Yesterday I shared with you my lovely tweeting successes. In an effort to communicate authentically and to avoid the appearance that this journey toward social media competency is easy, I thought it only right to share some of my recent failures as well. They focus on one challenge: “send”.
Failure 1: Instagram. I noticed some of my Facebook friends are posting modern, trendy-looking pictures. Yes, they may be pictures of a cup of coffee, or a pumpkin, but they look so artistic. The answer: Instagram. Let me tell you, me and my instagram had a fun afternoon. I took pictures of the dog, of trees, of a squirrel, and, TBH a bunch of pictures of me in the mirror—making different faces. After all, you never know when you will need a picture of a crabby-looking woman. Taking Instagram pictures: a success. Then came the failure. I tried to figure out how to get these pictures from my iPad to someplace helpful, like a blog post or a Facebook status update. I went into a few settings pages, hit a few innocuous looking buttons, and before I knew it, a tree popped up on my Facebook page. Ahhh!!! I didn’t want a tree on Facebook! Then a horrifying thought crossed my mind. What if I accidentally sent all those pictures of me in the mirror to 273 of my closest Facebook friends!? I quickly shut the program down, shuttering at the near-social death experience I had just narrowly escaped.
Then it happened again.
Failure 2: Pinterest. Everyone seems to be doing it, so I hop on. It was nothing like I expected. I absolutely don’t get it. That is where I got into trouble. I decide to pin something. Why not pin my book ReBoot—I like my book. Pinned. I quickly scroll through a few things and pin some stupid dress, a picture of a dog, and a blog I had never read. “Well”, I think to my self. “This is lame. On to the next thing” Little did I know, that silent send button had once again claimed me as a victim. There was no official “share” button, no pleasant request, no flashing lights. But, without my knowledge, my stupid little pins were suddenly public record. And that wasn’t all. In my e-mail box I began to get one notification after another that I had new pinterest followers. “NOoooo!” I wanted to tell them “Don’t follow ME! I don’t know what I’m doing!” I began to philosophize ‘What does this say about followers in this social media world? what does this say about leaders who randomly hit pin buttons?” but what I should have asked is “how do these programs decide to “send” my material around the world?”
Here is my lesson. Experimentation with social media is good—you can’t learn if you don’t try things out. The caution is “beware the silent ‘send’ button”. Even when you are experimenting, make sure you don’t do anything REALLY embarrassing, because you never know when 273 of your closest friends will get an unintentional glimpse into your social media mistakes.