Which Social Media Sites Do You Use?

June 27, 2013
Social Media

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how much time I spend online. Obviously, I work online, so I’m connected for 9+ hours everyday. Working online means that at any given time I usually have Gmail, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Skype open. But then I also have my own blog and social profiles to maintain, so in a good chunk of my spare time you’ll also see that I have Gmail, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Skype open.

And then there are the apps. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little obsessed with Instagram. But then I’ll have these aha! moments with friends where I wonder why the heck I think it’s so important to take a picture and post it immediately versus take in the moment and enjoy it. (Like the time that four girls went to Prima Strada for pizza, each took a picture of the food, posted it on Instagram and got called out by the restaurant staff for showing the same table from all four corners. Oops.) It’s in those moments that I wonder if I’m a little too connected and if I should be spending more time looking up at life than down at my phone.

I keep reading about the idea of “unplugging” from the online world. Fast Company recently put one man’s story of going offline for 25 days on the front cover of their summer issue, while many other people have simply written a post or two about how they cut back. As I read each story, I found myself fantasizing about going offline for a while. But I know that I don’t actually want to do that. I just want to find a better way to make social media work for me; to have it feed me the information I care most about, teach me things I want to learn, and surround me with friends, experts and creative minds. Basically, I need to do some filtering.

So, I’ve decided that rather than having a profile on every site possible, I want to become a better user on only a few sites. That means the profiles I keep will be updated with fewer, more thoughtful posts versus sporadic attempts at posting on all platforms. Want to see which sites I’m staying on and which ones I’m ditching? It’s probably obvious by now, but take a look.

Social Media Sites I Use:

  • Facebook – I moved across the country twice in one year and travel a lot. Gotta keep in touch.
  • Twitter – I’ve landed dream jobs and made so many new friends, because of this site.
  • Instagram – It’s just fun. And, actually, I’ve made friends on this app too!

Social Media Sites I Don’t Use:

  • Foursquare / Path – Who has the time to check-in everywhere they go? Not me. (Plus, it’s creepy.)
  • LinkedIn – In my experience, LinkedIn is totally useless. Besides that, I’m not looking.
  • MySpace – Obviously not.
  • Pinterest – Biggest waste of time ever. (I know because I wasted many hours of my life there.)
  • Vine – I wanted to like Vine… I really did. But now Instagram has video. So, nope.
  • Any review sites – Goodreads, Urbanspoon, Yelp, all that stuff… again, I just don’t have the time for it.

Now, not using these sites doesn’t mean that I spend any less time online than the next person; it simply means that I’m picking and choosing where I want to spend my time, often depending on the information I’m looking for. I’m still on my laptop and phone for what seems like all day, everyday… but what I’m doing is a little more meaningful. At least, I hope it will be.

Which social media sites do you use? And are there any you used to use but now don’t? Why?

Flickr: jasonahowie

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life June 27, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Totally agree! I use the big three you mentioned, plus LinkedIn. I’m still on the look out for my dream job, so I want to keep those avenues open. I completely agree that the online world can be a little overwhelming, and I’ve found I’ve had to be hard on myself and draw the line on what’s worth reading, and what’s not.

    Oh and a note about instagram: Last night while driving in the city, my husband (wow weird writing that…) and I had to stop our car in order to let a family of ducks cross a busy road. I resisted the urge to take a photo and just enjoyed their waddly goofyness.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:43 am

      I actually don’t have anything against LinkedIn… it’s just that, even when I was looking for work, it didn’t help me. Plus, it’s just another profile that I always forget to update. I hate having stagnant accounts!

      And that sounds so cute! I probably would’ve left that alone too. But we found a mama duck and her babies waddling around in our backyard once and I snapped up a bunch of shots of that. ;)

  • Beth June 27, 2013 at 4:37 am

    I think the value of LinkedIn depends on the industry you work in. I use it to keep in touch with colleagues, keep on top of industry news and to research potential employers when I am job hunting. I’ve also been approached by recruiters as well, and found my current job through a posting there.

    I think it’s interesting not just what social networking sites people use, but HOW they use them. I’m on Twitter for professional/personal branding reasons, for example. So you won’t find tweets about where I am or what I’m doing unless there is a strategic reason for doing so.

    Facebook is another story — I keep my friends list limited, my privacy settings locked down and I use it for personal rather than professional reasons.

    Google+… well… I’m still trying to figure that one out!

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Nice! I do see the value in LinkedIn, I guess, but for me it was just another profile that I always forgot to check. The other thing I hated was getting a ton of random requests to connect with total strangers. I would accept and no one write to me and say why they had added me… talk to me, people! LOL

      I’m with you re: keeping Facebook fairly private. My privacy settings are also locked down and I only have I think 150 friends or so (people I actually care about).

