It was pretty interesting reviewing my social media walls, especially as I searched farther and farther in the past; my usage, habits, and shared identity have evolved pretty significantly. Out of all my current social media sites, I’ve used Facebook the longest. I used to post multiple times a day, typically about mundane daily events or articles I had come across. Scrolling through my wall, I noticed a significant evolution in my Facebook habits about two years ago; I started posting less and less frequently as time went on. My more recent posts were about bigger life events (although I still post and share articles or funny pictures) and less about how I’m feeling on a given day. One thing that hasn’t really changed throughout my Facebook posts is that they typically don’t reveal anything overly personal; I don’t post ‘woe is me’ statuses or super negative statuses. I always avoid sharing a post when a family member dies, or I experience a life roadblock, rather I try to focus on positive life events – things that I think are worth sharing. I don’t want all of my Facebook friends to know when I’m going through a rough time because I feel like that’s what my close friends and family are for.
Looking at my other social media pages, I would say I have similar habits but there has been less of an evolution in my habits on these other sites. On Twitter I’ve always had a ‘day in the life’ kind of posting habit; I tweet quick tidbits about what I’m thinking, where I am, or what I’m doing. I don’t share many articles or websites on Twitter, instead using the platform as more of a soundboard for where I’m at in my day/life. Looking through my Instagram and blog were probably the most interesting (a majority of my blog posts are pictures) because the posts on each platform revealed some themes. Many of my Instagram photos are of nature/food/random weird things/my surroundings; I have very few ‘selfies’ because I prefer to document what’s around me. It got me thinking. I think the biggest reason I avoid ‘selfies’ is because I get to see myself every day; I get to see amazing sights or a delicious new food not as often. Sharing my surroundings also gives my family and friends a more realistic picture of what I’m up to. My blog had a slightly different theme. Like Instagram, it contains many pictures of nature because I love to travel, but it also contains quotes and pictures that evoke emotion or make me think twice. Overall I would say that I’ve used my blog as a hybrid means of self-development and inspiration.
In thinking about each my social media platforms, it seems that most of my postings convey who I am and who I want to be as a person; they convey my values, things I like to do, and my personality. Comments on certain posts mean a lot to me, whereas comments on other posts are nice but mean less. For example, if I post about a personal accomplishment or an interesting article, comments from my friends or family help reaffirm my success, my ability to overcome something, or the relevancy of things I find interesting.
In reviewing my social media postings, I think the main reason I post and share on these platforms is to connect with people I normally wouldn’t be able to connect with – family far away, friends back home, etc. These platforms offer me a way to stay in touch and maintain a relationship similar to one I would have with them in person. For example, now I might share a webpage with my college roommate on Facebook because we live on opposite sides of the country. If she and I were still roommates, I would probably tell her about the same webpage while we were both lounging around; the ability to share it online allows to maintain the relationship we had when we were in the same state.