My Rules for Posting on Social Media

Photo by William Iven

This week on MacPowerUsers, Katie and David chatted about how they’re using social media, and it reignited my thoughts on social media as well. In particular, I’ve found it helpful to consider a few rules when deciding what to post and where.

Slack

I use Slack primarily for work and try to reserve it only for time-sensitive or urgent matters. Slack has the benefit of being able to reach a number of people at once easily which is important when a server goes down and the phones in my office start ringing off the hook.

For anything work-related that’s not time-sensitive, I defer to email or just save a reminder in Omnifocus to discuss the topic the next time I see the person or group.

My hope is that enacting these boundaries in my own use will subtlely affect how others in my workplace view these tools as well, but for now, it’s a work in progress.

Facebook

My Facebook account is reserved for communicating with friends and a few family members. I don’t post all that frequently, but it is the place I try to share a few vacation or holiday photos. Otherwise, Facebook is primarily used for staying connected to a few groups and finding interesting events to attend in the area.

Instagram

I made the decision to keep my Instagram account public on the basis of one rule. You won’t find photos of my friends or family. Cliche photos of cats, food, concerts, and sunsets, yes, but I make it a point to not share photos of anyone I know personally. It’s by far one of my strictest social media rules, and I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea, but it’s something I’ve enjoyed sticking with.

Twitter

I’ve always felt like Twitter’s own rules have dictated much of its culture. The character limit, ability to easily retweet, and its generally snarky disposition leads me to be a little less professional than I probably should be. That being said, unless there’s an Apple event, it’s rare I tweet anything original. I use Twitter primarily as a news ticker showing me what’s going on in the world.

Do you have any rules or considerations you make when deciding where and what to post online?

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2 thoughts on “My Rules for Posting on Social Media

  1. Todd says:

    I used to hop on every social media platform when it came out, Facebook, Twitter, identi.ca, Plurk, Google+, and a bunch more that I have forgotten. Some I abandoned because they didn’t have much activity, others for various reasons:

    Facebook: I’d post here all the time sharing everything. I generally kept my profile viewable publicly. I left because it was such a time sink. The endlessly scrolling feed was what the cable TV remote was a couple decades before. Let’s just keep looking, something interesting will happen. Oh wait, how did 4 hours pass?

    Twitter: I was really in to this about 5 years ago and found what you did. It brought out the snarky in me. After a while I left. I didn’t need that side of me to be encouraged. I went back a couple months ago to see how it was and see if I couldn’t gain some blog readership there. Bad idea. I found it more snarky and now even a little mean. A lot mean for some people. I’d never feel better after going there than I did before so I dropped that.

    Instagram: I quite like this. I’m not terribly active but it does give me an outlet for sharing the occasional photo with a thought that’s too short to blog but I want to share. Oddly enough, I don’t find its interface as likely to make me endlessly scroll like the two above do.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Todd,

      I also tend to jump on social networks, but more to just grab my username up before anyone else does.

      Somehow I managed to miss the Facebook time suck. I still use it, but I’ve never found myself browsing it mindlessly. Instagram is another story. I will scroll through that for hours if given the chance, and really need to find a way to break that habit…

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