The Cross-Posting Effect

A lot of my friends on Instagram are also my friends on Facebook. They, like myself, tend to cross-post photos from Instagram onto Facebook and Twitter. I noticed a funny effect from that cross-posting – you end up missing a lot of posts from your friends.

Mindless scrolling. We all do it. Facebook was made for it as well as Instagram. Your brain is bored so you grab your phone and start scrolling through posts. I think we’re sort of zombies when this mode clicks in. I usually end up snapping out of that zombie scrolling mode when I see posts I’ve already remember seeing. Semi-conciously I feel I’ve reached the end of any content that I may want to read or view.

Cross-posting images from Instagram to Facebook sort of breaks this zombie mechanism of knowing when you’ve reached “the end” of new content. I’ve found myself scrolling through Facebook and seeing a photo I recognize and stopping. Chances are I didn’t actually see that photo on Facebook first, but rather on Instagram. The reverse applies as well. My brain stops me when content starts repeating but in essence that’s new content in that specific app.

I’ve also noticed this effect happen with publicizing new blog posts onto Twitter and Facebook but not to the same effect. I use the WordPress.com Reader to track blogs I like reading. Sometimes I do see friends’ posts on Facebook that I’ve already seen in the WordPress.com Reader. The content looks different enough that it doesn’t trigger the same effect all the time.

The thing I wonder about is if the effect causes some sort of mental fatigue in your followers causing them to potentially classifying your posts as noise rather than signal. I know how my brain tends to work and I can see that happening already with some accounts I follow in multiple apps/sites.

When YOU are on the Internet

I’ve never been one to give a shit about what of “me” is online.  I have blog(s), am on Twitter and many other social networking services.  Up until now, I’ve pretty much said my mind and didn’t care about the audience.  I made a judgment call error a while back on Twitter, and now I’m correcting the issue.

The question comes to be, how does one split yourself from your professional life online from your personal life?  To be honest, it’s fairly difficult if not impossible if you’re trying to keep your identity at all the same between the two.  For instance, I originally signed up with Twitter to broadcast things to my friends.  A friend of mine got interested as well, and we started following each other.  Then, I started working for the same employer and soon coworkers found my profile through my friend.  I have always tried to keep some level of anonymity but when my real picture was plastered on my twitter profile, it was hard to hide the fact it was me.

4000 updates later on Twitter, I’ve realized I can’t just say what I want any more.  See this article about a consulting firm of FedEx became angered when someone they were paying to help them made defaming remarks of the shit hole city they’re based in.

So now, I’ve gone private on Twitter, removed a number of followers I don’t know, and have returned to using it as a communication tool with people close to me.  No more bitching at the free world, no more possibly embarassing myself.  It sucks it had to come to this, but I need to realize I’m representing more than just myself online.  Since I’m associated with my coworkers, I’m therefore a voice for my employer.