About a month ago i wrote an entry about some of the challenges that have cropped up from having multiple social identities. I’ve had the opportunity to think more about the direction that i feel i should take with my various social footprints on the web and thought it was worth writing about to share some of the how and why of my social identity conception moving forward.
There are a lot of ways to create social identity on the internet these days. With the addition of google plus to my social networking, i now have six regular social identities, which feels like a hell of a lot and thus necessitates some analysis and introspection. Specifically, i’m trying to hone in on what i feel the role that each of these social identities have in my overall online social presence – compare and contrast how i choose to share myself through these mediums, particularly the ones that are very similar in nature and thus have a lack of focus or distinction about them, and then hopefully be able to answer how all of these reflect my Actual Identities in real life.
In other words, how do i choose to use facebook differently than google plus? What would make me write a blog entry on my domain blog vs. my livejournal? What constitutes a twitter status over a fb status or a g+ stream post? Some of these questions can be answered, but some of them cannot, and it’s the ones that cannot that i feel i need to focus on and refine.
yesterday i came to realize something about the old facebook profile page versus the new facebook profile page, and it’s shifted my mentality when it comes to my social media presence.
The old fb profile page supported fb’s original paradigm that a person’s fb presence was predominantly about statuses. It’s true that on a news feed you get a glimpse of an entire breadth of a person’s fb activity, but when you clicked on a person’s profile page, what you were given was the person’s name and their status that served as what was essentially the “title” of the page. Any other fb activity was hierarchically and literally below that title of name+status.
It’s because of this that i generally prescribed to the no-more-than-one-status-every-twenty-fours-hour rule. to me, statuses had a degree of semi-permanence and importance over anything else that i did on fb as it related specifically to the fb paradigm. importing blog entries, posting up youtube links, even fb photos served more as a conduit, something in which fb was the engine but not the main source, whereas fb statuses *was* essentially facebook.
The new fb profile page abandons putting status messages as a part of the person’s “name title”, and for me that represents a huge hierarchical shift, demoting statuses to an equal level of all other fb wall activity. Statuses no longer stick out over links, photos, game feeds, &c, so amongst a wall where all of that activity is happening, they get lost in the shuffle instead of being immediately in your face.
Resultingly, i feel like my main focus as a fb user has lost its appeal. I still like using fb as a conduit for my other primary residences on the internet and i like keeping up with other people on my wall, but my own status use feels like it’s diminished greatly without that semi-permanence and my conduit use was starting to trend towards overtaking my statuses in any case.
So i’ve decided to do something that i never thought i would do: open a twitter account. twitter is going to completely replace my fb statuses (as in i’m no longer going to do any facebook statuses or at least going to try very hard not to). the original intended twitter paradigm also makes me psychologically feel okay tweeting multiple times in a twenty-four hour period, so chances are i’ll be doing that.
I’m also making a deliberate choice to not import anything relating to my twitter to my fb page. As twitter is essentially the same thing as a fb status, it doesn’t make sense for me to abolish the concept of fb statuses as a main fb focus only to import what could be perceived as a fb status in a conduit format. Particularly since i intend on tweeting more often than i update fb statuses, i have no interest in spamming my friends’ news feeds with that content. fb is better served as my blogs conduit where at most i’ll write twice a day and rarely that. if people are interested enough in my short thoughts, they can get it directly by subscribing to my tweets.
we’ll see how my use of twitter evolves over time, what sort of stuff i may opt to emphasize in my tweets versus others, if at all. I may also just for fun intersperse a random meaningless fb status every once in a while just to throw people, or maybe install one of those rotating fb status things and put up a bunch of nonsense. that kind of fits my sort of aesthetic.