1. Ryan D. Lunka says

    I’m not sure I would say that Facebook “has it wrong”, because in a large way, Facebook shaped my generation’s sharing psychology. However, that doesn’t mean the psychology isn’t evolving, mostly due to societal forces (i.e. a picture of you doing a kegstand = no job for you at this bank).

    Removing the “fear of forever” certainly changes how people share. But in 2004, when Facebook was spanking new, we didn’t really have that fear of forever yet anyway. That came to be over time.

    Definitely an interesting topic and post!

  2. LimitlessGood says

    Hey Jay, great post and interesting issues. I find it hard to talk about Facebook…as just one thing. With over a billion users, seems challenging to say what “Facebook” wants. FB is a tool, used in many different ways by different people. Give me a hammer and best I’ll do with it is knock a nail in at a crooked angle. Give the same hammer to a carpenter and he can build a house. Silly point, but just think it is always a challenge to talk about Facebook as if it is one, static thing.

    I should say, FB also tends to drive me crazy. We have worked on some Social Good campaigns and it can be a challenge to get people to share on social issues. On the other hand, millions of people will share and like something like “If you tailgate me, I’ll drive slower”. A little depressing. So, if SnapChat allows users to be more free, less worried about what they say online – where does that put us? It is not like FB is filled with heavy, serious thinking now.

    The issue with social media is often that there are no or less consequences for your actions. Kids say mean things online because they are not face to face with the person. We have all been guilty of saying things online we would have never said in person. Maybe the one check to this is that stuff lives forever online. Maybe you think twice about blasting someone unfairly online because you know it could be pulled up later…like in a job interview. It seems like SnapChap removes this one check. Now you can say what you want, without fear of the consequences of your actions.

    Sorry, got long here – anyway, great post, makes you think!


    • says

      Excellent point Dan about the flip side of the expiring content coin, and liquid identity – lack of accountability. No question it’s easier to bully (or worse) when there are no tracks left behind. Thanks for raising such an important element.

  3. Dave Link says

    I love the concept of a Liquid Self. Admittedly, as a marketing/PR/social professional, I’m very leery about what I share on any of my social profiles and I’ve had many a conversation with friends/family about cleaning up their social footprints when job hunting. But really, I think there’s a balance. There are those moments that you only want to exist for a short time and the fade away (parties, embarrassing moments, etc.) and then those that you want to live forever (birth of a child, marriage, new home purchase, etc.)

    Maybe the creation of platforms like SnapChat help to serve that need for fleeting moments while others like FB and Twitter serve to fill our need for permanence? Reaching a bit there, but while we all want some events to quietly fade into the night we also want a record of our achievements/life goals to live on for much longer.

    • says

      I wonder, Dave, if there’s a happy medium? Could Facebook allow you to “expire” some content, the same way that allow you to show certain items to friends vs. friends of friends, etc?

      • Dave Link says

        Absolutely. But if FB’s stated mission is to ensure that users document every moment of their lives in a permanent fashion it would run contrary to have some sort of expiring element of posts. Not saying it wouldn’t be a great idea and well-used function, just playing devil’s advocate. :)

  4. Jennifer says

    Jay. I kind of like the idea of both erasing what happens in 10 seconds or at the end of the day. I’ve shut down my facebook and pintrest. Although I used those tools only for “my friends” and not any work-related relationships, I seemed to only be reading a staged, superficial, or guarded commentary from friends and acquaintances. Everything from how awful potty training was to how wonderful someone’s spa day or new house was. It seemed like complaints or bragging for the most part. Maybe gossip even? However it is to be described, the “authentic” person that social media guru’s talk about is really not able to be online, because “creating” that online person is not being authentic. It doesn’t mean a person isn’t being honest, just not completely themselves. I continue to read more on the importance of “branding yourself”. Wow. I don’t think I want to be a “brand” and have to constantly be thinking about if my words, actions, and online persona is staying with my “brand”. I just want to be me and I think I’ve found that can’t really be “authentic” online. I’ve spoken many times to my children about the importance of being extremely careful about what is being put online. College admissions and potential employers alike are evaluating your worthiness as a student or employee or person in general by online content. My teenager, coincidentally, is not interested at all in putting any part of his life online outside of his gamer name. Will we lose “real people” in this effort to “brand oneself” aapropriately (for all time?). I have recently chosen not to be a brand. Hopefully, when I meet people, they find a real person. Now – do I still employ social media marketing in business? Absolutely.

