How and why I use social media. Seems every few weeks I come across another post or article decrying the use of social media, and while on the one hand I totally get it- social media has been the cause (or at least symptom) of a lot of what ails modern culture- on the other hand, I think it really depends on how you use it.

Here’s my back of the napkin social media life:

Facebook: I keep my account so that I know when someone has big family news- death, marriage, baby. This seems to have become the de facto way of sharing this type of news and I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth talking to a friend or colleague I only see once in a while.I generally check in once or twice a week.I never post.

Instagram: I follow a lot of national parks, country accounts, interesting creators and photographers. I like to look a pretty pictures. I don’t rely on it to show me everything about the few personal accounts I follow. I mainly use it as eye candy. Check in first thing in the morning to see beautiful things while drinking my coffee.

As for posting, I like using the story function to put up random shots. The fact that they are here and gone appeals to me. Gives me a reason to snap a pic every now and then. I do tend to post quotes in my feed, but that is more for my business persona than anything else. (Have to maintain the brand somewhere, and I like Instagram best for this purpose.)

Twitter: Oh Twitter, the love to hate social media sibling. Honestly, Twitter has always been and probably always will be my favorite place to hang out. I keep my follow list around 100 and fill it mostly with authors and creators I enjoy reading about. Politics is pretty ruthlessly pruned out.I generally don’t follow people I know in real life- few of them are even on here. I’ll check in a couple times a day and post sporadically. I tend to respond to other people’s content more than I create my own here. (My personal blog does auto share to Twitter).

LinkedIn: I use this everyday, multiple times a day. I’m a job search coach so I have to live here. It’s fine.

I’ve never had social media make me feel anxious, depressed, FOMO or anything else that a lot of people talk about. All of my accounts have a pretty small follow list (around 100) and even then I have a few people muted from time to time. The algorithm doesn’t really seem to affect me. Don’t give it a lot to chose from and it tends to show you everything I guess. It’s a pleasant distraction or a tool. It has as much power as you want it to.