As social media keeps evolving there will be certain practices that I love and that I hate. As long as this blog stays up and running, I will continue to write about them. Tonight I will focus on the latter, so as always I want to apologize for the negativity. I will make up for it in my next few posts.
In tonight’s edition of Don’t Blink I want to quickly highlight three somewhat trendy practices in social media that I am not so keen on. Each practice I am about to highlight comes from a different social service but each one I believe carries with it unoriginality and a degree of laziness. I love social media because of its ceiling for creativity so when I see an example of something on Instagram, Vine, or Facebook that I feel has very little uniqueness or thought from the user I get turned off.
Here is what I am currently burning on:
Throwback Thursday Pictures That Aren’t Really Throwbacks: I am still all about the Throwback Thursday idea. I love seeing people’s pictures from years ago when they were in diapers, blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, or dressing up for Halloween for the first time. I also enjoy seeing people’s photos from maybe not all the way back in childhood but maybe from a time 10 years ago when they were at a different stage in their life and had a noticeable different style or appearance.
I don’t enjoy seeing someone’s Throwback Thursday picture from their spring break Vegas vacation four months ago.
I have seen plenty of Instagram users butcher the idea of Throwback Thursday and use photos that are just a year or two old and in many cases even more recent than that. If you post a TBT picture, it is a good rule of thumb to not post any pictures that you originally took on the iPhone that you are using at the present moment. To give a more straight-forward rule, make sure the picture is at least 4-5 years old before branding it a #TBT.
If you don’t have a good Throwback Thursday picture I just advise not using one for that particular Thursday. Don’t force one just to say that you posted a Throwback Thursday photo. If you didn’t go through photo albums or search way back on Facebook to get your photo, chances are it does not qualify for TBT. I think sometimes people use Throwback Thursday as an excuse to just post a photo where they think they look especially good in or one that shows them doing something really cool that happened in the very recent past. This misses the point.
The Revine: I want to give a lot of credit to Vine. With the introduction of Instagram Video, Vine has managed to stay relevant. It has kept its original fan base and continues to attract new users. The service has done all they can to maintain its status as a top app by introducing upgrades and new features. I applaud them for this but one of their new rollouts drives me crazy: The Revine.
Going along with the same concept as a retweet on Twitter, Vine users can now take a video that they like and “revine” it for all of their followers to see.
One day I was on Vine and it was completely normal as I viewed the content of the roughly 40 people I follow. The next day I looked at my feed and I was overwhelmed with weird people who I would never in my wildest dreams follow. Many of my followers had started to re-vine like complete randos and I no longer recognized my feed. I had no interest in the funny looking people doing bizarre things on my iPhone screen. It was actually a little scary.
I liked Vine because I got to see my friends showcase their lives and experiences in cool six second videos. I liked the connection that I felt. The introduction of revining has smashed that connection and brought in a lot of garbage that I have absolutely no interest in.
I propose that Vine just puts some limits on revining. I could live with it if the service limited users to one revine every 24 hours. While I would still get a little annoyed at stupid videos that I have no desire watching, it would prevent the people I follow from revining 10 random Vines in two minutes and totally taking over my feed.
The Facebook Share, Share, Share Technique: Now I can see sharing a quote or funny joke once in a while on Facebook but I become a little dumbfounded by the people who use their profile simply to post memes, shared photos, cartoons, sayings, and whatever crap they can steal that already has 1,529,045 shares one after the other on their wall. I am including this in my post because I seem to see it more and more often.
Don’t you get it? Your Facebook profile is there to market YOU. In that space you can let your personal brand come to life, you can showcase your individuality. Not only is seeing a junkyard of quotes and “first world problems” memes an eyesore, it shows that you have little to offer. I would honestly rather read long status rants and view low quality selfies on someone’s Facebook profile as opposed to recycled internet trash just because the former is an extension of the person, something of their creation. I am Facebook friends with you because I am interested, give me something to feed that interest.
If you do use these practices on social media I don’t hate you. Chances are, I still follow you. I just think originality should always be strived for and social media is a great way to channel your creative juices. Show me what you got! Don’t Blink.