This post happens to be all about rethinking my social media usage. Back on April 4, 2018, I stopped using Facebook. Right now I do use Twitter and LinkedIn. Both of those applications are in my startup tabs for the Chrome internet browser. That means that every time I open Chrome on my Chromebook or this Windows 10 computer both of those applications open up. Doing that means they are right in my field of view and they both generally get some attention. I use both applications in very different ways. LinkedIn is generally a place where I just check the alerts and messages before moving on. Based on whatever algorithm they use for interest they suggest a few posts that I should read or that I might be interested in consuming. Generally speaking I follow the suggestions of the algorithm and take a glance at the content. For the most part it points me at things that I find interesting. Scrolling through LinkedIn generally is not something that is worth my time and I find it to be disjointed anyway. It would be easy to just focus on consuming LinkedIn one day a week instead of on a daily basis. For most people I’m not sure there is any real benefit to being a daily active LinkedIn user.
My experience with Twitter has been a little different over the years. Generally I do not encounter anything toxic in my feed. The people that I follow share scholarly content and thoughts about machine learning or artificial intelligence. It is highly disjointed as a communication medium. I pickup the feed in chronological order and only see very small parts of the overall stream at any one time. That means that I have no context of the importance or amplification of any one thing in the stream. Based on where I started and stopped reading I could miss something really valuable or be totally unaware of some type of drama. Given that I do not engage in academic drama of any kind that is not really a problem. When academics decide to fight in public sometimes I will get my popcorn and read the back and forth, but for the most part I figure they should focus that energy on publishing papers. Nothing serves as a zinger like publishing work that contradicts, disproves, or generally questions your rival. That is far more impactful than a furious Tweetstorm that will dissipate into oblivion within days. On a side note I did have to verify that Tweetstorm was a single word. Apparently, it is a somewhat commonly used word.
Somehow I totally forgot about YouTube. Over the years I have made a few videos on YouTube and it does have a comment section where people do engage. For the most part my engagement on YouTube is to enter comments and push the like button on videos that seemed interesting. I know that both comments and likes help content creators to amplify their videos based on algorithmic sharing. To that end I generally try to write unique comments and engage to support the content creator. That is not really social media in my mind it is amplification of content. Given that it involves my name and is on a media platform it has been included in this diatribe about social media usage. That seems to be appropriate. It could at some point in the future be more social in nature, but at the moment it is rather here and gone in terms of focus and attention.