Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pick Your Poison

Is it just me, or is it getting next to impossible to keep up with even just the "major" social media platforms these days? I spend quite a bit of time on the internet everyday be it for work or play on my laptop or phone. I really try to limit my time on social media, but like many, I'm not usually successful.  

My problem with social media is becoming less and less about how time consuming it can be, but rather how annoying it can be. I've long since realized there's no way I'm going to keep up with them all, so I just sit back and try to enjoy my favorites. 

I honestly don't know how many different social media platforms there actually are today. Doing a quick Google search shows me 15-20 of the "big guys" popping up in the rankings, but apparently hundreds of smaller sites based on the "social media" icon sets you can grab for your website. 

I've always been a "keep it simple stupid" kind of guy. Personally, I wish there was just one social media platform to have to get used to and keep up with. I do realize that having numerous social media sites creates competition and platform improvements. That doesn't mean I want to have to learn them all.  

Because of this, I tend to stick to three platforms: Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. I like Google+ the most out of all of them, but typically spend the most time on Facebook. My usage seems to go in waves for each of the sites, but sticks fairly close to that order of preference in general.

Facebook used to be a great place to keep up with family and friends. Now it seems more like a place to argue with strangers, troll other pages and basically get upset with people all around the globe. With over one and a half billion Facebook users out there, it's pretty tough to ignore it.

Many have left Facebook, myself included, because they're fed up with the garbage on Facebook. Most, myself included again, eventually work they way back to Facebook. Why? 1.5+ billion people. The odds are astronomical that your family and friends are on Facebook in some way, shape or form. I have found multiple times in the past that when I'm not on Facebook, I never seem to know what's going on with the majority of my family and friends. It sounds pathetic. It IS pathetic. But it's also true.

LinkedIn used to be a great place for business people to network, share ideas and grow their careers. Now it seems to be turning into another version of Facebook. I'm finding myself spending less time on LinkedIn now because if I want to see all the Facebook garbage, I might as login to Facebook.... At least that way I'll be able to catch up an news from family and friends at the same time. 

My use of LinkedIn also goes in waves. Whenever my work role is changing, whether by employer or position within a company, I tend to spend more time on LinkedIn. It's a great place to get ideas, share ideas, network and learn. Over the past year though, I have been disappointed with LinkedIn within 10 minutes of logging in.

Although it beats the 30 seconds it takes me to get irritated on Facebook, I expect that of Facebook. I do not expect to be bombarded with garbage on "the world's largest professional network." Because of that, I spend very little time on LinkedIn anymore.

And then there's Google+. Personally, I  think Google+ gets a bad rap. I think it's because it's staying fairly steady and true to its purpose. Apparently not changing at the drop of a hat turns some people off. I love how it integrates with Blogger. (Duh - I write a blog.) I enjoy the collections for individuals, groups, companies, passions, name it. 

Sure, there's a bit of the Facebook type garbage on Google+ as well, but it's not nearly as much. I think my favorite thing about Google+ is the fact that it shows me what I want to see....rather than what Google thinks I want to see. I see posts from people and collections I follow and that's it. (Unlike Facebook where every fifth post is a suggested post that is not even remotely related to anything I've ever viewed, liked, shared or commented on since the beginning of Facebook history.)

This post, although terribly boring for you poor readers, has really given me a rejuvenated high regard for Google+. I think it's high time I made better use of Google+. Afterall, Google is tied into everything else I do on a daily basis. They probably know more about me than I do. I might even have to start promoting Jeremy Crow's #fixtheplus campaign to get Google+ the attention it needs from Google to improve its imperfections. (I never said it was perfect.) 

Since I'm not terribly concerned about the number of +1's I get from my seven loyal readers, I really only have one complaint about Google+. There aren't enough friends and family on here yet. Maybe if Google gets their act together and #fixtheplus, I will see that shift in the right direction. We'll see how that works out. Until next time....