I’m just going to put it straight out there and say I don’t know how much I love this whole social media thing anymore. I mean, one day I love it and feel all happy to connect with so many gorgeous people, and then the next day I’m flipping at the newest Facebook change designed to manipulate our minds and data. I try to give it up. But then I remember just how many awesome people I connect to and the magick we have already made in so many ways with facey, and I realise that I still want to be there.
So I’m committed to making social media work for me. Otherwise, if I don’t, it makes me more anti-social. You know that feeling when you don’t actually want to check your notifications because there’s a whole heap of crap you don’t want/need to know in there. Yeah, we’ve all been there. But we can also all make choices to put an end to the overwhelm of unnecessary info.
Social media seems to be something we’ve all been trained to believe we need, but actually don’t. Yet we keep on using it – because it has it’s benefits too.
I’ve been making changes over the past couple of months as to how I receive information and it has made a huge difference to my everyday. Since it seems to be a conversation I’ve had with lots of different people this month, I thought I’d share with you some tips for what I’ve been doing with Social Media, and perhaps inspire you to clean up yours as well – if you’re into that
Your needs for social media are probably different from mine. That’s cool, take what you need from this article. And if you do subscribe to any of my profiles, give me a shout out in the comments below!
Social Media and subcriptions
Really, I don’t love Facebook as much as I could. What I do love though is Instagram. And Pinterest. And my blog reader. And I even like direct email. But Fb, it’s just become too anti-social for the kind of social life I choose to have.
I used to dislike direct email, feeling as though it was overwhelming to open my inbox each day to epic loads of marketing and irrelevant crap. But now, I choose my mailing list subscriptions carefully. I chose subscriptions from bloggers and businesses that I really like to hear from, and who do actually send content worth reading, rather than blatant marketing.
It’s all part of my plan to have realationships, and village community even on a global scale.
Another part of that darling R.E.b.E.L.s, is that I wish to have realationships with my own subscribers too! I’ve been cutting back on the Fb use. Fb no longer lives on my devices, – yep it’s not on my phone! Which means I can only get on when I’m on the big computer, and even then, that’s only when my ‘work’ stuff is complete for the day.
For now I’m still keeping my Hollie B. profile open. Because occasionally I like to cruise the feeds and see what interesting things people are saying. And so many friends use Fb as a way to communicate nowadays. What happened to SMS yo!?
Anyway, you might be interested to follow my profile. You’ll find me at facebook.com/hollie.b.lunation but be warned, it’s not all love and light and pretty pictures of unicorns and rainbows. Ha, as if you thought that! Do you even know me!?
Nah, I post whatever I want to share and lots of it is political and controversial and often offends or confuses people who have uptight and closed views about different things. So come with your free mind if that’s your thing, and you and me will get along just fine.
Unless you live under a rock (which I don’t actually think would be all that bad!) you will know that Facebook pages do not reach many of the ‘likers’ who are subscribed. For example, the Institute page is sitting on around 370 subscribers, yet no more than 60 people ever actually see my posts. This is the same story for all Pages and there is a solution if you really want to see them all – you just pop up to the top of the page, which is really at the bottom of the cover photo, and click on the little arrow on the like button. There will be a popdown with the option : Get Notifications.
Now you really only want to get notifications for the pages you are really really interested in – and don’t want to miss out on any news form – like the Institute yo! Go through your pages and see which ones you really do need to keep up with. The others; well, ask yourself if you really even need to know anything about them. Same goes for groups – those are a real bugger because people add you to those without your permission. Nip that shit in the bud by removing yourself and ticking the box that says people can’t add you again.
SM tip #1 : It’s totally okay to unlike a friend’s page
Particularly if you only ever clicked it to ‘support her’. Better for the info and ads to be going to the people who actually want it instead of you. The ratios are so small for delivery as it is that if you’re not interested, it is actually better for your friend if you’re not there!
