like that kind of content in your own private Facebook space.

New ways of sharing ideas and opinions online need to include new social media etiquette. 

Hammer in court

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Q&A: Why is it called internet trolls?

Questions: I read about internet trolls all the time. But why do we call them trolls?

Answer: There are two words that have helped us to form the new expression ‘internet troll’.

We have the mean and ugly trolls that we can read about in sagas and old folklores. They are described as man-eaters and have evil personalities.

Then there’s also trolling, a fishing method. On Wikipedia you can ready: Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water. The fisherman is then waiting for a fish to be attracted by the bait. 

An internet troll writes something that is provocative, or makes an inappropriate comment, and then waits for someone to react. For them, it’s all about upsetting others.

I spoke to a linguist who pointed out that there are many fish terms that are used on the internet, phishing, when email scammers are trying to steal your personal information, is one of them.


Download 13 tips how to protect yourself from internet trolls and other nasty people online. 

Internet troll in social media

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Q&A: Family relationships on social media

Question: Can I add my children on social media?

Answer: Yes, and no. You have to be smooth in the way you interact with your children online. Talk to them about what they are ok with. Never comment or try to interfere in any way online when they are communicating with their friends. Do that one to one in private.

boys playing

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Q&A: Why all these cats and dogs?

Questions: There are too many cat and dogs videos in my social media feeds. Why are (some) people so obsessed with animals?

Answer: It’s simple, animals are cute. Anything that has fur and charming eyes will attract humans. Is there anything you can do to stop the amount of animal updates online? Not sure, I think you just have to ignore them if they are annoying you. Potentially the social media networks could set up an algorithm that filters out videos with cats and dogs?

What’s happening online is an extension of everyday life and our relationship with animals goes way back to the early history of human life. Also, many people’s first true friend was a cat or a dog and many have a family member who they care for deeply, that happens to be an animal.

Our obsession with watching videos of animals online comes from our love of them.


For you who can’t get enough of our cute fury friends check out Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette on Instagram – she’s very active online and a celebrity in the fashion industry.



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Q&A: Social media and language

Question: Will our language change when we are using social media so much?

Answer: Yes, all languages are always developing and evolving. Now when we share a huge amount of content online the way we write is changing. Is this good or bad? Well, it’s just the way it is. Our languages have changed many times in history and how we are communicating is also shifting.

Online we can blog, tweet, update, share photos, ‘check in’ and share our mood. What we write is not edited by an expert, and the content is developed on the go all the time when we are out and about. Some spelling mistakes slip through and many people are horrified that we destroy the correct language.

Who owns the right to say what’s the correct way to use a language? It’s users I would say. All dictionaries are updating it’s issues all the time and they are trying to keep up-to-date.

old printing techniques

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Q&A: Social media, love and flirting

Question: Can I flirt with people I don’t know that well (or maybe not at all) on social media? I don’t mean apps and websites that are set up for dating purposes, more the open social media networks. Is it ok?

Answer: Yes, you can flirt on social media. Some people connect online first, meet up, and fall in love. We live in a connected world. Social media is powerful. I’ve heard of couples who fly to the other side of the world to meet up with a person they met on Twitter.

Of course, you have to be tactful when flirting on social media, there is a risk you are seen as a stalker if your connection request or message aren’t appreciated.

Sending a flirty message or tweet to someone can be absolutely fine, but sending a long demanding message, or a message that sounds creepy, is most likely not appreciated.

Be polite and think about how you would approach a person in real life and try to apply similar manners when you are connecting with someone online. When humans interact is’t all about context. What’s said in one conversations might be totally wrong in an other.


Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.


Love birds social media

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Q&A: Saving files and photos online – storage and big data

Question: Every month I take hundreds of pictures and I also write – it’s a book in progress. I use my computer, mobile phone, tablet and an other computer when travelling. I don’t have a proper system to backup all my photos and files. If I loose my photos and the chapters I’ve written for my book I would get totally depressed. Do you have any tips for how to save my files in a safer way?

Answer: One wise person I met said that your data doesn’t exist if it’s not saved in at least two places. So tip number one is to have all documents and photos in at least one extra place. To be even safer you need to have all data in three places.

There are many people who never back up data such as photos; many use Facebook as their backup, but what if Facebook’s servers stop working? Then you have nothing.

At the moment we have enormous amounts of data in our lives, and it’s only going to increase. My best tip is to back up all your data in at least three places, always.

Here are some options: CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, external hard drives, and online back-ups such as Backblaze, Dropbox, IDrive, Carbonite and other cloud-based services.

Make sure that your photos on your mobile phone is backed up on a regular basis, either you transfer them manually or you get a cloud storage to do it for you.

If you can’t access your data for any reason it feel like you lost the key to your padlock. If you still have any old storage solutions, like disks, try to convert them into a digital format.

If you have a website make sure you have a backup system that actually works. Talk to your host provider and check if they do backups, and also back it up yourself. You want it to be easy to recover a lost website, not fiddly.

It’s good to remember that any free or cheap service is likely to give no, or poor customer service.

When we are as dependent as we are on data, it’s better to be safe and overdo it than not do anything and become severely depressed when photos, blog posts, emails and other important information is gone. 

