At least for me, blogging and social media still feel like an exciting, new frontier, and every single day they are becoming increasingly validated and established by the expansion of their usage and mentioning of them as credible, viable sources. As it's hard to imagine a world prior to/without them, I'm very curious to see how these platforms continue to evolve and develop, and can't help but wonder how what we do with them and how we use them now may effect that.
Like anything else, there's pros and cons to technology, and as these mediums become more of a permanent part of popular culture, being able to see both sides are becoming drawn into the spotlight. Taking pause and thinking about some of the messages that are being derived from the way that we communicate via blogging and social media, I've offered below a few items for consideration that may contribute to moving social media and blogging forward in a positive light, as the future of them is very much in our hands.
I think that setting a pattern of renewal and refreshing the way you think about blogging and social media, the items that you share, and the actual visual layout of your site and social media channels is crucial to keeping the medium(s) alive without feeling the least bit staid. Setting a precedent for constantly challenging and rethinking the visual and written word will push things forward in a positive light. It's sooo easy to fall into a habitual mode of posting the same kind of content, but since things can be so quickly and easily changed on the web, why not exploit it?
Stay in Control
As creators, we should be the masters of our domain(s), and often times, once things start to feel incredibly obligatory, anxiety-inducing, and possessive of us, there may be a sense of desperation to keep up, or on the other hand, an urge to flee from these things. I recently wrote about JOMO (the joy of missing out), which may be needed every now and then to regain perspective and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit from all things digital when it may start to feel like a runaway train. Set boundaries for yourself as far as when you share and check on content, scrolling through your social media feeds, so that you don't feel so bound to the digital world, as well as don't miss the things that are happening right in front of you, without the urge to document every single second of it with your smart phone to immediately share on social.
Be Wary of Over-Sharing
The last point transitions into this one, which elaborates on the idea of the new or different “you” that is being portrayed online. You may choose to only share certain things, or you may share EVERYTHING from your life, but either way, be cognizant of the consequences of doing so for yourself, as well as for the reputation of the kind of relationships that these channels foster and provoke in people.
It's easy to perceive blogging and social media as fuel for “me me me” ego maniacs who just want to share selfies, how stylish they are, and what they ate to everyone who cares to look/read/listen in. As personal as these genres may feel, at times the line between the public versus the private self becomes too blurred, and it's hard for most to know when to turn it off or tone it down. As we engage with readers in a variety of ways, it's important to remember the value of editing, which should be executed every time a post is written, a photo is selected, a Tweet is sent. The digital media we use is an extension of ourselves, which opens the floodgates to be as off-putting as it is engaging, when the wrong kind of, or too much content is shared.
What do you want to impart to the next generation about blogging and social media?