    • says

      It’s really interesting Jennifer. The idea of social is that you can be “transparent” but if you are only sharing a very specific, curated version of your life, that’s not transparent at all.

  5. says

    Really interesting feature from Snapchat. I agree with you, Jay, in that it’s nothing revolutionary, but I love your perspective on the comfortability of people sharing more of their lives knowing it will only reach a limited audience and disappear at the end of the night.

  6. Lisa says

    HI there,

    I am more inclined to believe there is a place for both.

    Whilst Snap shot draws from actual process of life’s disappearing and irretrievable moments, Facebook acts as a memory bank of selected highlights and proves their retrievabililty in the re-living and re-telling. I LOVE the notion of a Liquid Self and the appreciation of transience, but still anchoring other aspects as being bedrock of who I am.

    I am a chronic documentor of my life and have been for decades. It’s a powerful tool of reflection and discovery. I always wanted to write freely without judging myself so that I would have a full account of what was relevant ( in my eyes) to my journey-along with my thoughts and responses. However, I acknowledge, that not all people can deal with ALL truth. But when we are fully known, we can know being fully loved.

    Personally speaking, I guess I see myself as growing in wisdom and so what I have to say will carry ongoing, positive influence-for myself and others. I want the best of who I’ve become to be what lasts…and the story of the process to be added inspiration. ALL used for good somehow.

    We all need an inner circle…we all need the larger community. There are fitting places for all forms of connection.

    I conclude with this favourite piece of prose from an unknown ( to me) author:

    “Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person.
    Having neither to weigh thoughts, nor measure words,
    But pour them all out, just as they are,
    Chaff and grain together.
    And a faithful hand will take, and sift them
    And with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

    My vision and dream is for a world that is full of “friends” that love like this.

  7. says

    Hi Jay, interesting article. It’s a valid point with sharing especially with the younger audience that there is that pressure to have their content constantly judged even long after sharing. Especially with privacy concerns higher than ever it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Facebook adaopted a similar approach.

  8. says

    I don’t think they’re “all wrong” about how we want to share, or else they wouldn’t have succeeded in getting us to share so much. FB sort of already operates on the basis that content that is older than a day or 2 is gone…how often do people really go back and look at/see posts that are older than this? The fundamental difference of course is that Snapchat makes it impossible to go back and see this, while Facebook at least makes it possible. It is interesting for sure, and I think it’s reasonable to believe people may share more “real” moments on Snapchat where they’re not concerned it could be viewed in a negative light later on.

  9. says

    Working in SEO and Social Media I always wonder how many psychological experiments you could develop just by looking at how people present themselves on Facebook and Twitter. Interesting stuff.

  10. says

    Interesting insight on permanent versus non-permanent social media. Thanks for sharing this Jay. It seems that SnapChat better mirrors the way that humans communicate (unrecorded and ephemeral in nature).

    The next questions of interest to me are – Is this why kids these days are not using Facebook? Are adults using Facebook just because there was no other compelling social media network around when we were growing up? Or do Facebook and SnapChat both just cater to different communication needs?

    Thanks for the post! Loved thoughts that it provoked!

  11. Kevim says

    Hi Jay, great reading. I believe that Social Media sites that now store your information (timeline) are no longer showing a true social picture of yourself.
    I have just finished reading an article about preparing yourself for job applications and one of the main comments expressed is to keep your social media profile squeaky clean, especially if entering the professional field.. If this is true then people will portray one persona on historical media and another persona on dissapearing media. I guess this means a program that can combine the best of both worlds would have a distinct advantage in the future of social media.

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