Now the other thing we have to talk about in terms of your notifications is your ‘friends’. You know that it really doesn’t matter what your bestie had for breakfast, or even what your cousin is making, or that your ex-boyfriend is moving house. Seriously! How much information do you need?
Although it’s acceptable to unlike a friend’s business page (especially if you’re not their target market) it does get a bit hairy when you start unfriending people. You know the difference right? Pages are often businesses or other entitites. Profiles and friends are (mostly) real live people and probably people you know in the real world.
But do you know that you can hide people in your feed? I have 845 ‘friends’ on my profile – which by the way is not my only profile – I have another one specifically for close family friends and relatives who are not interested in my work – it’s more about being able to check them out every now and then and see what’s going on in their world.
Although I love that people want to be connected with me (many of whom are customers or have come across my work or just like the stuff I post about) I don’t want to see everything about their lives. Actually. I don’t want to see anything about their lives. Do you know our brains can only hold the information of 200 people in our consciousness at any one time. I read that somewhere. That means that of those 200 people we’ve got to hold family members, friends, neighbours, inspirational role models – not to mention your kids’ best friends’ parents, the soccer coach, and the lady who sells you coffee everyday.
Whoa that’s way too much for me.
SM tip #2 : It’s totally okay to hide your friends
Here’s how you do it :
In your News Feed, notice a friend you don’t want to hear about. Click on the little down arrow in the right corner. It will come up with a bunch of options. Unfollow that person.
And best thing is, your friend won’t even know – so there’s none of that drama that could come up, and your friend can continue on being the facebook user that they want to be, without any ill events. It’s a win win.
SM tip #3 : It’s totally okay to be unavailable
Any message you receive on Facebook can probably wait until tomorrow. The really important people in your life will have your phone number – and if they don’t, go and sort that shit out yo! Everything else can wait for another day. I promise, your life will still be good without the daily updates and the streams of Father’s Day messages – like those messages aren’t even addressed to you – they’re to all of your friends’ fathers. (weird. #justsaying)
I promise that the less you use Facebook, the more you will enjoy life. There’s a heap of research about how our brains are affected by screens and in particular social media and none of it is great. Get away from the scrolling page and go actual visit a friend. That’s how we really build community.
SM tip #4 : Social Media doesn’t have to be all memes and your friends’ breakfast update
Here’s some other options, with pros and cons – in my opinion of course.
I’ve written about Instagram before (read more about how to use Instagram here). It’s basically a newsfeed of images with short captions. It is a device thing – as in you can only use it’s basic functions from your phone or iPad (although if you want to use it for business stuff and post images from your computer check this app out). You post your photos of everyday life that you’ve captured on your phone (do people even still buy cameras?) and your followers can see your pics.
It’s a quick-flick-through type media, and you also have the option to send photos directly to friends only to keep some things private. There are also privacy options so that only people you choose to allow can follow you.
My Instagram profile is hollie_b_inst4selfcrafting
Choose who you follow including many businesses (no unsolicited ads)
Keep some images private while others can be public
Can see what your friends are loving most – makes it personal and real
Hashtags (see this about hashtags)
Can include short videos
May receive special offers and discount codes unavailable anywhere else
Feed only shows you one image at a time : no information overload!
Link to Facebook, Twitter and others – it will post your images with captions direct to your other profiles.
Can add locations (but don’t have to)
Can control notifications and push feeds
Can’t filter types of information in your feed from each profile so you get a plethora of everything that profile is interested in including homelife, their friends’ wedding and their new puppy… (can contribute to information overload)
Probably uses a lot of data
Can have double up info (where the person has a linked account to Twitter or Facebook you could be seeing the photos twice (more information overload) – just fix that by choosing where you subscribe to each friend.
Oh my I am in love with Pinterest!
