Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tarleton Tip Thursday #23 : Choosing your social media platforms (personal)

Here are some quick tips on how to choose--and use--social media accounts.  Next Thursday's blog post will delve into how to manage business or non-profit accounts.

Image via TSMRI.
1. Consider your purpose. Why are you on social media?  Venting about work?  In that case, stay away from Facebook.  Looking for recipes? Try Pinterest or Tumblr. Maybe you just want to keep track of your favorite celebrities.  In that case, you can use Twitter, which allows you to see lots of updates from different people simultaneously.

No, not these platforms.
Image obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
2.  Know your platforms.  Facebook is good for keeping up with family and friends, but has lousy privacy controls and collects tons of information about people.  If this makes you feel like you've landed in a George Orwell novel, you may want to try another platform or even opt out of Facebook entirely.  Or, you could dabble in various networks to see which one you like the best.  Which brings us to...

Consider your privacy.
Image obtained via morguefile.com
3.  Consider your privacy.  If you want to tweet or blog about sensitive subjects, consider a pseudonym and a separate email, Google, or Wordpress account so that your two social media lives don't collide. If you share your computer with someone else, do not use the "remember password" feature.  If you want to try out Twitter, you may want to start with a private account (only people you authorize can see your tweets, and they can't be retweeted).  Keep in mind though that nothing is foolproof.  For example, one of your followers could always take a screenshot of a particularly sensitive tweet and post it online.

You can't tell, but he is having lots of fun.
French comedian Louis Funes, image obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
4.  Have fun.  No, really.  If you don't enjoy being on Facebook, or Twitter, etc., then delete your account and move on.

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