Social Media is as Much Work as Social

I’ve read the Pew Research Reports and other sources that indicate young people are leaving Facebook (since adults have moved into the virtual neighborhood) and are using Twitter and Instagram more heavily.

Tumblr is falling out of favor with younger demographics, too, because YAHOO! has purchased the company, and devotees fear that everything will change making what is cool into something corporate.

Everything always changes.  I’ve been around long enough to witness (and sort of adapt to) that truth.

Since I’m neither an early adopter nor a late adopter (I did get on Twitter before Hillary Clinton), I have recently added Instagram and Twitter to my social networking sites.

I’m going to skip Tumblr for now until I see how it trends, and besides, how much change does any one person need?

Maybe less than you think.  I have noticed already that many people (like me) tend to integrate their social media by posting the best of the Instagram photos on Facebook and Tweeting quips and links to Facebook.

There is a certain element of efficiency to this method, and (so far) not too much redundancy.  In fact, thinking back to the advertising dictum about the importance of reach and frequency (how many eyeballs you attract and how often the message is encountered) to successful selling, the strategy is probably a good one.

Of course, it raises the question, what are you selling (or buying)?

The answer to this is easy for me.  I am buying and selling the same things:  connection and ideas.  And, the process of doing so feels authentic to me because those elements are fairly consistent across my various outlets (including this blog).

The union of the personal connectedness and the marketplace of ideas also marks my social media use as both work and social because (as John Fiske describes intertextuality) there are surely “leaky boundaries” among all of the narratives that inform our lived experience and sense of our identities.

Mine is a whole cloth with patterns and textures woven into it instead of assembled swatches, which means that work and social or social and work overlap seamlessly, and I’m cool with that approach because I no longer have the burden of negotiating a bifurcated life where public and private are sharply divided and guarded.

This has nothing to do with how much I work or how much I play but, rather, how I am allowed to “be” in a unified way.  And, social media has proven one site for that unification.

I have also been surprised (for a relatively un-techie person) how easy it has been to establish the integration of my social media.

If you want to follow me on Twitter (mostly links to the blog posts but there may be some surprises coming up), I’m @MaryMDalton.

On Instagram, I’m marymdalton, and I do generally share the nicest photos on Facebook.

On Tumblr, I’m nonexistent until someone or something convinces me there is a reason to weave that network into my social/work tapestry of connection and ideas.

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2 Responses to Social Media is as Much Work as Social

  1. Mary, social media is both social and work, for me too and has played an important part in my life.

    In the years following a brain injury, I was alone and limited in my verbal communication. Social media was my connection to the outside world. On some days, it might have been my only interaction with another human being.

    The friends and information I gained online were crucial to my recovery. I shudder to think how isolated I would have been without this outlet.

    I, too, integrate my presence across platforms and find it most efficient to concentrate on one, Facebook for me, while just maintaining the others.

    I have written a manuscript, and am told that having an online audience helps to get an agent and publisher. It’s seredipitiously wonderful how it all works together!

  2. mdalton4 says:

    Thanks for that thoughtful response, Debbie.

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