There have been multiple articles lately across the parts of the Internet I frequent regarding what one shouldn’t post on their social media accounts. I would like to respond to every one of them by saying “screw you.” I’m pretty sure there’s no Dear Abby for Facebook, and if there is, it isn’t you.
To be fair, I could easily not read all of these articles. It would be in my best interest. But I’m a sucker for headlines telling me not to do something I really like doing.
Most recently it was a screed against Facebook’s Look Back videos. I’ve had a lot of fun watching 20 seconds of my friend’s important moments, but that didn’t rub off on the author. I don’t see a lot of value in writing tedious posts railing against trivial and inoffensive things that you could very easily avoid seeing at all. So here I am, writing one.
The common thread seems to be that we’re “polluting” the stream with our self-serving or misinformed posts. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s what social media is. A polluted stream of barely-relevant information with a few noisy boats on top of it and a couple of treasures buried in the riverbed. The only reason I’m on Facebook is to see cute pictures of my friends’ pets. I’m not kidding. If I thought it was a valid source of news and information, I’d be a little more discerning, but it just isn’t.
As long as everyone has a voice, things are going to be noisy. You should deal with that. The noisier things get, the more tools pop up to help you cut through it. RSS is still a valid and valuable tool. App.net’s Broadcasts offer the same kind of low-noise, high-value streams. And here’s a hint: use one of the many tools available to see just the links from your Twitter stream. There’s no news happening that doesn’t have a link in it.
Stop pretending that anyone cares about your “rules.” And if you don’t want to see pictures of my pets, song lyrics I consider poignant, restrospectives of my life and other personal trivialities, don’t follow me on Twitter, App.net or anywhere elsewhere.