NOTE TO READERS: As you may know from my blog description/bio, I am currently in the process of studying for my MLS (Master's in Library Science); part of that involves writing some blog posts about various aspects of my education/experience/etc. In the hope that you all might get to know me a little better, I've opted to keep these posts on my blog along with reviews and other more public-minded posts; please feel free to reach out to me in the comments: I would love to know how your experiences compare and contrast with mine, and I hope to be able to get to know my readers better through some of this sharing.
I am a social media addict. It was one of the first things that my college friends noted about me in my freshman year, and I quickly gained what turned out to be one of the biggest things they remembered about me in college (besides, of course, my love of Shakespeare): I was a Facebook addict.
I would like to say that I've gotten better about social media since then. But that would be a huge lie. Since my freshman year of college I've increased my Facebook and Twitter usages, added Instagram and Pinterest, and started blogging in Booklikes.
A lot of people make fun of me for my love of social media. I've received comments about the way that I post things on Facebook or Instagram, I've received complaints about the frequency with which I utilize my social media as a sharing platform, etc. But I've also had my own struggles with how I use social media: as an English major and now an MLS student, books play a huge role in my life...and social media, in a lot of ways, can be seen as the antithesis of books; I've had to work to reconcile my love and use of social media with my identity as an English major and prospective librarian. And believe it or not, the answer I came to was not to ditch the social media...but to increase it.
My experiences with Facebook have varied throughout the years. When I first began using Facebook, I was a sporadic poster, and some of the things I posted are just embarrassing to me now (thanks, Facebook memories, for throwing my early teen years into my face...); as I continued to grow as an individual, I fluctuated between posting a lot and never posting (though always maintaining a presence), until sometime about two years ago I settled into my Facebook profile identity. Facebook is, for me, a scrapbook: it's a place where I can share pictures and songs and quotes, where I can save bits of who I am so that when the going gets rough (or when I'm trying to figure out things I might want to change), I have somewhere to turn to as a kind of journal. I know lots of people use Facebook as a professional tool, but I've simply never been inclined to utilize it in that way.
Twitter is something that I'm still learning. I've had my Twitter handle for years, ever since I joined in order to chat with a friend that I had met on an online forum, but--as with Facebook--I posted sporadically, and often things that were, quite simply, embarrassing to see when I look back on my tweets earlier this year. I find that Twitter is much easier to use as a professional platform, because it doesn't require people to comment or anything: a simple retweet or like allows people to connect with me professionally, and it's much easier for me to keep my Twitter geared toward a professional profile--though I do also make it personal, since for me it's important that people see both sides of me; I hate the idea of people getting one half of me and not the other.
Instagram is probably my absolute favorite social media platform, but it is also the most personal. Instagram has been, since my second trip to England, a huge sharing method for me: I can create professional quality pictures and share them on Facebook and Twitter, all through one easy application. As somebody who appreciates beauty, I love the ability to make my subpar iPhone pictures into something lovely--I actually have a blanket of Instagram pictures that I took while in England, and I've had a couple people think I bought a stock blanket; I love telling them that they're my pictures! As somebody who loves to share, Instagram lets me easily choose what is shared on what platforms--if I have a picture I don't want certain audiences seeing, it's easy for me to deselect a button. While I rarely take advantage of that (see my thoughts on sharing via Twitter), it's nice to know that the option is easily accessible.
Pinterest is the latest social media that I've tried my hand at. I have mixed feelings about it. Personally, there's not really enough originality there for me to get a huge thrill out of it: one of the things that I love about Instagram is the creativity, so the fact that Pinterest is largely sharing other people's creations doesn't really thrill me. On the other hand, it's a great way to collect things in one easy place: as a prospective librarian and an English major who love quotes, lists, etc., I really do appreciate the fact that if I'm trying to get my thoughts organized I can use Pinterest (which has a fantastic option to make a board private, so if I'm collecting ideas for a library program I don't want the public to see, I can use that option and then simply add collaborators that I want to have access to the board). I'm still getting the hang of Pinterest, but I got it because I think professionally it's a good tool to know how to use.
These are just a few of my social media experiences: I've also dabbled in online forums and other social media platforms, but if I wrote in depth about every single social media account I've ever created you would all end up knowing way more about me than I imagine you probably want to. So I'll leave it at this.
Please, again, feel free to share your own thoughts/experiences in the comments! When I created this blog, I wanted to be able to start conversations with my posts; with social media being such a prevalent (and sometimes controversial!) aspect of personal and professional relationships, I would love to kick-start some ideas and discussions.