Should I post it? Tweet it? Path it? Tumble it? Pin it? Maybe even keep it to myself?
With new apps and social media channels being created each day, sometimes I find myself wondering where all my thoughts and the information I come across should go. I don’t like the idea of identical information being posted in multiple locations (though sometimes it does happen), so ideally everything will have its place. For the most part, these avenues all have something unique about them, thus making particular types of information appropriate for them (and not others). There are days and periods where I have no desire to keep up my online presence, thus I am still poor at updating these outlets consistently, but as I continue to say: “I will make an effort.” In an attempt to organize my online thoughts and comments, below I delineate where everything goes in my life:
My personal blog is a mix between a detailed status update, a soapbox, and a gallery. Whenever I make new cards or creative things I will post them here. Whenever I have an issue or thought that I want to mull over, I will write about it. If something big happens in my life, (generally) I will blog about it. The space and ease of customization of a blog allows me to display a breadth and depth of content (in one place) that would be more difficult to organize elsewhere on the web. This is where I can really flesh out thoughts that I have. I do not often include links to other sites in my posts, but that’s just me.
I also have some content-specific blogs in addition to my personal blog. These vary in their purpose and style, but I usually will link these to my main blog.
Oh Facebook, how you have fallen almost into disuse in my life. Aside from the occasional post or message, and group/event information (that I am required to comment on), I really don’t use Facebook for much else. I do not do status updates, I do not post my own pictures into albums, and I have for a while stopped actively adding people to my friends list. I have most of my friends’ birthdays saved to my phone, so past this year, I most likely won’t be using Facebook for birthday reminders either. The breaking point might have been when I realized Facebook was getting dominated by apps – that was a major turn off. Why does it need to be linked to everything? Whenever I can, I now prefer to sign up for things via email rather than linking it to my twitter or Facebook.
Path contains a mixture of personal text/photos, and is accessible only by a few people on my network. This is the place I capture everyday happenings, and one of the only places I will tag friends. I can go for stints where I don’t path anything, followed by a particularly eventful day where I will path multiple times.
One of my favourite outlets, pinterest is where I have a visual collection of all the things that I like. When I am reading through blogs I follow, most of the photographic inspiration I come across will find its way to pinterest. What I enjoy about this is that it’s quick and easy. It’s very low commitment – I can pin something and write a short caption for it, or I can even like something that I see without affiliating myself to it through the “stronger” actions of pinning or re-pinning. It’s organized, and I can even upload my own pins to a board (which is what I do for things I’ve done myself). I return to pinterest often to see what other people have pinned.
I have an interesting relationship with twitter. When I first started, I wanted to keep things entirely professional. I would add only organizations or people I had “networked” with (I do not like the word network as I tend to affiliate it with thinking of people simply for your personal gain). But over time, I found myself connecting with real people, sharing thoughts, and even tweeting things that I think have no value in conversation (case in point – last night I tweeted: “Hope I don’t dream about zombie apocalypses like I did last night…”). Twitter is usually the first place I will go to share an interesting article that I come across. I will also use it to share a blog post I’ve written that I think is appropriate for a wider audience (such as this post). However, when I find myself veering towards a more personal, everyday conversation, I still like to keep it going through DM rather than through public tweets. I am not well-versed in my use of hash tags or any twitter etiquette, and I definitely am not an avid tweeter, but this is one form of social media that I do see myself using for quite some time to come.
And now the age old question – why do we need to put all this information out there anyways? Are we finally releasing the inner exhibitionists that dwell within each of us? I think not. However, I do think that being plugged in breeds a desire to be more plugged in. The more you see other people contributing, the more you want to contribute (why do you think so many people start blogs, only to stop after a few months when they realize it takes some amount of effort to maintain?). I am wary of spreading myself too thin when it comes to social media, and honestly, I do not have the drive to maintain a strong, witty, and involved online presence. However, to those of you who choose to do so, and who add comments of value to the Internet, thank you. You make life on the periphery so much more exciting :)