My Relationship With Social Media: #FriendsWithBenefits

At the moment, I would say that social media and I are just friends. Perhaps friends with benefits. But I don’t want to go so far as to say we are involved in anything serious at the moment. I use Facebook primarily as an email account to talk with people I don’t really want to give my actual email to, Reddit as my go-to time wasting site (especially on my iPhone), and Snapchat seems to be the main way my friends try to get ahold of me when they have drank too much. However I don’t do much in terms of content production. I don’t tweet and I haven’t really updated my Facebook profile since my freshman year of college. Whilst abroad in Germany I kept a blog (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/thealmostinnocentsabroad), but that is about all I have shared with the internet masses that aren’t my friends or “friends”. Mainly I am a spectator on social media to keep up to date on bands, sports teams, and other organizations.

I have dabbled in the idea of having a serious relationship with social media, but I haven’t committed myself to anything. This is probably because I value my privacy and I don’t feel a great desire to live my life in a public sphere. I think that we all can think of “that” person who feels the compulsive need to document their entire lives on Twitter or Facebook and I have always tried to shy away from being associated with that ethos.  As a result, I haven’t really developed any sort of online ethos.

I suppose that since this class is about developing an online presence, I have to think about what I want mine to be. I think that one of my biggest reservations from engaging as a participant in social media is that I want to be associated with a certain level of substance and authenticity. How am I supposed to say anything substantial in 160 characters? Moreover, why should anyone care what I have to say in 160 characters? This is why I have always found social media to be a great way to connect with abstract collections of people (bands, sports teams, and other organizations), but I have not used it to engage with actual people.

As I develop my social media ethos over the course of this class, I want to be present without being overbearing or repetitive, I want to be interesting for all the right reasons, I want to make sure that my 160 characters are something actually worth reading, even if they only take 2 seconds out of someone’s day. I don’t want there to be a disconnect between my online and offline ethos. As I engage with social media more significantly in the coming weeks, I will keep this in the forefront of my attention. Because ultimately I view social media as one big, ongoing conversation. And if you are going to take the time to talk to me, I might as well make it worth our time.

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