Social media simplicity
Scaling back my personal syndication
Hey friends. You may have noticed that I’ve stopped posting on* Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Google+* — every social network besides Facebook, in fact.* Do I dislike these other networks? No. I’ve just found the process of posting the exact same things across multiple times across platforms to be curiously stressful lately.
I know that there are plenty of services that make social media cross-posting much easier — Buffer, Hootsuite, IFTTT, and Instagram’s external sharing feature, to name a few — but none of them allow me to fully utilize each network’s unique features. Buffer and Hootsuite won’t let me add more than one photo to any one Instagram post. No cross-posting services work well with Facebook’s increasingly robust albums feature, or their Feeling/Activity tagging, which I enjoy. It’s hard to consistently tag locations in cross-posts, and even harder to tag friends. And Snapchat just plain doesn’t play well with others.
I realize why each of these services are great. Snapchat is a fantastic composition tool (save for the photo resolution) — it makes the act of sharing easier than any other I’ve seen. If a photos- and videos-only feed is what you want, Instagram is the nicest one out there. Twitter is awesome for having public conversations. Google+… used to be kind of cool. The thing is, Facebook does all those things, too, even if they aren’t its focus. And it does a whole lot more as well (I especially love the backdating feature). Totally makes sense that that added complexity can be a turn-off to a lot of people, but that’s how I roll.
And I can understand some folks’ desire to separate a more curated profile of their life from the more mundane, day-to-day sharing pioneered by Snapchat and since copied by Facebook (ostensibly in every single app they own). I’ve just got more a of a Derek Sivers “do everything in public” sort of philosophy, so to me, if something’s worth sharing, it’s worth saving.
The reason I kept up reposting on several different networks for so long was because I have a few friends and family members who only use Instagram, or only use Snapchat, or only use Twitter. I don’t want to have to miss out on their lives by restricting my online social life to Facebook.
But just recently, I realized that I don’t have to post on a social network to still use it. There’s nothing stopping me from just checking in on my Instagram family every now and then even if I never post another photo for the rest of my life. And I guess I’m holding myself to a double standard of sorts if I don’t require all my non-Facebook friends to post on Facebook for me and yet expect myself to keep posting the same things to multiple networks to make sure all my friends get the chance to see it. Just like I check extra networks to see what my non-Facebook friends are up to, if my non-Facebook friends really want to see what I’m up to they can just as easily create a free Facebook account solely for the purpose of engaging with other people’s posts. Or they can just pop by my public Facebook timeline every now and then to see my public posts (which accounts for like 90% of my posts anyway) without even needing an account.
It’s a lot easier to listen than to post. So let’s all post to our favorite place(s) and just listen everywhere else.
Please keep tagging me on other social networks!
A secondary reason, by the way, that I want to hold onto my non-Facebook accounts is so I can still be part of the conversations in those places. I still want to be tagged on Instagram, on Twitter, and by golly I’ll still respond there. Just know that if you want to catch my own periodic life updates, you’ll need to take a quick look at Facebook. 👍
In case anyone’s wondering why I’m posting this on Medium instead of Facebook Notes and seemingly countering the entire point of this article, let me clarify: the philosophy is simply “post everything once”, not “post everything in just one place”. I’d be totally happy with Facebook Notes if they allowed for normal block quotations. 😅 So for the time being, I’ll post long-form stuff on Medium and everything else on Facebook.