Monday, July 16, 2012

Scrutinizing Social Media Sites

Recently I have become rather disenchanted with the various social media sites I frequent. Maybe it’s just boredom with them. Maybe it's just me burning the candles at both ends - trying to stay involved in more than I actually have the time for.

(Before I get into my thoughts on this, I would hope this is not perceived as an attack on anyone who loves to utilize Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, etc etc. Cause it's not. It's about my interactions with these sites)

More than a year ago I said, “I know you’re never supposed to say never but……….I will never get a Twitter account.” Famous last words.

I started a Twitter account. Collected some friends. Wrote short insipid observations about my lunch or sent blog postings to share. Sharing things with a good number of strangers who, more than likely, didn’t read or care for my blathering.

So why did I do that? Anyways…. that twitter account of mine is deactivated.

This would be a good time to interject that yes, I have made some friends through blogging/facebook/etc whom I genuinely like. People with whom I feel a connection and we write and stay in contact as real friends do.

In spite of that, I am still on a downward spiral with all these sites I joined.

Facebook. This has certainly changed so many lives. I would wager it has become a force even bigger than Zuckerburg could have imagined.

I recently read that as of May 2012, Facebook has over 900 million active users and over half were utilizing the Facebook on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

How many of us started by sending and accepting friend requests from people whom you’d never, ever exchange your information with in the normal course of socialization at work or playtime? I started an account for the dog as an experiment. He sent out two friend requests, one to me and one to my husband. The goal? Would he actually get friend requests and if so, would the larger number be from bikers or cooks and bakers?

What’s your guess? Drumroll please……..

Bikers. He had some foodie friends but holy cow – I think he ended up with 182 friends and all but two of those “friends” contacted him. Some didn’t even speak his language. …(wait, I was thinking English but he is Japanese…never mind)

If only they’d known he was but a 22 pound shiba inu who couldn’t ride and couldn’t bake worth a damn. That experiment ended and we have deleted his account quite awhile back.

Well that went spectacularly off topic………..

Pinterest- there’s another one I never thought I’d join. Did you know that Pinterest is the third largest social media site in popularity? I joined, then started a few boards there. One for shiba inu photos, food photos, one devoted to chocolate, another with amusing witty signs or remarks.

Yesterday I deleted all those boards.

I started with one blog several years ago. I ended up with two active blogs, being a contributor to another blog, a Twitter account, Facebook, Stumble Upon, Pinterest....

All I know is, something has to give for me here……….

Do you ever feel like just dumping all of those social media accounts? Staying in contact with the friends you made but distancing yourself from the daily minutia of all those combined forces?

I welcome any thoughts regarding your involvement with the various social connection sites.

If you stuck it out this far, thank you for listening.


Debra Eliot said...

I got a FB page for a travel-blog contest that I rarely even visit, let alone remember my log-in information. I finally joined Pinterest. I think that people can get totally lost in these and I know that I can waste a lot of time. People think I am anti-FB because I have stated publicly that I HATE it. (It causes us lots of problems at school!!! You can imagine!!!)

Heather said...

I'm very divided on the subject.

On one hand, I hate FB. On the other hand, I never would have caught up with so many old friends from elementary school through college (we moved a lot). That is the major reason I won't get rid of it. The secondary is that SO MANY blog-based "groups" are housed on a FB page nowadays. I keep it for those things...and stay off otherwise. I never see what friends are writing or anything, I'm sure people think I'm ignoring them. I'm not, I just don't "use" it!

As far as Pinterest, I think it's a pretty fabulous tool. I get a lot of traffic driven to my site because of it. Plus, I'm a very visual person, so I can get lost in the pictures. And I've found LOOOOTS of recipes that I hope to make one day on Pinterest.

And I like Twitter, as well. Though I've been on it for a couple (few?) years now, I'm just starting to get the hang of why it's so handy. And I just a couple of days ago learned about scheduling - a great way to schedule out reminder tweets. Plus, again with the blog groups - it's a great way to interact in live chats and such. But it IS a major time-suck.

Anyhoo...I've rambled on for long enough. I still feel overwhelmed by all of it, but I know it's not going away, so I'm adapting. ;)

Velva said...

I admit it, I enjoy social media. There is a balance that has to be maintained. I don't feel it is an all or nothing experience. There are times when I have to remind myself that I own my social media, social media does not own me (food blog, fb and twitter)..Social media is part of our daily lives and it is not departing. Fitting it in, and keeping enjoyable is what is important. Once it becomes work, it is no longer fun.

As for fb? It is a wonderful way for me to stay connected to family, foodies and friends. I really enjoy it.

Twitter? It is more of an art but once you get it, its fun. Less personal than FB.

Pinterest? I am growing weak and will soon cave into signing up.

If you are feeling burned out step away for awhile but don't feel like you have to swear it off.

Take care.

Janel Gradowski said...

I generally enjoy social media. As an author, I really don't feel like I can not participate in it. That being said, I have more of a "presence" in some places than others. I'm actually thinking about starting up a few more accounts!

Kim said...

Social media is definitely a time hog. You can really let yourself get sucked in if you let it.

As you've probably noticed, I've really slacked off with my blog. I do wish I had more time for it and I do miss it, but I feel like I should be spending that time with family.

I love pinterest and find that it helps me to locate recipes online and pin them instead of keeping copies of paper/magazines laying about my house. I'm not a slave to it though. I just look through it when I have a few minutes here and there.

I have very mixed feelings about facebook. I like it because it allows me to keep in touch with friends and family and get up to date pictures, etc. However, I think people abuse it and write the stupidest posts sometimes. I can't stand all the complaining and moaning that goes on. My husband actually gave up his account because he couldn't stand to read what people had for lunch, or how bad their day was, or that they really enjoyed drinking a diet pepsi. I only post on very rare occasions. Sometimes it's something funny, sometimes it's pics of the kids, etc.

As long as you keep blogging I'm happy!

Pierce said...

Wow. I thank you all for weighing in here on a subject that is discussed quite a bit in so many medias.

I do feel overwhelmed with it sometimes. And yes, I know it's something so deeply embedded in our society, our ways of communicating now, that it won't go away. You see "follow us on Facebook or Twitter" just about everywhere you go. From the Morton salt in my workplace break room, Chick Filet, lawyers, you name it.

For me, at least at this time, I am not getting satisfaction out of it and it is, as Kim stated, a time hog if you allow if to be. Addictiveness is another issue.

Like, how many times did I pull my phone out and check FB even if I wasn't alerted by a notification.
Something could change in the future but right now I need to step back. I AM reading more now :-)

The pros are definitely there for all of those medias when you are trying to get a business going, get traffic to your site, grab a recipe...true that.

THANK you all :-)

Le laquet said...

Friends that are worth keeping are beyond social media :o)
I know that I'll cook for you one day - that's bigger than FB/Twitter/Pinterest!!

p.s. What about your Tumblr account??

Mrs L x

Pierce said...

Mrs. L, I don't have a Tumblr account. I did have StumbleUpon, but deleted that as well.

I look forward to your cooking!

Grilling Chicken and Asparagus

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