      And I think that’s people will be saying forever re: Google+! :P

  • Michelle June 27, 2013 at 5:25 am

    I’m addicted to Instagram. I can’t stop opening it up and looking at pictures!

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Haha, ditto.

  • Sara Hamil @ They Call it Gumption June 27, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I find a certain sense of comradarie with anyone else that isn’t completely obsessed with Pinterest. I love the idea of it but it’s just not for me. I log in maybe once a month and spend about three minutes on it.

    Twitter, Facebook & Intagram are my biggies too (for both work and personal stuff). I do occasionally use FourSquare and I’m more of a passive YouTube consumer but I do make the odd video here and there (again, for both work and play).

    LinkedIn I maintain for networking purposes (God forbid I find myself unexpectedly out of work but I do like to err on the side of caution) and G+ I update simply because mighty Google owns search.

    I’d like to start messing around with either Vine or Instagram video sometime in the near future.

    Anyway, that became very narcissistic very quickly. Sorry about that :-S

    I like your idea of becoming a master of a few tools. I’d say as long as you at least know how to use the others, focusing your efforts isn’t a bad way to go.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Haha, well I’m your new BFF then. I used to LOVE Pinterest… I was on that site everyday, scrolling forever and building these “perfect” boards. And then I looked at it one day and was like WTF did I do that for? Again, I do think there are some great recipes, DIY projects, etc. that you can find on the site… but I don’t have time to scroll all day and look!

  • Brian June 27, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Swap instagram for linkedIn and that’s me. I really don’t like twitter but consider it a necessary outlet for the blog. I really find LinkedIn to be useful in connecting with the professionals I work with, who are all over the world.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:50 am

      It’s definitely necessary for blogs, I’m with you there.

  • Kate Bradford June 27, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I feel the same way sometimes- way too plugged in. I use Twitter and Facebook pretty excessively in both work, my blog, and my personal life, and I also use LinkedIn quite a bit professionally. I find their job boards and networking groups are useful to help me advance my career and get advice. I also find Pinterest really helpful, and some of my favourite recipes were all found there. I save money cooking at home and creating DIY projects based on what I see pinned. Plus, it helps me promote my blog (I noticed a odd spike in traffic once, and it turned out that someone had pinned one of my articles and it had be repinned a ton of times).

    I haven’t been able to really attach myself to things like Yelp, Foursquare, or Vine however. The only time I use Yelp is when my iPhone recommends restaurants to me, or if I need to know if the delivery I’m ordering comes from a place that had health code violations!

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:52 am

      It’s always nice to see traffic come from new sources, i.e. Pinterest! I’ve just found that because I don’t really create a lot of custom images, no one pins my posts. Ahh well.

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans June 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I use FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ (I’m obsessed with the new way they’re doing pictures!).

    I’ve ditched Tumblr (big time-waster) and Vine (RIP) and I’m on the verge of ditching Pinterest.

    Funny how being less connected to the net makes us even more connected to our relationships/lives. Definitely need to work on this more myself!

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:53 am

      I think my issue w/ Google+ is that almost no one I know actually understands how to use it. Everyone has profiles, no one knows why, haha.

      But I have to agree with your comment re: disconnecting online helping us connect more in-person. I ditched Facebook for 8 months once and still knew what was going on; I just heard it over the phone or in-person. :)

  • Amanda June 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I’m pretty sure I have an account with every social media site out there, but Facebook (personal), Twitter (public) and Pintrest are the ones that I use daily. I haven’t used my Tumblr, for example, is over 2 years (I should probably just get rid of it.)

    I find that I’m spending more and more time on Twitter, which I know I need to cut back out and get outside and/or be productive with my summer off.

    I pretty much only use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. I don’t post much on there.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Kiss Tumblr goodbye! :P

  • eemusings June 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Yep, it’s totally overwhelming sometimes!

    Twitter is my main one, both for personal and work.

    I check in on LinkedIn most days, though not so much while travelling.

    Facey – use it for both work and play, but not very active.

    Instagram – use it from time to time

    Tumblr – ditto

    I have a G+ profile but don’t use it.

    I’m on Goodreads, but not very active – and not reading while travelling, so…

    Never used Pinterest, don’t want to.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Use Instagram more! I love your travel pics. :)

  • Rob June 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    My wife is a FB addict whereas I use it only the odd time. As well, I use Twitter, but only occasionally, especially when I was monitoring up-to-the minute “breaking news” (what an overused phrase!) relating to the Boston bombings – nothing could beat that level of immediacy. What I do use extensively are RSS readers (which is how I track the status of new updates on the many blogs and other news sites that I monitor). Primarily I’ve been using Google Reader but, with it’s announced July 1st termination (sob!), I’ve now migrated all my RSS site feeds over to Feedly.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

      That’s a great example of why it’s good to be on Twitter, Rob! And I have also switched over to Feedly… so far, I really like it! It’s so easy to add new feeds. Your thoughts?

