How do you use social networks?

I suggest we all ditch LinkedIn. Who’s in?

Social Media Icons

Jason Snell and Myke Hurley discussed social networks on Upgrade #4, “I Regret My Endorsement of You”, and I got to thinking about how I use my various social networks.

When I want to write something long (or mid-length, as mentioned in my previous post), I head here to my blog. I love reading and writing, and my blog is a great outlet for my creativity. As you know if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I especially like posting book reviews. I also do a lot of short- and long-form writing on a question and answer social network called Quora. I mostly lurk in the religion/theology sections and once in a while write honest questions or thoughtful answers. I’ve crossposted a few of those answers here and plan to continue doing so.

When I think of something witty to say and think I can do it in less than 140 characters, I make a beeline for Twitter. Twitter is my go-to social network. I purposely follow only ~30 people, which makes it easy for me to stay up-to-date (I’m a Twitter completist; I read every tweet from the people I follow) and keeps Twitter feeling like a tight-knit place where I hang out with my closest friends. I can check Twitter in less than ten minutes a day. I also crosspost photos from Instagram. I know a lot of people who carry on conversations on Twitter, but I tend not to at-reply a whole lot. The aspect of Twitter I most love is being able to contact and have conversations with the podcasters I listen to.

I am also a relative completist when it comes to Facebook, by which I don’t mean I read everything from every one of my connections, but I do try to read everything that hits my news feed. I keep my feed very heavily pruned by marking every one of my connections as either a close friend or an acquaintance. As with Twitter, I only have ~30 close friends. People seem to generally hate the way Facebook “diddles” with peoples’ feeds, but I’m actually really impressed with how the filtering works. For those I’ve marked as close friends, I see everything, up to and including what you had for lunch (well, if you posted it—it’s not creepy enough yet to show me your lunch even if you didn’t post it). For acquaintances, I see only the most important life events like weddings, childbirths, graduations, new jobs, promotions, etc.1 Due to this magic, I can stay up on Facebook in less than ten minutes a day just as with Twitter. But I don’t really like posting to Facebook. About the only things I post are my Instagram photos. I use Facebook Messenger to keep up with old friends more than I post status updates or anything else.

As I’ve already mentioned, I take photos with Instagram. Mostly of my cute kids. These get crossposted to Twitter and Facebook. As with other networks, I purposefully keep the list of people I follow on Instagram to a minimum, and I can generally check out everything new on Instagram in less than five minutes.

I am on LinkedIn, but I’m honestly not sure why. I don’t post anything to it and I never read anything others post to it. I have never needed it and hope to never need it in the future. It is the worst social network in existence, I think, and has only gotten worse over time. It was Jason and Myke’s discussion of LinkedIn in particular that spurred me to write this post. They seem to hate it as much as I do. Why do we all feel the need to be on that site at all?

I’d love to hear how you use your social networks. Please drop me a comment below. Should I ditch LinkedIn? Should we all ditch it together? Who’s in? 

  1. I also see funerals. Earlier this month I had a really weird week where my feed seemed to be filled with death. My heart went out to all my friends who had loved ones leave this mortal coil. Love all you guys. []

The one where Joey goes off the grid

So, a few friends tried to contact me to make sure I’m okay since I recently announced I’m going radio silent on Facebook. One friend commented that my message about cleaning up messes was “cryptic” and that I had piqued his interest and left him hanging. I really didn’t mean for my message to be cryptic. If I caught you by surprise or caused you to worry, please forgive me.

By “cleaning up messes” I simply meant that I’m having some time-management difficulties juggling several commitments and Facebook is just a really big timesuck. I could probably manage my Facebook time a little better if I was more self-disciplined, but in this particular situation it seemed more effective to just hit the big red button and go cold turkey for a while. I have every intention of coming back to the Facebook world once I get things a little better organized elsewhere.

While I’m absent from Facebook, you’re welcome to communicate with me using a more ancient form of communication such as a phone call, text message, instant message, e-mail, or even snail mail. If you don’t have my current contact information you are welcome to utilize the contact form on this site to get in touch. I do look forward to hearing from you.