Question of the Week: September 22nd, 2015

How do you approach various kinds of social media?

My approach to Facebook is mostly lurking.  I rarely comment but I do follow what other people say.  This contrasts with my boyfriend’s approach, which is to have arguments and discussions on a daily basis.

When it comes to large pseudonymous social networks, like Tumblr or forums, I honestly feel like I never get to know anyone.  In contrast, I’ve made many friends through blogging, including commenters and other bloggers.  Often these relationships are tenuous.  But tenuous relationships are good!

About Siggy

Siggy is a physics grad student in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and makes amateur attempts at asexual activism. His interests include godlessness, scientific skepticism, and math. While not working or blogging, he plays video and board games with his boyfriend, and folds colored squares.
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8 Responses to Question of the Week: September 22nd, 2015

  1. I’m also a lurker of sorts on Facebook. I almost never post anything except family type updates, but I comment regularly on my friends’ posts. On Twitter, I’m much more active, though I tend to retweet more than write original tweets. I prefer Twitter to Facebook because on Twitter I can choose who to follow based solely on whether I like what they post or not, while on Facebook I’m friends with co-workers, family, and other people that I’m not always fond of what they post.

    I’ve made friends on Twitter (though not anyone I’ve actually met in person because I got to know them through Twitter), whereas on Facebook I only accept friend requests from people I already know.

  2. Sennkestra says:

    I mostly use facebook for the messaging and organization features – it’s a good way to keep in touch with friends and organize group outings. I almost never post statuses or links anymore though, unless I have something I’m trying to broadcast to everyone I know (like having a new cell phone or something). I do occasionally comment on things, but mostly if I’m bored and killing time. I generally keep all my arguing/debating/topical conversation for tumblr and/or wordpress.

    As for twitter, I basically only use it when I want to show friends a picture or when a tumblr or other conversation/argument spills over there, so it tends to have a lot of confusingly un-thematic content and really long periods of nothing.

    And as for making connections – for everything except tumblr/wordpress ace blogs, I generally only add or follow people if I’ve actually met them offline first, so I don’t really use them as a way to find new friends. I’ve sort of built connections to some people through ace tumblr/blogs, but it feels pretty tenuous unless I’ve met them in person at least once (which at this point includes a suprisingly large number, though). Aside from that, it usually depends on the volume of our interactions more than the platform (though wordpress comment systems definitely make it easier to interact).

  3. luvtheheaven says:

    I don’t like Facebook because it’s a way to stay connected to “real life” friends and family, but not just your favorite ones, but ALL of them. Even the family members you kind of dislike but stupidly accepted their friend request and now it’d be “rude” to unfriend them. Even those people from high school who you never knew well and now don’t know at all but are technically still your friends. Facebook is the real you, employers and co-workers and new potential employers can see parts of it. However, at select times, it’s a nice site. It’s the only place I’m connected to certain old friends or certain cousins of mine. I can send a Facebook message or group message about meeting up to hang out or to ask a question even if I don’t have their phone number, address, or email address. I can be messaged where someone asks me for my address privately so they can send me a wedding invitation. I can see photos I would have never seen of these people I am curious about, or even that I myself am tagged in. And private Facebook groups have proven very useful to me recently in a few ways. I enjoy some of the features Facebook has to offer for sure. That being said, lately I’ve been on Facebook a ton more than in past years mainly because of my remote, online volunteer work requiring us to stay connected through a secret Facebook group or two, and in other aspects of it, I am mainly just a lurker. It takes a lot for me to decide to comment or write my own post.

    tumblr, I certainly don’t feel like I get to “know” people on there very often, but maybe one or two people. Most people are random blogs I follow or that follow me, or are people I knew first in real life (in rare cases), knew first from WordPress blogs, or knew first from YouTube and my vidding/fandom life, knew first from twitter (often overlapping with YouTube). So I do know some people quite well on tumblr, but not BECAUSE of tumblr. We just both happened to have tumblrs, AFTER we got to know one another, so… tumblr is addicting and very fun and I do a ton of reblogging with commentary, adding to posts in a way that is my own original content more often than posting my own stuff, but I do make original posts sometimes too. It doesn’t feel like a “social” media site to me as much as a way to waste hours of time in a solo way, though. It feels detached from socializing. It feels impersonal and… idk hostile at times, but usually neutral. I don’t have “Tumblr friends”.

    twitter… I link my tumblr to my twitter, so every time I post on tumblr or reblog on tumblr, my twitter followers see it. That complicates things but it means my twitter friends — 99.5% of whom I do not know in real life — are more like friends to me, who might know I have a tumblr, and be interested in my tumblr. I use twitter to have long one-on-one conversations with fandom friends. To send quick messages to them too. Most of my use of twitter activity is fandom related but some of it is otherwise social justice oriented and I retweet links to news articles, retweet succicnt sentiments I agree with, etc, etc.

