Friday, October 02, 2015

Post-Facebook social media choices

Gaahh. It's been a messy few days. The Facebook name police seem to have placed my account in limbo for the nonce. I've told them exactly what I think of their precious real name policy. But what ought to have been a simple decision -- either accept that my name is "Sooz Cat," or delete my account entirely -- is turning into a needless power struggle, because they won't accept my name as valid, but (at least so far) they refuse to purge my account.

Ridiculous. Stupid. Bullheaded. Twits. Or as Douglas put it, "pettifoggery over nothing." So that's fun. mutta.

Even with the current bad taste in my mouth, I've found I can't swear off social media completely. I'm still an introvert, which means I'm often shy and socially awkward in person, and social media provides a way to connect with people while conserving my limited energy. That said, not all social media platforms are equally compelling to everyone. Over the last few days I've been figuring out which social networks I use and enjoy, and which ones aren't all that personally appealing.

Evidently I must love Blogger (or you wouldn't be reading this right now!). Before, during and after Facebook, this and other blogs have been my location of choice to share life experiences, write stories, muse, rant, geek out, wax whimsical on various subjects, and otherwise Goof Off. I'm not likely to change that any time soon, although many others have abandoned their blogs in favor of other social media sites -- and I do understand why; there's more of a chance for interaction in one centralized location. (Trouble is, what happens to your content if you get kicked off the site? At least here I can download regular backups of the blog to my hard drive; if things ever go south -- heaven forbid -- I'll still have the articles and comments intact.)

Twitter is fun, in a bumper-sticker slogan sort of way. As an inveterate chatter who prefers to go on at length about various subjects (sometimes to the point that my victims contemplate gnawing off a leg to escape), I usually find the 140-character limit too confining for actual social interaction. It seems to work best for advertising, quick takes on unimportant subjects, and writing pithy epigrams that will probably get me in trouble later.

I don't use Instagram or Pinterest, and have no particular desire to do so. Although I like gorgeous or striking visuals as much as the next person, and although I do a fair amount of crafting, I tend to organize my thoughts far more in words than in pictures. I also can't maintain the fiction that anyone else wants to ogle my dinner with a '70s filter applied, or pore over my latest scintillating knitting project. The closest I come to photo sharing is my Flickr account, which I use mostly to find public domain images to give this blog some variety. (Even I can admit that huge swaths of text need to be enlivened by pretty pictures every now and then.)

Not really enamored with Tumblr, either. I do have a Tumblr account, but it's gone dormant and I'm thinking of just closing it; I've found I don't care for Tumblr's visually jumbled display. Also, for some reason it has attracted a rather militant, brittle group of users who aren't much fun to interact with unless you happen to share their precise set of values, likes and dislikes. Pass.

Goodreads is useful, though I haven't made enough personal connections (or enough comments) to be as engaged with it as I am with other virtual communities. I do like having a place to keep track of what I've read or am currently reading, if only to serve as a reminder to finish a particular tome in the Teetering Pile, and I've found that using Goodreads actually encourages me to read more often -- even as a voracious reader, I've discovered it's too easy to fall out of the habit. (If you have an account there, feel free to come bug me; I go by the name "TPK.")

Sadly, Google Plus is a lot like a model home -- all bright and shiny with all sorts of useful bells and whistles, but nobody lives there. It could be a better version of Facebook if enough people actually used it, but getting them to switch -- or even to use both at once -- seems to be a Herculean task. Most of the time, posting a comment on G+ feels like yelling into an empty auditorium. Frankly, if I'm going to navel-gaze, I'd rather do it here!


MarieC said...

Miss you on Facebook...I might have to look for you on Twitter.

Soozcat said...

I miss my friends and family. Fortunately there are other venues.