Twitter. LinkedIn. Facebook. Instagram.
I think I’ve gone through the whole range of grief stages in my relationships with these social media platforms over the years I’ve used them – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not always in that order, and sometimes more than once.
- I joined Twitter in January 2009, over 13 years ago.
- I joined LinkedIn in November 2008.
- I joined Facebook in July 2007.
- I joined Instagram originally in 2011, but left in about 2017. I rejoined (new account, new handle) again in 2019.
From all the social media accounts I’ve held over the years, these are the only ones I am still active on. Gone are Klout, Flickr, Academia.edu, SlideShare, Delicious, Quora, and many more I can’t even remember. While my account may still exist there, I am not using it.
The global pandemic has changed how we use these platforms. It’s certainly changed me and how I use them – I find there are fewer EdTech and Learning Technology conversations than before, replaced by (rightly so) concerns and anxieties around Covid, politics, health, mental health, Brexit, energy prices, Russia/Ukraine, fake news, etc. Don’t get me wrong, this is what social media is all for if you can find and stick to trusted or reputable sources and not get sucked into the fake, trolling, or clickbait conversations.
But this is not what I want from my online activity. Looking at the (basic) stats I can see on my Twitter activity (for example) I used to get between 100,000 and 130,000 ‘impressions’ in a 28 day period – that’s as low as 15,000-30,000 impressions now, demonstrating my lack of involvement on the platform.
Conversely, my activity on LinkedIn has increased (despite this platform now being used by many in a way that’s reminiscent of how I used to use Twitter) and my reach has also ‘improved. I have many more connections and followers, the posts or articles I share regularly get many more sentiment ‘likes’ or ‘celebrate’ than they used to, and the quality of conversations (open and in DMs) is much higher. This post on LinkedIn (April 2nd) has had over 7,600 views in 5 days.
Facebook is all but a distant memory for me. Last year I culled my list of who I follow to a very small group – sorry if you were one of those culled, it’s nothing personal, I just wanted to keep the number down low. Not that I post or share much anymore. I would delete my account totally but there are a few people, who mean a lot to me, and I only have Facebook as a means of contacting them.
I started Instagram again to share some winter holiday snaps with friends and family back in 2019, and stayed. If anything I browse and watch reels for some of the accounts and hashtags I follow, but nothing much more than that.
I know I am willing to share less than I used to, on any platform – perhaps this is why I feel such a love/hate relationship with social media now? Do really love/hate them, or is it deeper about how I feel about myself and my willingness to share? Being more middle-management and less LD/LT than I used to be, does anyone really want to hear about meetings, strategy decisions, leadership and line management woes, policy and process documents and the various stages these go through before they’re rolled out and accepted as business-as-usual? Perhaps I ought to embrace this side of my work and just get on with it?
Maybe. Maybe not. For the moment I’m not making drastic decisions to cull my online activity anymore, but I am coming to terms with not wanting to post as much anymore. That feels enough for now.
- This post is Day 56 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com