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Prune Juice Media | September 30, 2016

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CNN’s Don Lemon Explores Social Media in ‘Dialogues’ Panel

| On 13, Oct 2011

'CNN Newsroom' anchor Don Lemon (far left) moderates a panel on social media at the CNN Dialogues event in Atlanta. He is joined (left to right) by author Maggie Jackson, comedian and blogger Baratunde Thurston, musician Pete Wentz, and pastor Shaun King. (Photo by David Holloway / CNN)

Social media, as most well-connected Internet users know, is a force to be reckoned with these days. As the founder of this blog, it has connected me to many of you in ways I could have never done on my own.

CNN took some time on Wednesday at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia to talk about “Living in the Age of Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Surprising.” The debate was fresh and funny because the panelists brought senses of humor to the event, which is always a plus in settings for me. At least I knew I wouldn’t fall asleep.

Don Lemon, CNN Newsroom anchor, moderated the discussion topic. He was joined by author/journalist Maggie Jackson, Atlanta pastor Shaun King, comedian and blogger Baratunde Thurston, and musician Pete Wentz. The panel brought a fair mix of opinions about trends in social media and how we should work them into our real lives.

Here are some things the panelists want you to know about social media its pros and cons:

  • There are limits on social media. Even though you know people well online, you still need to develop strong in-person relationships for success.
  • Social media has leveled the playing field. Someone living in rural Arkansas now has as much of a voice as another on a Hollywood red carpet.
  • Many people who spend large amounts of time online may know current events, but not their neighbor’s first and last name. Ouch!
  • Today’s kids are suffering badly from “Internet speak.” They are writing offline much of the way they write online with abbreviations, misspellings, etc. They don’t care that the squiggly auto-correct line doesn’t come with a pack of pens and paper. ::sigh::
  • Colleges and universities aren’t quick enough to teach their students about social media. King felt that perhaps some “academic snobbery” was happening since anti-establishment figures founded many of the popular social media sites.
  • People think far too much of themselves sometimes, as Thurston noted. Even though some people put a lot of TMI (too much info) on the Net, the truth is “no one cares about you,” he claimed. In actuality, it’s really true. lol…

After the event, Don Lemon offered some exclusive feedback to Prune Juice Media. An avid social media user in his professional life, Lemon offered a bit of advice for people to create some balance between the cyber world and real life.

“Even though this panel was about social media and engaging, one takeaway I have is to put the ‘smart phone’ down. Step away from the computer. Engage with your loved ones, family, and co-workers and come back to it,” Lemon told Prune Juice Media.

He went on to recount a story of a recent Florida vacation where his Blackberry accidentally fell in the ocean at the start of a sailing trip. He would soon admit that he was having “best time of his life” without the gadget he loved. Unplugging is just as important as staying connected these days.

So the moral of the story is this, after you have read this post, liked it on Facebook, and retweeted it, then you are free to go take a break. But, be sure to do it all in that order!

Stevie from Prune Juice Media and CNN's Don Lemon. (Photo by Prune Juice Media)

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