I, like many of you, have a social media hangover. And I, like many of you, continue to contribute unconsciously to the data stream for fear of being thrown off the train. And I, like many of you, need to re-assess where I am from time to time.
Have you ever found yourself watching TV while checking your twitter stream on your smart phone? Or, reading a Facebook post at 3 a.m. about the second cousin of a former high school chum who you haven’t seen in 30 years, or ranted about some issue on your blog to deaf ears? Yeah, time for you to reassess too.
The social media world has enveloped us. In our individual efforts to keep up with the social media Jones’ most of us have inadvertently put the pedal to the metal without knowing where we are going. Just think how many times you hear the terms Facebook and Twitter over the course of the day as compared to even one year ago.
I was completely naive to the social media world 18 months ago when I jumped in with both feet. It was new and cool and I even blogged about it here. I’ve experimented with different platforms and each has their pluses and minuses. I’ve used Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, WordPress, and Tumblr and a bunch of smaller applications like Stumble, Digg, Delicious and Flickr. I’ll continue to mess around with new stuff as a way to keep current, but at this point here is how my evolution is coming along.
Twitter – I enjoy the spontaneity of Twitter and it’s my favorite platform. My use has become more sports related because the local and national sports writers I enjoy all have twitter accounts and are easy to engage, particularly during live events. My other main use of Twitter is as an information source from a handful of industry-specific people I follow or through hastag follows of a particular subject or project.
LinkedIn – This is a fantastic tool for business contacts. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the site’s capabilities and plan to do more in the coming year. I’m now subscribed to over 20 groups, which is too many because I haven’t figured out a way to participate in these groups without having to endure the meaningless traffic and spam. I’ve complained about group moderators on LinkedIn in the past, but overall a tremendous resource.
Facebook – Facebook is for my personal use only, but I find myself not particularly enjoying it. At first hooking up with old high school buddies seemed like a good idea, but after 40 years “hey, how’s it going” just falls a bit flat. I’ve soured on the continuous attempts by Facebook to share my data or predict what I may like. As a result I have grown not to trust them. A primary use of Facebook is to share photos, but there are other ways to share photos with friends and family that don’t risk the exposure that Facebook provides.
Blogging – I enjoy writing. Organizing my thoughts or presenting an argument is therapeutic. My problem is I have varied interests and write on many different subjects. As a result my blog is not widely followed and I haven’t spent the time to increase my readership. My primary blogging platform is wordpress.com. It is easy to format and use and with wordpress.org has a progression option available should you desire to eventually code your own website. Tumblr is more of a microblogging site that I have been experimenting with recently for pictures, quotes or music. I haven’t spent much time getting to know Tumblr yet, but it seems to have potential.
All of this can be overwhelming and produce a hangover at times. More and more I read about people taking digital sabbaticals and sometimes you need to do that. My way of dealing with the hangover is to hone each application for a specific need instead of having every application addressing every need.
It’s a digital world and you need to be involved, but it can swallow you up if you’re not careful.