Think of it like a wall in your office, with different pin boards stuck up on the wall for each of your areas of interest. Anything! But it’s all online. No more printing and keeping interesting ideas for later in a big messy folder. Just link pages you’ve found online straight to your pin board so you can go back to it later. You may pin pages from the web, or browse the ever growing Pinterest database for more ideas than you can use in one lifetime.
My Pinterest world can be found at pinterest.com/lunation
Image based with captions
Can choose to follow specific interests. eg. I have numerous boards on Indigo Mamaing, Montessori and home education, building natural houses etc etc. So if you’re into building something gorgeous but you ain’t doing kid stuff, you can simply choose the boards that interest you. Whenever I post something to that board, it will come up in your feed, and if you like it, you can stick it on your board to go back to later.
Can choose to follow EVERYTHING that one person is into (if you really like that person)
Search option – for many things I search straight to Pinterest instead of google.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a feed of info, you can just use your own boards to save info and ignore the following option.
Can control notifications and push feeds
Can access on device or desktop (I actually prefer to browse Pinterest on my iPad for the size and volume of the feed. Experiment and see what works for you)
There are questions about copyright and plagiarism with Pinterest that could make it’s use different in the future. To avoid problems, always pin images directly from the we page source and give credit where credit is due.
Uses heaps of data and can drain your battery on older devices
They tried to introduce ‘pins you might be interested in’ which was very unpopular. Not sure if they are still trying it as I turned mine off. It’s easy enough to do. When those pins show up in your feed, you can click on them and say no thanks.
If you don’t check your feed often you can effectively miss posts from your favourite boards (which is only relevant if you’re using it in the feed mode)
Must browse a whole page – can’t browse one pin at a time (is not good for the eyes and brain to be trying to process so much info at once)
I use blog lovin. They have just done some major updates which makes the app much better on the iPad. It is also available on your desktop computer.
A blog reader allows you to subscribe to particular websites so that each time they post an article tit comes up in your feed. Unlike other social media outlets (like ones that start with ‘F’ and end in ‘book’ your subscriptions are never filtered. If you subscribe to the site, their articles will be in your feed until you read them.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Can mark as unread if you want to go back to it again
Can like posts to ‘bookmark’ them
Can search for new blogs in theme and similar blogs to your current subscriptions
Never miss an article by your favourite sites
Can skip any article that doesn’t look interesting
Can check the feed as often or as little as you wish and it will all still be there
Can control notifications
Can access on device or desktop
Sometimes when you search for a blog on the iPad it can’t be found. Weird. Solution to this seems to be to go on desktop and ‘add blog’ to their listings.
The article in most blog readers is not shown identical to the actual website. It may be missing photos etc. there is always a click through link though to view on website.
Can take a while to load but once it’s up it’s good to go
This is the old-skool option for internet marketing. We used to be told as online business people that direct email is the only way to go. But then people went all crazy with the advertising and consumers went all overwhelm with the hundreds of emails in their inbox.
My advice here is choose wisely. Do you need 400 recipes in your email box each day? I reckon you don’t, but it wouldn’t hurt to have those same recipes in your blog reader for when you feel like having a look….
You can subscribe to my direct emails here :
Can get to the emails when you get to them
Don’t miss any important info from your favourite sites
Control what you see – if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just delete the emails that aren’t urgent for you.
Get access to special offers that are often not advertised anywhere else
Can be overwhelming when you open your inbox to hundreds of emails! Choose wisely
Can be overwhelming when bloggers include the story of their life with their articles aka not necessary!
Can take a while to load if the email has lots of images etc.
if you’re using a blog reader this will often be the same info in different forms. Again, choose wisely!
Can’t control notifications
In the end, we need to remember that we control the social media we engage with, and the information we see. There was a world before Facebook, where we made phone calls, wrote letters and stopped in the street to talk to friends. I want that world again much more than sitting up late in the dark scrolling through my friends’ photos of dinner and their newest favourite wine. #justsaying
You have options for what you see and how often you choose to see it. Be brave!