  4. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    I have the facebook presence mostly for job/networking purposes: other writers, showing my “face” in some fantasy-addict groups, Federal Agency for Magical Creatures, etc. Some RL people are friended, but since most of them actually boycott that place, it’s not too many. Also, I’m using it with the writer’s pseudonym, so that makes it less likely for people from years ago to find me. My statuses are mostly blogposts from the writing site plus ads for petitions, political opinions and stuff. Very few personals, though those tend to get more attention.
    I’ve actually made a friend that way, though it did require some actual meetspace time to do that.
    Most other people I meet, via FB and the blogosphere, I’d call loose acquaintances. (Yeah, I know. No tumblr, no twitter or instagram or whatnot. Because: When? )

  5. Cobra! says:

    I’m on the fence with the whole social media thing, on one hand, I don’t like how society has been reduced to doing nothing but stare at small screens on their phones when they’re out and about, I think it’s one thing to do it on a PC, because then you’re in your own house and such, but when you’re out and about, some people end up ignoring others talking to them or ignore anything important and prioritise Facebook or Twitter over everything else, which feels wrong to me.

    On the other hand, I like how these platforms has let us share the truth about this world, in Scotland, where I live, during the referendum, social media is what has allowed real news to spread and the support for independence is rising and there’s no sign of stopping, a majority of us found out how corrupt the UK, and most other countries, and we want out! Sure we lost the referendum, but many ‘no’ voters have since changed their minds, and say they will never go back.

    I get serious addiction problems with social media, and I have to use add-ons on Firefox and Chromium to stop me going on it so much by eradicating my news feed. (and to give it a Scots translation of the site in the process!)
    However, I fear I’ll be “living under a rock” by doing this, so like I said, I’m mixed about it all.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    My reaction to facebook is “NO GET IT AWAY!” most of the time, but on the occasions when I check in, I almost invariably just lurk. Maybe press like once or twice. It feels pretty fake to me, because I have to separate my identities and my friends… mostly aren’t? Only very few of the people I have on my facebook are actually close friends. Most are acquaintances or family members. More than once I’ve had abusive people use facebook to get to me, and besides that there’s just a bunch of passive aggressive BS going on. I still have to use it to organize meetings with friends who won’t be available in any other way.

    I use Twitter to post links I’m reading, mainly. Occasionally I’ll log on to post a funny comment or something. I rarely actually look at Twitter directly, but I like it when I’m bored or in a waiting room or something (if I have internet access). Twitter gives me more anxiety than other platforms, but less than facebook.

    I like Pinterest for non-stressfully wasting time. I don’t really connect with friends there though. It’s mostly a solo browsing activity for me.

    Obviously I’m a blogging person more than a forum person and no need to get into more detail on that, but I have certainly made friends on forums, too. They feel a lot more intimate when they’re small. Although I’m also on a gigantic forum (on which I just lurked for years before posting even one thing) and part of some small gaming groups that only accept members from that forum and through doing that I’ve made friends. From forums alone it doesn’t really happen, but if there’s some other activity tied to a forum, then I’ll be more likely to make friends there.

    • Silvermoon says:

      I have a fake-name Facebook which is basically, at this point, just to keep up to date with queer events happening with my friend circle/in my city. I don’t ever make friend requests- just accept those from other people. And I only ended up getting it in second year of my course because I /had/ to contact my classmates somehow.

      Tumblr I also keep a fairly low profile- I mostly reblog, post things I cook, and only follow ~60 blogs. I have actually made a couple of new friends there, because I always talk to the same people.

  7. Sciatrix says:

    I am basically done with Tumblr. Too stressful, too exhausting, and not enough interesting textual content for me in among all the photosets. Facebook, I’m on but in a censored form of me, which I’m trying to relax about. I have a twitter under my work name and occasionally use it, but generally not for stuff I wouldn’t be okay with coworkers seeing, so usually not ace stuff.

    I am much more relaxed under my pseudonym, and right now most of my online commenting appens on MetaFilter or here.

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