In the last few months, I’ve had to explain to some what social networks I use for what. Mostly due to the fact that there are so many of them now and how most of us are compelled to join some or all of them. It gets to be a bit on the overload side. Plus there’s some people that I like to only be a part of certain networks.
From the beginning of joining each one I frequent, I’ve pretty much stuck to how I’ve separated them into what role they play in my life. Here is a break down of the big four that I belong to and my defined management of their purpose in my life.
This is my uncensored place to say whatever the fuck I want, when I want and without restraint. For those times where I feel I need to censor myself on Twitter, I get very uncomfortable. I don’t like co-workers following me because I like to post a rant here and there. I block spammers pretty quick and very regularly. With extremely rare exceptions, I don’t like to either follow or be followed by family. In the last year or two, I’ve mostly stayed away from political discussions, with maybe a few tweets that surround a political news story or event, but then it’s back to what I see, what I’m thinking and finding something cool to Twitpic. Discussions with others, sharing stories, funny observations and made up funny phrases under 140 characters. Twitter is most likely the best place to find me, but it’s also the place that I don’t want everyone finding me at. Make sense? It’s nothing personal… well, it is… but just because I want to be open and free without worry or concern.
Checking in to places that I’ve been to is fun. I enjoy seeing how many times I visit the grocery store, Starbucks and Del Taco and collecting stamps for special days or events. And maybe even becoming mayor of an oft visited venue. Some say that I’m opening myself up to anyone online finding me and doing really bad things to me or my belongings. And that’s where I draw the line of where I WON’T check into. Two places… work and home. I omit those places for several reasons, the biggest of which is that I don’t need people knowing when I go home or when I’m at work. Yes, some of my tweets say where I’m at, but it’s vague and nothing specific. Geo-tagging where I work and live goes too far for me when spending time in the online world. Others do it and that’s their thing. Just not mine.
More recently known as My [______], I rarely log on to that big, giant empty space these days. Back in the day, it was the disorganized place on the web where you could share your thoughts, add a friend and hear some music from your favorite band. Today, the tech blogs are wondering who will purchase this aging social network and for how many pennies on the dollar it will trade ownership to. Simply put, it’s not on my radar anymore.
Mostly family, friends, people I attended school with, bloggers I’ve conversed with and the rare co-worker that I’ve become friends with. Everyone else, I don’t add. If I did, it’s because… um… that I found… aw, fuck.. I don’t know why I added them. Maybe it was a impulse thing I did that day I clicked ok. OK!
There’s many that I am friends with on Facebook that I rarely share common interests with anymore. Most of are those who I used to share a common set of religious beliefs with. I like to keep them as friends because, regardless of what I don’t believe in anymore, I still consider them friends that I grew up with or shared some great times with in life. Fan pages that I used to like on My [______] are now liked on Facebook. My status messages are honest, but sanitized – meaning, I don’t swear in them past damn or hell. I also don’t play any Ville games and block just about any of my friends’ statuses about missing cows and sheep. Zynga has enough money and I have other games that I play offline that are more entertaining to me.
This network is pretty much kept to those people that I directly worked with at one of the companies I’ve been employed by or [in very rare circumstances] someone who I feel could be a good reference for me that I’ve not directly worked with. I won’t even add some people that work at my site due to the fact that I’ve not worked directly with them and most likely only fixed their printer or removed a virus from their computer. Not to sound high and mighty, but I don’t define my LinkedIn colleagues as each and every person that was employed by the companies I’ve worked for. Pretty much think of those that I would consider references that really know what work I’ve done.
I check this each day, mostly for news articles that I’ve missed from other sites. I find a few pretty regular people here that post some informative and entertaining posts. It’s not as Buzzed as other social networks, but it’s a nice place to visit daily.
The media lovers social hangout. I like music, movies, books, artists, musicians, authors, directors, TV shows… it’s a fun site that I’ve enjoyed sharing likes and a few dislikes with. When I watch a TV show, I check in. When I’m listening to a new album, I write a quick review. All around fun and not that intrusive in the social ether.
The “Unfollow” Factor
Specifically to Twitter and Facebook, I really don’t go out of my way to check nor do I care who unfollows me. On occasion, I will see my followers list go down by a person or two and I admit to being curious who it was, but overall, I really don’t care. It’s that person that doesn’t want to follow me anymore and for whatever reason and I’m cool with that. I’m also not of the mindset that I need to follow back someone that does follow me. Maybe they like what I’m saying, but I don’t have much interest in what they have to say. That may sound like a calloused thing to say, but it’s not me trying to be mean.
Okay, now it’s your turn. Any of my rules make sense? Do you have similar preferences? Tell me… tell me.. tell me.