My social media policy
Posted by Scott E
I’ve gotten a few requests to be friends/connections/bonds/followers/what-have-you on various social media sites lately, so I figured now’s a good time to tell everyone how I use social media, when I let my real-life and diabetes-online presences collide, and when I keep them separate. If you’ve sent me a social media request and I haven’t responded, please don’t feel slighted – this post explains why.
Facebook: On my personal Facebook page, I’ve chosen to limit my “friends” to people who are either real-life friends or family. I don’t talk much about diabetes on there, and don’t use it as a pedestal for that type of discussion – it’s mostly for personal thoughts, experiences, and lots of pictures of my kids. Stuff that I’m not willing to share with the entire world.
There are people who I know (mostly former classmates) who I’ve never been friendly with that have sent me friend-requests; those requests are left unanswered. I also don’t friend my business associates, unless we’ve developed friendships outside of the office — it’s that whole cautionary tale about mixing business and pleasure. Similarly, I’ve gotten friend-requests from a few DOC members, so my policy is this: if I’ve met you in person, then I’ll accept (or invite) you. If I haven’t met you, understand that I’d really like to, and once that day comes, I’ll add you. My reason for this is that I basically need to draw a line somewhere (I’m not comfortable adding every casual online acquaintance), and this seems to be the most definitive way to do it. I admit I’ve strayed from my policy once or twice, but I am really trying to stick with it.
This blog does have a Facebook page (there’s a link over to the right). Generally it’s only used to publicize posts. Perhaps I’ll engage some discussions there in the future, but right now I barely have time to get my thoughts in order for blogging.
Twitter: My whole persona on Twitter is about diabetes. Since everything written on Twitter is available to the world anyway, anyone can follow me (except for spammers, who get blocked). I don’t have a separate non-D account like some others do, but I rarely blog about non-D stuff anyway. For the most part,I follow others who discuss diabetes, as well as a few news and sports accounts that interest me. If you tweet about diabetes, too, I’ll probably follow you. But if you have diabetes but constantly tweet about gardening, auto-racing, or politics, I might not. It’s just about reducing clutter in my feed.
LinkedIn: This started as a professional-networking tool, and at that time I decided I’d only connect with people whom I’ve interacted with in the past, or might be of interest to me – professionally – in the future. This is not limited to personal interactions, as much business is conducted by phone or internet, but there has to be a genuine reason, not someone looking to increase their connections-counts. As far as the DOC goes, I’ve interacted with pretty much all of you at some point, and would connect on LinkedIn if asked.
TuDiabetes: When I first signed on to TuD, I was shocked to get so many friend-requests on my first day. Who are these people? I wondered. But there is a common bond on there, and I don’t use my full name (just “Scott E”) so I’m comfortable accepting all friend requests there.
Glu: To be honest, I hardly use it. I’ll respond to most Questions-of-the-Day and I’ll accept all requests to bond, though I admit that I have no idea what bonding with someone on Glu really means.
Google+: I don’t have an account on Google+, or at least I don’t think so. I have a Blogger account (so I can comment on Blogger/Blogspot blogs) and a GMail account (which I don’t really use), and perhaps that’s been folded into a comprehensive Google+ profile, I really don’t know. If it has, nobody’s ever made me aware of it.
One final thing… you’ve probably noticed that I don’t use my full name on any of the diabetes social media sites. You can probably figure it out if you tried (especially if you run a blog yourself and have seen my email address), but I try hard to keep my diabetes persona unGoogleable because I don’t want it to mix with my professional online image. I wrote about that at length last year.
UnoGoogleable. Is that a real word? It should be…