I’m game to try nearly any new form of social media. I’m Instagramming, Flickr-ing, Google+ing, Gowalla-ing and Color-ing, in addition to the ‘traditional’ forms of Twitter, GoogleReader, Facebook and WordPress. A few things I’ve tried and rejected–I didn’t care much for Tumblr, for example. Or Foursquare. And I rarely consult Goodreads or LinkedIn, although I maintain active accounts in both spaces. My favorite spots tend to morph over time, too. At first I rarely Facebooked, but now it’s my primary go-to space because most of my close friends are such avid users and I want to keep abreast of their lives. Same for Twitter. But there are some people who are important to me who don’t use social media very often (or not at all). To keep in touch with them I use Gmail, IM, Skype, and/or texting. But it’s a lot to keep track of these various ways of communicating. And, with differing levels of privacy, I find that I ‘behave’ differently in the various spaces depending on how open they are.
Though for several months my favorite platform has been Twitter, I find that I rarely ‘follow’ the Twitter feed anymore. It’s sort of gone the way of my RSS blogfeeds–something to dip into only if I have some time to kill, and I’m never caught up. Recently I also removed a lots feeds and ‘follows’ from my lists because either I found them uninteresting or I simply never got around to reading their content. In addition to paring down my lists, I’m also finding myself far more reticent to share as frequently anymore–it’s wearying to have the world know so much about me, and I don’t want to do things simply for the sake of tweeting that I’ve done them.
And, more than that, I’ve found that one of the primary losses from my life with all of the social media whirling around me, is that I’ve lost time for books (and for poetry). So earlier today when I was walking the library stacks to retrieve some research-related tomes, I discovered some other interesting-looking books nearby. Books that I wanted to make sure to add to my nightstand. So I grabbed those, too. Sure, I have too much going on right now to be reading a lot. But at the same time, I don’t want to be the kind of person who isn’t always reading something. And I never want to be that person who can’t pull themselves away from their smartphone long enough to read a chapter (or two!) of a good novel each day.
What about you, what are your favorite social media sites? And how do you work to keep your “in real life” experiences in balance with your online ones?