Between Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, G+, Spotify, Tumblr, and Pinterest, these days there’s no shortage of social media platforms to get on board with. You can share your 140-character-or-fewer thoughts, photos you take, photos you like, where you’ve been, what Harry Potter character you’re most like…there really are no limits. But even with all these outlets to share your life with the world, it’s important not to share too much. Read on for our guide to keeping your social media activity smart, clever, and relevant, and you’ll have the many intricacies of the Internet figured out in no time.
When it comes to the multiple layers of the social media world, the most common denominator that most people participate in is Facebook. It’s certainly the most complex of the platforms, integrating photos, statuses, and check-in options into one system. But because you’re given so many options on Facebook, it’s very easy to fall into the depths of over-sharing. Just as you wouldn’t want to buy a skirt that’s too short, when you’re putting elements of your personal life on the Internet, you don’t want to show too much. Social media has a way of making us think that everything we do on a daily basis is of major importance to the rest of the world, which makes privacy seem like a quaint idea of the past. We can learn all kinds of personal information about a person – where they go to school, what they’re studying, if they’re dating someone, and who that person is… the list goes on – without ever meeting them face to face. And if someone, God forbid, doesn’t have a Facebook, it comes as some kind of cataclysmic shock. So when you’re adding information to your own profile, make sure you’re not overloading it with information. As far as status updates go, you want to keep what you have to say relevant and well-timed. In order for people to actually pay attention to you on their news feeds, you want to avoid updates about your day-to-day activities and focus more on insightful, witty observations and newsworthy events. Posting exciting news is one thing, but posting things that make people delete you from their feed is another.
This same principle applies to Twitter as well, only in 140 characters or fewer. Twitter is the perfect place to get overwhelmed with writing updates about what you’re up to. Sure, this is the whole idea behind the platform, but you don’t want to take it too far. Giving a play-by-play of your daily activities is not as interesting as you might think it is, and it can detract from the value of other more important tweets. Ultimately, the same general rules apply to whatever social media platform you’re using. Plus, as fun and as useful as social media may be, it’s always more enjoyable to share important information in real life: it’s much more gratifying to get ten hugs from people who really care about you than however many retweets or “likes” you may get online. Moral of the story: just keep it classy in general, and before long you’ll be a social media master!