What I learnt this week: The need to improve my social media hygiene #WILTW

This is the 77th #WILTW

Virtually everyone adopts some form of dental hygiene. Some people employ sleep hygiene and others have to be very aware of their own personal hygiene. I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise then when I was asked this week about Social Media Hygiene.

Apple and toothbrush

Unlike dental or sleep hygiene there isn’t an clear benefit to Social Media hygiene. You brush your teeth to stop them rotting. What are you aiming to avoid with good Social Media practice? I suppose for me it is avoid having an adverse impact on my work and family life. I use Social Media to filter knowledge and improve my research capacity. This shouldn’t be at the expense of anything else.

I could instantly think of a couple of things I’ve needed to clean up over time but my gut reaction was that I would have a good rating on any external inspection. On reflection however I am not sure this is actually the case.

So what I have learnt to do?

Not say things online I wouldn’t be able to say to someone’s face    This is simply good practice.

Not to take views on Social Media (in particular twitter)  as representative                                                                                          

There is a temptation to get carried away with trending discussions only to find they are solely held by the type of people who like to spend a lot of time on social media. These views are not necessarily wrong but not everyone may share them.

Not to get upset or angry that others don’t share my views                     Be frustrated, yes, but some people, even your colleagues, will have different principles that you may venomously disagree with. Social Media brings these out into the open. There is nothing wrong with discussing them but there are some people who you will not change. And remember – they may be thinking the same about you.

What am I aware of but haven’t perfected?

Not blogging or micro-blogging with expectation                                       One of my most painful admissions is the occasional disappointment at a blog or tweet not being as popular as I think it should, or would, be.

Not being jealous                                                                                                                 This is probably more a personality flaw than a hygienic approach. I’ll confess I have wondered why some things appear to go viral which are either stupid, obvious, evangelical or something I’d already said. I admit to still not completely being able to shake this.

Switching off                                                                                                                            The CAGE questionnaire is used to assess for potential alcohol problems and asks questions about an individuals drinking.

Have you ever thought of Cutting down? Do you get Angry if someone asks you about it? Do you feel Guilty? Have you ever had an Eye-opener?

Anyone challenged you on how much time you spend on social media? Do you reach for your phone first thing in the morning?

What I’m still bad at 

Online conversations are not the same as face-to-face ones                  I have this silly habit of not wanting to leave a twitter discussion mid-stream or feel I have to comment on someone else’s posting. Is this really  ever that urgent? Can I honestly say I haven’t done this at the expense of a conversation with someone I am physically in the same room with?

I can’t. Definitely unhygienic .

I am not sure whether Social Media ‘hygiene’ is a real thing or not but I do know there is much I can still do to improve my use of it.

What have you learn this week? #WITLW






3 thoughts on “What I learnt this week: The need to improve my social media hygiene #WILTW”

  1. Not taking views on social media (esp twitter) as representative is an important thought, thank you. One day, maybe, it will be representative of all – but currently it’s the domain of early adopters, especially in medicine. And we all know what they’re like! Really enjoying your blog since I stumbled across it, thanks and keep it coming – appreciate how much work it must be (been thinking about starting a blog for aeons but time prohibits).

  2. Thanks Lou – biggest issue was the first couple of months. Has been much easier now established into a routine (and I’ll be honest the expectation of producing something is a useful driver!)

  3. This is excellent Damian. I agree with all you have said here – particularly that we need to be aware that Twitter is not necessarily representative. I think I read an article recently on how we need more diversity in our Twitter followers and this reminds me of that article.

    I am afraid I do tend to take things personally – including when people unfollow me so I appreciate your honesty in sharing your own very human reaction to Twitter sometimes – it certainly makes me feel less alone 😉

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