Now here’s the thing… I really love social media.
I understand it, I use it, I don’t believe it’s a modern day case of the emperor’s new clothes. I can see the advantages of Facebook, Twitter, youtube and Linked In (add or delete according to taste, fashion and whim) as plain as, well as plain as the lovely ermine trim on that shiny new emperor’s cloak, but I do have an issue with over-sharing.
I really don’t want my iPhone cluttered up with the stresses of other people’s school runs – I have enough stresses getting my real-life kiddies to school in uniform, with spelling revision done and school dinner money in hand without someone else who I maybe work with or know fleetingly and in a weak moment, have connected with, telling me about their skinny latte or their vodka hangover.
It’s painful in the extreme, wasteful of the medium and frankly incredibly self indulgent. Did you call or text 212 people when you were planning a loft clear-out in the past? Do you feel it would be a justifiable use of their time to read about your Monday morning blues? Come on. Get some self control. Just because it’s easy to use, please don’t exhaust it.
Let’s preserve social media for the good stuff that it does so well. Yep, if you’re a festival organiser, tell everyone the tents are going up. The chances are your followers are keen as mustard to know the news. If you are a Corrie actor then tell people that you have just filmed an amazing traffic accident scene (it’s always a car crash isn’t it?) But if I know you as a lawyer then please keep in mind that I want to believe that you are trustworthy and competent and I am not as keen to know you are still hung over on a Tuesday from a stag weekend in Amsterdam.
Friends, please keep me in the loop, but make it worthwhile. We’re all struggling to squeeze 28 hours into 24. Tell me about your upcoming 40th birthday party (if I’m invited) or the Mark Warner kids travel free offer that’s just about to end but don’t clutter my life with your choice of clothing for the day. Yes, by all means blend your personal life with your work persona – we are all people – but don’t confuse the two and if you are technically savvy enough to have linked all your social media together, then remember that what’s grist to the Twitter mill doesn’t necessarily play out as well on Linked In.
And while we are on the subject, please think on before you cc 10 people in on an email. Do the decent thing and remember they will have to actually read it before they realise it’s non-essential to life and delete. Oh and don’t be using social media to appeal for donations to charity that are thinly disguised opportunities for you to achieve a lifelong dream. Fine, ask for cash if you’re sitting in a bath of baked beans but not so you can explore the Inca temples in Peru. Here’s the news: I want to go too and I don’t want to pay for you to get their first.
So please before you post an update on yet another mundane page in your life, think about the preservation of the channel for all our futures. If we abuse it, people will turn off and take down those Facebook pages or worse still, stop following you. We need a new social order. Please adopt immediately.