Over the last year, I expanded my social media presence. When I upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S5 in early December of 2014, I signed up for Instagram right away; I signed up to Twitter in January; recently, I opened a Tumblr blog. Yes, I'm typically late to the game, but I'm in the game nonetheless.
By contrast, I've deleted vast swathes of my Facebook history and hope to delete most of my personal presence from it soon. Facebook-style social media became something that consistently battered my ego, and after a second "hiatus" from that social network, I've minimized my presence there drastically. At this point, I exclusively use my personal Facebook profile as an address book and messaging service, and my "band page" will still be used if I ever get my music working again. I still check my Facebook every day, but I don't participate. It's like smoking without inhaling.
So over the year, what have these networks become to me?
Most importantly, they give me the ability to embed different types of short-form media into this website. As the year has progressed, my weblog entries here at jnordstrom.ca have grown more embedding-dependent. 30-second rants on Twitter have been a good outlet for days when I can't seem to focus on a singular topic; Instagram photos are stylish enough to make my banal life worth posting; Tumblr posts let me embed vain ideas or other people's art. As a student going through a research project, embedding makes room for easy citations and spreads my social media influence out a little. As if I have any influence in the first place.
Twitter has become what Facebook, for me, essentially was from 2007-2013. Over those years, I regularly posted interesting links to my Facebook. When people suggested that I should do this on Twitter, I wasn't really interested. For that period of my life, the private, limited audience of Facebook was all I desired, and I didn't have the self-control needed to avoid flame wars on Twitter. You can still find some of my immature comments underneath news articles here and there throughout the Internet; I didn't need to consolidate those comments in Twitter.
By 2013, however, my attachment to Facebook had grown pretty thin. I wasn't posting links very often and rarely engaged with anybody. I avoided any controversial content, and in turn lost relevance amongst my Facebook friend group. Facebook brought me no happiness.
Again, all this changed when I got the S5. Twitter was annoying to use on my Blackberry Torch, so I never used it, but the screen size on the S5 made it a reasonable option. Twitter is a more public space, which gives me the freedom to expres comparatively neutral opinions; where I felt oppressed by people's intimate judgement on Facebook, Twitter's inherent public-ness was a relief. Twitter's been useful for hearing what people are thinking, but I have to admit that I don't read very much there. It leads me to some news now and then and gives me a chance to rant every once in a while.
Instagram has helped me revive my love of taking artful photographs, especially when I don't live near a good developing store for medium-format film. I enjoy being on Instagram because it is both public and generally consequence-free.
Tumblr has become my place to be a little more ridiculous. I'm a little more self-conscious on Twitter and Instagram about posting selfies and whatnot because they connect to too many apps. Twitter and Instagram are simply too embedded in the fabric of social media to be overly silly, for my purposes. I assume that, when I start to look for work again, people will want to check out my Twitter to see my antics, and I'd like to avoid coming off as a Narcissist. But Tumblr is the realm of chaos and ego, so I can let my happiness with my weight loss shine through a little more there. I'm still learning how to use Tumblr effectively.
So what does it represent?
I think I've taken a sort of unique path to social media. As I mentioned, I came to all of these very, very late. And I certainly haven't developed a marketable image on any of them. They're all for me. And I have very little to say right now. I can only think in bite-sized chunks, and I can then spew those bite-sized chunks all over these three platforms.
This year of latecoming to social media shows the hodgepodge chaos of my life right now. I have no goal, no direction, and no overarching vision. I'm just trying to get by with what little I can.
So I guess it's almost actually representative of my life right now.
And if sure feels good to have generally disengaged with Facebook.
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas