What do you use social media for?

We’re already in July! How quickly time flies! In less than 10 days my younger brother will leave the nest to pursue his Masters degree. I never thought he’d leave before me :\ But well, our journeys are towards different destinations therefore our vehicles must also be different. If you visit our house now you’ll wonder which storm hit us. There are suitcases all around the place, things thrown about, many shopping bags; nothing is where it should be.  I have also begun my packing. As in, I’ve started taking out things and sorting them into ‘take’, ‘leave’, and ‘throw or donate’ piles so that I don’t run around headless at the last moment. I’m also wrapping up at my workplace. Next week is my last week in this company and honestly, I’m looking at my last date the way Ramsey Bolton’s hungry hounds looked at him in the season 6 finale of Game Of Thrones (That was immensely satisfying BTW.)

Due to all this, I’ve been absent from this blog. In May I did a May Blogging Challenge, where I was trying to blog everyday (Read all of them here.)  However, in June I was able to blog only a couple of times.  That’s okay; those two posts were extremely important and relevant to me – about negativity and Brexit. But in June I discovered a new way of expressing my thoughts – Snapchat! The blog that I wrote on Brexit was actually a series of snaps on Snapchat. It’s just that I wanted to quickly address the topic within that day itself which wouldn’t have happened had I written about it. I’d have to spend more time if I were blogging, and I’m always more comfortable speaking than writing (As proven by my IELTS scores for these sections :P) Until then I had used Snapchat only for mundane things, like sharing pictures or whatever; I had only once before done a snap video of myself. I loved this new experience! I was a little bit nervous but the next morning I woke up to positive responses to it. I’m now leaning towards doing this sort of a thing again. Which brings me to the point of this blog post…

What do I use social media for? Do I treat all social media sites the same way? Why am I on social media in the first place?

Well, this is not a self-introspection type of a post. I just want to let people know what to expect and what not to from my social media profiles. To begin, the first point is about why I am on social media. Well, the first reason is that I want to stay updated about my friends’ lives and vice versa. Yes, I know that most of the things that people post on social media are about the happy side of their lives, it’s not a true representation of their life. It’s the same with what I post too. For the serious and heavy information, we have Whatsapp, FB Messenger, email and snail mail. Social media is only about staying informed about the little updates – like my friend’s weekend getaway, or their cousin’s wedding, things that don’t warrant a personal message basically. The second reason is that I want to share some of my talents with the world. Through my blog I share my writing. Through Instagram I share my photography. And that helps me connect with other people of the same talents. The third reason is that I want to create a personal brand for myself. Eventually I want to be a well-known figure in my industry. Just like how a corporate brand needs a bit of marketing, so does a personal brand. Think of all the icons you know – they all do personal branding. I know it sounds a bit frivolous but it’s in line with my career ambitions. The final reason is that it’s my source of a lot of different kinds of information. Be it breaking news, investigative stories, How-Tos, or anything else really – Social media is a fantastic source of information. These are the reasons why I’m on social media.

Next point – how I use each social media platform. Yes, I use each of them differently, for different purposes. The social media platforms I use the most are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest (Although I don’t treat this as a social media platform.)

