Perks of taking a social media class: learning how to improve performance, keeping up with the latest techniques, figuring out analytics like a human being.
Downside: you realize how what you’re doing is not working.
When was the last time I updated this blog? It was a while ago. What’s the overall theme? It should be about my collegiate career. I think I tend to use this blog for churning out generic paragraphs that everyone has already read somewhere. The question this class specifically asks about blogs is, “Why bother?”
I started this blog as a requirement for a multimedia journalism class. I published regularly, had interesting content for the class, and generally enjoyed the experience. I felt like a rock star when my friends modeled their blog after my own. That was, what, two years ago? Two and a half? I don’t post nearly as often as I used to. I’ve tried a weekly model, a monthly. I can’t bring myself to follow these schedules, but I don’t want to give up on the blog either. What to do?
I’m now in my senior year, trying to prepare for a career. A career in…what…is yet to be determined. However, I am an educated social media user. I know my various online profiles will be used in any sort of job search I conduct for all time. @MorganEBarton is available across several platforms, which conveniently centralizes my online presence. While it’s convenient for me, it’s also convenient for anyone looking for my information. That’s a pretty creepy notion when I really think about it.
It’s a narrow line to walk. I want to keep my information limited to those I know are looking at it, like Facebook’s “Only Friends” sharing option. Through this, I allow my friends list to access my information. At the same time, I still want to remain searchable. Otherwise, employers think you have something to hide. Where can I draw the line between reserved and public?
I face this dilemma even in my jobs. My Twitter profile is set to public; anyone can read my tweets. Because of this, I try to self-monitor what information I share. However, I don’t monitor my followers very closely. When I gain followers, my natural curiosity goads me to look up who deemed my tweets as “readable.” Sometimes, it will be random businesses looking to grow their followers-base. Maybe, it’s a friend that finally joined the Twitter-verse. It will seldom be a porn bot, but those are the only followers I automatically block. Otherwise, my tweets are fair game.
That said, I work in a very contained environment. Residents ask if they can “friend” me on Facebook or if I will follow them on Twitter. Like I mentioned, my tweets are public. I don’t really care if residents follow me, because I willingly take the time to self-edit. I’m careful about what I put on Twitter. Will I follow back? Only if my residents can show the same restraint.
I’m just as careful with my Facebook account, but I know from experience that people tend to get too comfortable sharing things they shouldn’t be sharing. Knowing that, I don’t accept friend requests from residents. It just puts everyone in an awkward position when I see inappropriate posts. When we’re “friends,” I shouldn’t feel like I’m policing the content you produce and share.
In keeping with a public presence, I get this paranoid feeling that everything I do is wrong. I need to keep it relevant yet different. How do I stand out? Am I adding to the general discourse, or am I detracting and distracting from the issues? Is that what I want this blog to do?
Honestly, I don’t even know who is reading anymore. All I can do is hope that I am a positive presence online. That, and blog about my senior year. Who knows who might be following?