Are You a Social Media Schizophrenic or Simpleton?

image courtesy of Samuel Huron

From my the early days of having started this blog and to this very day I continue to have a very strange and fragmented approach when it comes to sharing my life online. Part of it is from experimenting with new services to see how I could weave them into my Lifestream but I have trouble letting go and committing to services. I’ve written about how others have created a social media workflow regiment and I’ve had the intention of doing so myself but my SMADD (social media ADD) prevents me from doing so. I’ll try to explain this madness further.

I have an ever evolving dynamic workflow diagram that I run through in my head before I decide my path to posting something. For example lets say I want to post a photo online. This may get a bit wacky so try to stay with me. First off I need to determine what tool I will use to post the photo. The tool will differ depending whether I’m on my computer or using a mobile phone. On my desktop I may use Tweetdeck or email or Flickr uploader but before I can choose the tool I need to determine ultimately what type of photo I’m posting. If I just want to share something in the moment and really don’t care about archiving the share (I call these disposable photos) I will use Twitpic and just post to Twitter. If I want to share the photo across several services such as Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed I will email using Posterous for their autoposting functionality. If the photo is something I really like and want to share and archive I will most likely post that to Flickr. Then even beyond these decisions I have edge cases such as posting food in which I may use Foodspotting and cases where I wanted the location to be a focus and used Brightkite. I could go on, but I think you might get the point.

A couple of years ago I used mind-mapping software to create a social map of the services I was using in various ways. So between all the services out there and the many ways to connect the pipes between them it can be a very messy affair to try and create a process for how we determine to post content online. It also becomes complex managing the process as services evolve and drop in and out of our daily usage. It’s hard to tell what percentage of people out there are as crazy as me (although I’m gonna say many of my readers are) but I find it interesting to try and dissect or even reverse engineer how others go about the process I described for posting  photos. I have a habit of doing this and I’m always on the hunt to optimize my own behaviors and discover new ones even if I rarely am disciplined enough to use them.

So after reading this you may be scratching your head and perhaps taking another swig of beer to numb the brain wondering why we do this. Yea, me too. Why do we go through all the trouble? I’m not too sure how I personally let it get this out of control. Why shouldn’t we just become simpletons and give in to just using Facebook as our social destinations and remove all of these painstaking processes from our lives? What am I trying to say here? I have no friggin clue. I started thinking about this post today but unfortunately had no idea where it was going or how it would end. Well perhaps I’m saying that it takes a lot of work to create a feature rich decentralized Lifestream where we can hand pick from the beautiful menu of services at our disposal across the whole web, but in turn we have to pay a hefty price to manage it. For me it still is, but most definitely not the case for most people.

5 thoughts on “Are You a Social Media Schizophrenic or Simpleton?”

  1. Mark,

    I think you have seen my old workflow that I used couple of years back. Now, I have become a simpleton for two reasons:
    1. It helps me process more info in real-time.
    2. I avoid automated cross-posting across networks as far as possible, for reasons that I have blogged about.

    Now, my tech shares are on Twitter and Google Reader, and the occasional non-tech share on Facebook. That’s it, and I’m happy with how streamlined it feels.

  2. Are you really a person with mental health issues? No? Then, how about you stop using words like “[s]chizophrenic”, “crazy”, and “ADD”. Thanks! (even if you do have mental health issues, I would suggest, as another person with said issues, to stop using such ableist language)

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