I struggled a bit in picking a theme for tonight’s blog, as The Oscars, movie reviews, and various projects were flooding my brain. I knew none of these were reliable topics, so I looked to Twitter in search of a good subject. That’s when I came across this classic image:
Underneath a girl had added the caption, “From left to right: me on twitter, facebook, tumblr, instagram, and linkedin.”
I loved the irony! Here is a movie made in the 80’s about five completely different personalities crashing into each other and learning how to co-exist. (I don’t know about any of you, but I experience this in my head several times a week.) Social media did not play a part in the struggles and life lessons these characters went through in 90 minutes, and yet each of them encompass a perfect portrayal of certain social media channels. A Tweet you post may not receive the same applause on LinkedIn. Facebook has its own album of your new hair cut, but that’s not what your Tumblr followers are inspired by. And Instagram has its own world of what to post, when to post, and how clever your caption is to make people think your life is the bomb. Can you be honest and say all of your social media channels portray the same truth about who you are, or do you cater your posts for each channel? Let me break it down for you:
Twitter: Admit it, you’re a bit more blatant, possibly bordering the line of just plain rude, on Twitter. Maybe it’s the unavoidable 140-character limit that gives you confidence to say what you want, without sugarcoating a single word. When it comes to social media famous disputes, the majority of them are on Twitter, and there’s no holding back.
Facebook: Ah, unwarranted political posts, newborn babies, engagement rings, and self-praise looking for recognition. Not that Facebook is completely a waste, but what was once the number one favorite channel has fallen short due to TMI statuses and your mom posting snapshots of you without editing them first. It’s honestly a nightmare.
Tumblr: I’ll be honest, I don’t own a Tumblr account, but from the snippets I’ve seen, it’s a place to let your feelings out. Your emotional, teenage angst feelings, that is.
Instagram: The land of perfection, no blemishes or flaws allowed. Instagram is my personal favorite, but I’ll be the first to admit I’ve used the air brush a time or two (don’t even get me started on those of you who DON’T know how to use Facetune). Instagram is an amazing space to post your best artistic images, but keep in mind, nobody is perfect, so we know you’re not either. It’s okay if you’re not dating a professional photographer, or nobody is paying you to pose like that… just have fun and be real about it.
LinkedIn: Last, least until you realize you need a job, LinkedIn is the Holy Grail of showcasing your best traits and locking away any weaknesses into a tiny box before your future boss catches a whiff. LinkedIn is invaluable when it comes to connecting with companies and searching for full-time positions, but have you ever seen a profile say, “Dave Johnson was endorsed by Will Hanks for procrastination, insufficiency, and disability to work with others!” no, LinkedIn is where you put all the education you’ve gained in the last two decades at full force, and eloquently beg for them to hire you.
In short, we all pick and choose what to post and where to post it when it comes to social media. If it were a copy and paste situation across several channels, your creativity would probably become stifled. But at the end of the day, recognize the power Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and LinkedIn can hold over who you are, and remember you’re the one controlling the buttons. Keep it real.