      • Rob June 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        I did a pretty intensive study of various RSS readers as a replacement for Google Reader, scheduled for termination July 1st. I checked the pros and cons reported at many blog / techie sites. Feedly was high on everyone’s list. I found it dead easy to migrate my 100’s of blog / web site RSS feeds from GR over to Feedly all in one step. Until now I’ve been using both GR and Feedly together in order to compare the performance and dependability of Feedly. It checks out fine and I find it to be the closest thing to cloning GR’s activity.

        For any of your readers here’s a link that contains Feedly download links for various web browsers (eg., Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) :


  • Katie C. June 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I gave up Facebook right before David and I got engaged. Then I started my account back up to keep people in the loop with wedding news and closed it again after our wedding. So, it’s been a little over three years without Facebook for me!

    My thought process went like this: “Wow. I have 974 friends on Facebook, but I have friendships with very few of them. Let’s cut out the excess.” “So, now I have 250 ‘friends,’ but most of them are from high school or are family members who only want to talk smack about my political views on my wall. Let’s narrow it down to only the people I care about and have a real relationship with.” “Huh. Now I only have 15 Facebook friends, and they’re all people I talk to on a regular basis OUTSIDE of Facebook. What’s the point in having this account?”

    If only to get rid of the drama, I’m glad Facebook is out of my life.

    Twitter is the only social media site I use with any regularity. I have posted reviews to Yelp and Trip Advisor occasionally, and I try to read reviews there before going to new restaurants. But they’re not sites I visit more than once or twice a month. I like the simplicity of Twitter. (I also like that none of my relatives – except Mom – are on Twitter yet. Thank god.)

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Haha, my dad joined Twitter a few weeks ago… I need to pretend that he’s not there, otherwise I think I’d use it a little differently.

      And I totally understand your rational for not having Facebook. I closed my account for a good 8 months last year, when I was finishing up school. It was great! And I only felt disconnected a few times, but generally still heard about everything that was going on in people’s lives.

  • KC @ genxfinance June 28, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Yeah, only the top big three social media sites. I have accounts with the others as well but I don’t use them that often because, for example, you don’t hear anyone say, “I’ll add you on Google+”. Lol

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Haha, nope! And you probably never will.

  • cj June 28, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I use Facebook for person and Twitter for my blog but Twitter and I haven’t really been acquainted well.

    I can’t get into linked in….

    I enjoy reading and creating blog posts in the morning, with my coffee.

    • Cait June 29, 2013 at 7:59 am

      I like that too. :)

  • Troy June 29, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Personally I use FB (but not too much), and I use Twitter because a lot of really good investors and traders tweet.

  • Leanne June 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Twitter addict right here as well you know. I rarely use my Facebook for anything other than checkins but with friends spread out across the country it’s an easy way to stay in touch although I am trying to build my blog’s Facebook Page a bit more with the odd details that aren’t worthy of a blog post and I started a Instagram account so that I could share some pics there too. LinkedIn I never paid much attention to until I moved and am now starting a new job next week that I didn’t even apply for so I guess I should be more active on there and keep it up to date! I’ve tried the majority if not all the others and just didn’t find a benefit to them but I would definitely be lost without my Twitter followers!

  • American Debt Project July 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I love Twitter. It’s definitely the standout in social media. I have none of these sites for personal use, just my blog. Twitter is awesome though, I love to share information, and post random ideas and get feedback. But I do have a “secret” instagram I use to see how many followers I can get without telling anyone about it and just using hashtags. I think I’m up to 72 :0)

  • Sofia July 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Facebook – I have a personal site that only ppl I know IRL have access to. I also have a Facebook page for my blog but it doesn’t get much traction. I am sure I am doing something wrong.
    Twitter – in love with twitter
    Instagram – makes me feel closer to friends who are a few hundred miles away.
    I also <3 photos
    Google+ – I am trying to gain a better understanding of who actually uses google+ and how I can optimize activity there.

    Sites I Don’t Use:

    Foursquare / Path – I don't think I want all of twitter knowing where I go all the time
    LinkedIn – I just updated my picture on my Linkedin Profile and I am pretty sure I won't be updating it anytime soon- unless I change jobs.
    MySpace – nope
    Pinterest – have a profile, but unless it's for crafty ideas, I don't use it too often
    Vine – I was excited when Vine had an android app, but then Instagram caught up with their 15 second videos & now I just peruse when I am waiting in line at the post office. Vine should have shown android users more love- earlier in the game.
    Any review sites – Yelp, I like writing reviews. You never know you could be saving the next poor soul a very bad experience.
    Goodreads- I have an account but never use it.