I think about all of the different social networks I am a part of and realize how blessed I am to be a part of so many great communities. I love interacting with my community online via forums (DOC – Documentary Organization of Canada – has a good one that is such a great tool for our industry), Facebook (I have my own page, project pages, a corporate page and participate in a few public and private groups), Linked In (I am still trying to figure out how to get the most of this one – any tips you can offer are more than welcome), Twitter (I still have not figured out how to maximize the hash tags), Instagram (my 14 year old recently offered a few helpful tips), Pinterest (I have a few ideas for boards but don’t have a lot of free time these days), and this blog. Do people even care what I have to say? When people respond to my posts, I have to admit that it makes me feel good. I get a good feeling inside when I receive a notification that someone has accepted one of my requests or responded to one of my posts. I would love to spend even more time on social media but I have to work and attend to my studies. Social media can be such a time sucker (not to mention, addicting…)
In Chapter 5 of Understanding Social Networks, “The Psychological Foundations of Social Networks”, Kadushin writes about the three motivations to network. The first being the need to feel safe, effectance (the motivation to reach out beyond your comfort zone), and status or rank seeking. I didn’t set out to seek status but now that I have been spending more time on social media for this course, I am suddenly paying attention again to the number of friends, followers, posts, retweets, likes – and admittedly, my insecurities come out.
When I get annoyed with people and some of what I think are silly posts, I have to remind myself that social media is not reality – people hold back some things and choose to reveal others. It is not a full picture. And – why do people choose to discuss their divorce or personal conflicts in this public forum? And, again with my insecurities creeping out, what do people think about my online presence? How am I projecting myself? Should I be holding back more?? I will have to ask my best friend for some honest feedback….