February 25, 2013

Social Media: Is It Too Much?

socialmedia-addictionLet me first address the elephant in the room: No, I will not be doing an Oscars recap. I was at an evening church service, last night, enjoying my phenomenal pastor, Rev. Dr. Ann Lightner-Fuller, preach (shameless promo: Come out to Mt. Calvary AME Church in Towson and be blessed!)–so I missed the red carpet arrivals. I then attempted to watch the show and it was so awful, I not only lost interest in what people wore, what they said, and who won, I’m not sure I’ll ever go to a movie again. Yes, they were that bad. But I will say, unless Seth McFarlane actually wrote his monologue, the opening, and his jokes–he tried. Now that we have that out of the way…

Yes, I am a blogger. I live tweet during various events–let’s be honest–I tweet when there are no events. I look at my Facebook newsfeed (sort of). But does anyone else think that this whole social media thing is a little out of control? I work in the digital space. Please–I LOVE the digital space! In addition to the aforementioned, I have accounts with: Delicious, Goodreads, FourSquare, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Disclaimer: It’s entirely possible I’ve missed listing more than one social media site–which is my point.

Last year, I attended a seminar given by a social media expert and she stated that if you–as a company–are managing more than 5 social platforms, it’s virtually impossible to be doing it well. I couldn’t agree more. I’d venture to put the number even lower at say 3. And those are companies that have multiple people and/or divisions managing their social media platforms, how is an individual supposed to keep up? And at some point, doesn’t it all become redundant? If I check in on Facebook, do I really need to check in on FourSquare? If I posted a picture on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, do I really need to put it on Instagram too? That’s not to take away from any social platform, I’m sure they all serve their individual purpose. But how many followers does one person need to acquire on each site for it be meaningful? And if you have the same followers on each site, and you’re posting the same things, then what’s the point? And then there are the updates/upgrades. You get a ‘cover’ picture on one site and then another offers the same feature. Plus, every site wants to be informed of your exact location. Which brings me to my next point: security. Everyone knows exactly where you are, where you’re not (think vacant home), when you’re there, and who you’re with. It’s bad enough that Google Earth will show a close-up of your car parked in front of your house to the whole world, we provide enough additional information on social sites to give the FBI a complete dossier on us without ever leaving the office. (Did anyone see that episode of Criminal Minds where the killer was finding his victims on a social media site??? Made me change my privacy settings immediately!)

All I’m saying, is choose your social platforms wisely and consider deleting the ones you don’t use anymore. You can always reactivate them if you truly miss them. And if you haven’t used them lately, my guess is you won’t miss them. My personal activity:

  1. Twitter: I post quick thoughts (random, informative, funny, etc.) photos, and use it to find resources, tools, and information at a glance.
  2. Facebook: At this point, the only thing I use this for is to say happy birthday to people and post pictures when I’m on vacation. (I could do a whole blog entry on how FB has gotten away from its original purpose. People rant on there entirely too much, use language that’s so horrific it makes me wonder about some of the people I know, and ditto on some of the articles and photos they post; not to mention the scams they unknowingly promote; I’m sorry, but getting 1 million likes on a FB page really is not going to get someone a kidney transplant. But I digress…)
  3. Goodreads: As an avid reader, I use this site to track books I want to read so I don’t forget and to keep up with when they’re released. I like to read reviews of books from actual readers and to get recommendations. This is more of a resource tool for me.
  4. LinkedIn: I have found this site to be so much more powerful than I originally thought. What a great way to connect with people and forums in a professional manner, look for jobs, and stay abreast of what’s happening with co-workers, peers, and others on their career development and evolution. A gateway to professional networking.
  5. Pinterest: Fun and addictive. I’ve found yummy recipes, cute outfits, jewelry ideas, and decorating inspiration on this site. Feeds the creativity.

That’s it, those are my 5. (Not counting my blog, which I look at as less of a social media site, than a forum for my writing.) I do not check each of these sites every day, except Twitter and Facebook. Truth be told, while I consider these my ‘5,’ I can go a week or more without checking Pinterest or Goodreads and several days without checking LinkedIn. It all depends on my current needs and interests.

My suggestion: Choose your sites carefully, be safe and selective about the information you put out there for the world to see, delete sites you don’t keep up with, but above all–have fun!

Or, you could be like my brother, the anti-social media magnet who claims he’s still waiting for Facebook to ‘catch on,’ before he creates an account…

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  1. Rose said:

    Tara I so agree. I deleted my Facebook account 3 months ago. I follow less than 5 ppl on Twitter so I am almost as out of touch as Gerald. By the way, loving your blogs! Truly helped when doctor told me I needed bifocals last month 🙂 Very entertaining and enlightening.


    1. T.L. Finney said:

      Thank you! Ahhh, this explains it… I wondered why it had been a minute since I’d seen you on FB. 🙂 Embrace the bifocals, it’s the only way.


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