No one claims to understand the majority of settings available to them on the social media platforms they use.
What’s the solution? In platform induction, start with the settings. Training in becoming familiar with the role, risks and language of settings should be taught in interesting ways. Cyber security and social media “gardening” can be engaging. Settings is a key social media skill and should be recognised in appraisal and reward systems. We should value the role and importance of setting our social media garden mindfully and skilfully. Often the senior managers are the worst exemplars. Lead from the top, blah, blah.
Overall, settings are still to complex and inaccessible. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore them.
Now back to my non-scientific poll. Here are a few non-scientific results…
- When I really grasp settings I tend to use the social media platforms more effectively and I also feel more confident using them which can motivate me to produce better content, more mindfully
- I am more able to keep content more up to date, more relevant to me and others, and this helps me to do my job more effectively when I am on top of social media settings
- Settings still feel largely hidden but it is worth spending an hour seeking them out, experimenting and getting on top of them
- I need to be more aware of the risks to my personal and working life of not managing my settings more consciously
- Settings still feels like a tiring battle. It can be a good idea to follow the “less is more” rule and cut down the number of platforms I use. Use just one or two wisely, rather than skating over the surface of half a dozen like a dangerous and clumsy oaf
- Settings are a kind of front line of a battle between the individual’s wish for privacy and the corporations wish for transparency (especially so ads can be better targeted and sold)
- Settings have changed recently. There are global settings and there are specific settings. What can get really tiring is getting lost on the settings of single posts rather than digging down to more global settings that can save time and energy
- Never join anything without learning how you can easily leave when and if you want
- Remember that, on most social media platforms, unless you get your privacy settings right, even when you delete, your muddy content footprint (photos, posts etc) might still be all over search engine results
- Keep tuned for big policy changes where providers such as Facebook or Twitter announce sometimes big changes to their privacy policies that might just affect you in ways you won’t want or like.
Settings lurk in the shadows. This is a call for you to shine a conscious light on them. Privacy isn’t hiding – it is your human right.
For now…. PL
Image credit: The Dark Side of Social Media Settings, by Paul Levy at Digital Inferno. All rights reserved.