screenshot
Social media apps on my mobile home screen
  • Instagram – I use this to share snippets of my life – what I do, where I go, what I like, etc., in the form of visually appealing photographs that could tell its own story without me having to write a long story for it. While that is the primary purpose, I sometimes post photos which I take just for creativity. I’m also very particular about people whom I follow on Instagram. I want to see visually appealing and creative photos on Instagram. Whether it’s about your life or your photography skills, I’m looking for visual appeal and creativity. And in my books, selfies do not fall in this category. I don’t quite get the point of posting selfies on Instagram. Once in a while is totally fine; but there are accounts that are full of selfies. Not even fun or unique selfies. Just boring old selfie in the same pose as all the 100 selfies before it. Mirror selfies also fall in this category. I also don’t follow accounts that are private because more often than not private accounts mean that they’re posting photos of themselves, their friends and their activities. Like I said, that’s not what I want to see on Instagram. I use Facebook for that, and that brings me to my next social media platform.
  • Facebook – I use Facebook to share personal information in the form of photos, statuses, videos, etc., and also interact with other’s posts. I typically don’t cross post my Instagram photos to Facebook unless it’s something funny or sentimental. Even then I have a policy of sharing more than just selfies. Well actually, I don’t have or take any selfies so that’s anyway not the case. My principle for posting on Facebook is to 1). add value through my shares of interesting articles and sharing my opinion about a hot button topic, and 2). share visually appealing or interesting posts about something special in my life. I also use it to post photos that I take of others simply because it’s the most convenient way to share it with multiple. I don’t like to create Whatsapp groups just to share 4 or 5 photos. Yes of course I expect likes on my posts – everybody does (please don’t fool yourself by denying this.) But along with likes, I expect to leave a certain kind of impression in people’s mind. I want people to see my posts and think “here’s someone who makes a lot of sense”, or better yet, “here’s someone I can learn something from.” There are many people I’ve unfollowed on Facebook simply because they add no value to my Facebook experience. A lot of my younger family friends and acquaintances are on this list BTW. They only post selfies and that’s of no value to me. I spend a lot of time on Facebook so I expect to get something fruitful from it. High quality content and life’s updates is what I look for and what I like give on Facebook.
  • Twitter – I’m mostly a spectator on Twitter. I get a lot of knowledge from Twitter and I retweet posts that I identify with or are funny. I don’t share a lot of original content on Twitter and definitely not life updates. I always cross post my Instagram and LinkedIn posts to Twitter though.
  • LinkedIn – I’ve used LinkedIn the most only this past year due to my job requirements. LinkedIn is another rich source of knowledge for me. Between LinkedIn and Twitter, I’ve learned about a lot of topics. On LinkedIn I share mostly career related or disaster management posts. Even the blog posts that I write on LinkedIn Pulse are about career and profession. On LinkedIn my aim is to set up a strong base for my professional reputation and share my professional experiences that could be of value to others.
  • Snapchat – This is a recent addition to my list of regular social media platforms. I’m slowly discovering the usefulness of Snapchat and I’m so glad I’ve gotten a hang of this before I go off to college. I plan on Snapchatting the hell out of my college experience 😀 I absolutely love the low maintenance of Snapchat. I don’t have to make my posts visually appealing, or even relevant really. But again, I do have a principle here also. I want to add at least a little value through my posts. My Snaps could be about a new eating joint, or a really great store, or some event, or at least something funny. Other than these, I also share some personal events. Actually, of all these social networks, Snapchat is my most private network. And I intend on keeping it this way for the simple reason that I don’t want to think too much before sharing anything on Snapchat. I want at least one social network that I don’t bother much about. However I’m still exploring the potential of Snapchat and to what extent I can use it, but one thing I’m sure of – it’s going to be my primary social sharing platform when I’m in London.
Add me on Snapchat :)
Add me on Snapchat 🙂

So tell me in the comments what you use social media for and if you share any of my principles. I’m always looking for creative ways to make the most of social media so knowing your practices would be quite helpful.

If you find my social media posts appealing or useful and would like to follow me, click on the words Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to follow me on those social platforms. To follow me on Snapchat, snap or screenshot my Snapchat ghost above ↑. I’m @sunayanasen almost everywhere so it shouldn’t be difficult to find me. #personalbrandingdoneright 😛 Or you could click the icons below this post ↓ (in the footer.)

P.S.R: (Post script rant)

If you got the impression that I have an intense disdain for selfies, you are right. Well, not really intense disdain, just a strong aversion to endless selfies of the same boring kind – you know, of staring into the camera with the same smile, same posture, duck face, pout, same head tilt…you get the drift. How about fun selfies?! Like if there’s something really fun or unique in the background. Or if you’re wearing black lipstick. Or even if it’s with a celebrity! I mean come on, get creative. Showing your own face in photo after photo is not creative. I don’t want to give you the impression that I don’t understand the psychology of selfies or that I believe I’m superior to it. I also take selfies (actually, more Usies than selfies) but I think one or two are enough. I just don’t see the appeal of posting selfies after selfies. Okay so I’ll get a bunch of more likes. What other than that? People will think I’m pretty and therefore I’ll believe I’m pretty? Or I’ll get modelling gigs? Like, what? What is this maddening appeal of putting useless, boring selfies out on public social networking platforms? You’re not even sharing anything about your life through this. Please add some value, whether it’s through selfies or photo shoots.

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