I hear people ask that frequently, but it’s something I rarely consider. Maybe I should, but I think people who ask this question have a different perspective on the function of social media than I do.
I get it. People are concerned that others will perceive their tweets as attempts to brag or show off. Maybe you just finished a major reading project and you want to say, “Hey, guys! I did it! I finished (insert book name)!” So you hesitate, and likely do not post. But do you hesitate to share things like that with your day-to-day friends? Should you hesitate to share things like that with your friends? What is a friend if you have to stop every time you want to speak to them and think twice about your words? This is where the breakdown in perspectives comes into play.
In my opinion, social media is for sharing things you love and are excited about. You don’t hesitate to share things you are excited about with your spouse. And what do you do when you sit around a fire pit with friends? You talk about things you are excited about, victories from the week and things you look forward to. You also note things you are excited about in a negative sense. There is a place for both the positive and negative in social media. There is a place for critique; it’s essential for reviews — reviews of products and ideas, not ad hominem attacks. But for me, the stated purpose of social media at the top of this paragraph is primarily intended to be positive. Social media is for sharing things you are happy about with people who are interested in those same things.
Those last few words are where the online platforms are so helpful. You see, you could just share things with people who are physically in your life. But how many people do you have in your day-to-day life who are genuinely stoked out of their mind about WWDC? I have 1. How many people do you see everyday who get more excited about the release of a new lexicon than the latest Marvel movie? I have maybe 5, but I don’t see any of them every day now that Shawn moved across the country. Social media connects you with others who share your niche interests.
That’s who I’m posting for, and that’s why I don’t often ask the question “Should I tweet this?” Posting to Twitter is like pulling up a chair by the fire pit and saying, “Guys, check this out!” You’re with friends. If anyone else is listening in, they can keep scrolling or unfollow.