Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life on Social Media

Brett McCracken wrote a great post on 24 Social Media Dos and Don'ts. It's a list of how to interact on social media in an emotionally and spiritually healthy way.

Some of it is stuff that I never do and there were some things that were great reminders like:

  • Don’t think about an experience mostly in terms of how you might share it on social media. (i.e. when you’re at a beautiful beach on vacation, don’t think about how you can share a picture of it on Instagram)
  • Don’t flaunt your relationships by having public interactions on social media. Talk to people privately. Email, chat, direct message will do just fine.
The one that I sat and pondered for a while was this:
  • Don’t tweet mostly about yourself. What you are doing, speaking engagements, travel, how cool you are.

Now see, I do actually tweet and blog a lot about myself. I do talk about the office, books and movies and music, travel, faith, etc..... but it's all in relationship to what I'm going through and how I perceive and experience things.

That is, however, the point of my blog and twitter. It's not to promote anything or to set myself up as an expert or voice in any given field, it's just me talking about my life.  That's true of many of the blogs I follow. I love blogs that are beautiful and full of life, but speak primarily from the heart of the author about things they are experiencing.

I have certainly seen artists that over-tweet promotional things about their own work. I've also become bored when some people write too much of the mundane without any flair, and I think this can be a problem for me. You can make the mundane interesting, as exhibited by my husband's facebook posts on things like pens, which might draw 15 passionate comments from other people who also have quirky habits or opinions on the same thing.

To draw it back to the point at hand,  I believe that tweeting about your life is okay when the point of your social media presence is to reflect your life rather than a product/idea/expertise area. However, when does it cross the line into overly-mundane or narcissistic, and when is it relateable and interesting?


AHLondon said...

It is a balance, and as I was discussing with a good friend who has recently started blogging, the balance takes practice. And it is a bit like gardening--it always needs a little tweaking. Some days call for more personal stuff, others less.
On a related issue, I'm drafting a post about the different norms and preferences in different blog spheres. Since my blog is so scattershot, I'm constantly running into different rules and expectations about this stuff. For instance, Mom bloggers tend to like more personal stories, political and pop culture bloggers, maybe occasional personal anecdotes. It's interesting.

Andrea Ward said...

Good question! I don't have answers, but I will be doing some heavy thinking about it.

I wonder if I tweet about other stuff too much will my friends and family get bored because they are interested in me and not on my cause. I don't know that I want my blog or twitter to become all about a cause only. I don't want the focus to become so narrow. I don't care about becoming famous. I just like writing. I have a hard time believing the rules are that hard and fast.