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. 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?