Sunday, January 22, 2017

My (anti)social media activity

Definition of social media:
Forms of electronic communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)
For a self-proclaimed introvert, it comes as a surprise (to me) that I actually have quite a number of social media subscriptions, particularly when you consider how guarded I am with sharing of information, especially when it pertains to my personal life. That said, I do use my social media with varying degrees of engagement/commitment. My user profile is definitely not the optimal one for each of these media, given the great disparity between the information I consume versus what I actually contribute.

In other words, I am a "taker", not a "giver". :p

Here's an overview of my various social media and how/why I use each of them:

Most frequently used: Instagram 
This is the platform I use most "frequently", and I say that because the term "frequent" is used very loosely when you look at my activity level on the account. I favour insta largely because of its visual nature and user-friendly interface. Other than my annoying Asian habit of taking photos of anything that means something to me, I also have a moderate interest in capturing nice shots or interesting angles of the subjects in my photos, so I do enjoy sharing that occasionally on insta. I must confess that I like the community there too. My account is followed by a mix of friends or friends of friends who also use instagram, and like-minded strangers whom I have never met. Yet, I tend to feel much more comfortable sharing bits of my life on this as opposed to other media where I actually have more connections to people I know in real life. I guess it's because it feels like the people who choose to follow you on instagram had made the conscious decision to do so because they actually like your content, as opposed to those on other platforms who have access to your posts there because they have added you as a "friend". One thing about my insta is also that I hardly ever post "instantly" - more often than not, I post hours, or even days or weeks after the "instant" has occurred, and I only tag my location if it's a holiday picture so that I can remember where the image was captured. I am super weird about privacy, that's why.

Most enjoyable: Snapchat 
This is the account I was most surprised I joined, but it's also the one I possibly enjoy the most, simply because it's just fluffy entertainment 90% of the time. Since I don't tend to reply any of the snaps I view, it's pure diversion for me to view snaps of accounts I find interesting. I do very occasionally post snaps, despite these being truly instantaneous as compared to insta. Firstly since hardly anyone follows me, and they literally last just 24 hours, I somehow feel comfortable with that. That, and really, who could resist those nonsense funny filters? Even AB gets a kick from posing through some of those with me. Heh.

My whini-est: Twitter
I use twitter mostly as a news source, to read about breaking news or articles that might be an interesting read on topics I follow. The occasions that I have used it, more often than not, were to rant or complain about something that irked me so much that I feel inclined to compose a cryptic passive-aggressive rant to dispense into the universe. Or rather, twitterverse. It's basically like shouting into a pillow, but marginally more satisfying. It never fails to amaze me how many people actually read my tweets when I do that, so actually bother to find out what petty issue was bugging me at the time. My friends are such gems.

Most distracting: Dayre
I was gently nudged into setting up an account for this by wondersis while she was in the States. Despite my initial reluctance to start yet another blog when I was barely maintaining the two I already have, I decided to give it a go. The interface does make it easier to post on the go, and I reckoned it might be worth trying out, just to see if it helps me write more, and kick-start the blogging mojo again. And for a while, it really did. I enjoyed how convenient it was to draft posts and the cute stickers available for emoting my content. The general Dayre community is also amazingly supportive and sweet, and I also found myself following quite a few accounts which fascinate me on different levels.

However, that quickly got old, as I got irked by the inflexibility of the app which stump my writing momentum with its word limit, and the tediousness of adjusting my images to fit the square format. It was not completely the app's fault though - it's designed for literally blogging on the fly, whereas I prefer to craft my posts after I have a whole lot of images and content, hence feeling the frustration more. I also found myself spending too much time on the app reading the various accounts I follow, where it was just becoming an easy distraction from other much more constructive things I could be doing, that could actually add real value to my life. That said, I do enjoy using the app, and will continue using it - just in a different way from how I was originally posting there.

Most annoying: Facebook
Truth be told, I ask myself on a nearly daily basis if I should just delete my FB account. I use it to keep up with the lives of friends whom I don't get to see as often as I'd like, and while that's definitely a plus, I get more annoyed by the content and conversations which I have no interest in, and that takes up a good 90% of my feed (and this is after I have unfollowed several people whose posts were really too inane to me). I'm not criticising the people who post, since everyone has the right to choose what you want to share, but honestly, it's just not relevant or interesting to me.

On the other hand, I'm completely mystified by the amount of interest some acquaintances have in my life. These individuals, who send me friend requests that I accept out of politeness, then proceed to stalk my activities and ask me the most random things about them that frankly, shouldn't concern them at all, simply drive me nuts. Mind you, these are often not even posts I shared or posted, but simply a like or even RSVP to an event which they themselves are not involved in. It's a logic that's frankly, beyond my comprehension. Like, WHY? Don't you have anything better to do??

Hmm, maybe this deserves a tweet. :p

The ultimate bo-bian (no choice): LinkedIn
Doing what I do, and the fact that social media is only going to get more prevalent, it really was a no-brainer that I needed an account for this, which at times feels like the professional version of FB. Honestly I am pretty ambivalent towards it - I can see how useful it is and can be, and probably should make more of an effort to be more active and proactive on it, but I am just still avoiding that for as long as I could, cause it's just too much work (back to my limited time, much more interesting/useful things I can do with it theory). In the meantime, I shall do the minimal of keeping my profile updated and liking and sharing posts that are broadcast by my firm's LinkedIn account, Let's hope that the day I would be forced to actually upkeep an active profile on this space comes later than sooner. Much, much later (preferably never) will be the best case scenario.


Sometimes I feel like a walking paradox - I work in the communications field, but yet I often shy away from interacting with a large group of people, especially in the non-professional aspects of my life. I guess the main reason behind that is just that I enjoy communication, but it needs to be meaningful (to me). That in turn drives my strong preference for one-to-one or small group dynamics, as opposed to being part of a wider group. When any group size exceeds 6-8 people (and that's a stretch for me already), I find that the quality of real interaction is compromised to the extent that I don't gain much real value out of it, other than the general energy level of a group, which is nice for select occasions, but not most. Since I am also largely an introvert where my energy gets sapped by others, you can imagine how much I shy away from big groups in general.

So there you have it, a lowdown on my various (anti)social media. With the speed that technology evolves and advances these days, I won't be surprised if this list gets revised or amended/culled within a year. Until then, I shall continue on my merry antisocial sharing as I deem fit my lifestyle and preferences. ;)


imp said...

You're young and hip, that's why you know how to use Snapchat.

b.muse said...

@imp: Haha you can always find a way to see me in the best possible light! Muacks!