You can also print out the most important documents and save for the future. I know an author who thanks to that could continue writing her story after her computer stopped working, she couldn’t recover the files and it was thanks to that she printed all chapters the week before that she could continue writing. 

And why not develop your photos, get them printed and save them in a safe place at home. You never know what will happen with your digital storage, but your paper photos will stay with your as long as there is no fire or water damage.

4 lost data stories that I mentioned in my March newsletter

 1) ‘My cat was playing with my external hard drive and she knocked it down onto the floor. I could never access the information again and lost the data that belonged to ten clients.’

2) ‘My iPhone was no longer reliable so I decided to develop all my photos that I had on it (get them printed on paper). It was the best idea I ever had. My phone died one week later and I couldn’t recover the photos; I had no proper backup.’

3) ‘I had all my video files saved on an external hard drive. When it stopped working I had to pay $700 to get it back. I wish I had got myself an online back-up as well.’

4) Author, Daisy Goodwin, thought she lost her manuscript in a fire. Read about it here.

Be safe and stay backed up!


Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.


An old rusty padlock

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Q&A: Filming and taking photos of accidents

Question: The other day I saw a collision in the city where I live. Several people were hoarding around the accident filming and taking photos of the people involved and the rescue team. If made me feel really strange. Is it ethical to film an accident like this? The people involved could have died.

Answer: This kind of modern paparazzi behaviour is inappropriate and it’s often disturbing the rescue team and professionals helping out.

Stop filming accidents. If you can’t help out stay away and don’t interfere with the operation. Sometimes people get so involved in their filming so they are hindering the rescue team in their job.

We live very close to our mobile devices and it doesn’t mean that it’s ok to film everything you see. Respect people’s privacy, that’s part of being digital literate. If it was you who were injured in need of help you wouldn’t like someone capturing that on their mobile, would you?

photographer in a street

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Q&A: Self promotion in social media for singing artists

Question: I run my own business as a singer and singing teacher and I feel under pressure to share what I do more on social media. I don’t want to spend too much time doing this if it won’t work for my business, and this is stopping me from doing it properly.

I am present on the major social media channels, but it’s more about putting time into my social media presence. It’s important for me that I don’t feel as if I’m wasting my time doing things that won’t help my business. Another concern is that I don’t want to be seen as someone who only talks about myself and my work. Help!

Answer: This is a question about marketing, and online marketing matters hugely these days. To get it right and find a balance you need to do have a go yourself and try things out to see what works.

How much time you have to spend online to use social media well is hard to say, but we spend a lot of time online in front of computers, tablets and smartphones, and sharing and interacting with your network can take anything from 1-4 hours per day, some days even more.

To have a perfect way to measure return on your time invested in can be very hard to get when on social media. You are your own ‘brand factory’ and you need to create a message that works for you.

There are a few parameters you always can play with: messages, channels and checking if you are focusing on the right audience. Always test and evaluate the feedback you get. Good feedback is likes, shares and comments. Negative feedback is total silence.

What you share online is part of your personal brand. Some people will argue that everything you do online reflects your personal brand. People who follow you want insights into your life but you choose what you want to share. Some people are very open, others more private. You set up the rules for what feels right for you.

We like to get insights into people’s choices and what they are doing with their lives. We are interested in who is working with whom, what people think of trends and what kinds of things inspire them. Share this and create your own online story. I’m following many people on blogs and Instagram and I love to get to know more about them.

Many people in similar jobs to yours use a combination of all of the big social media networks in a sophisticated way. Their professional profile such as LinkedIn mixes wonderfully with their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and video channels to create a very interesting mix of messages.

Getting your head around all these networks may seem difficult, but if you want to be seen and heard you have to dip your toe in the water and have a go.

My most important tips is that you must follow people who are good at online communication to learn and develop your own skills. There are no magic tricks that can help you to win thousands of followers in a week. Yes, you can buy follower and likes, but that is unethical and I wouldn’t recommend you do that. There’s also a risk that these followers will disappear when Twitter and similar networks clean out false accounts.

When we are online we love to be entertained and educated. If you can entertain and educate your network, that’s valuable.

Your followers also like to know what’s going on in your life. You have to assume that your followers and friends want to know what you are planning to do and when they can come and watch you sing.

As soon as you have dates and events in your diary share them. People want to know. Music is one of those magical things in life that we can’t get enough of. All social media channels are busy, so remember to share your events on a regular basis. You can set up automatic reminders to be shared a few times before every gig. Every gig needs it before, during and after strategy in social media, that will keep it alive longer.

People often ask me how often they should post. This all depends on, but a guideline is to never stay away and not update for more than two days in a row. If you share a nice mix of messages you can post a lot. Your followers will become blasé and bored if there is the same kind of chatter all the time. Mix it up to make it worth following. Excite and surprise your followers.

The Web is a friendly and busy place, for you as an artist and singing teacher it’s about being remembered for what you do and what you are good at. These reminders have to be sent out on a regular basis.

Be there, and show that you care. Show your talent and be proud of it.

Thank you! Sofie


Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.


clock head and social media


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Social Media Q&A

Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.

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