New digital resolutions

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, this post is all about “social media resolutions” – or what we can do to improve our digital experience in 2013.

(So, to be clear. This post isn’t about resolving to see your parents more, to stop eating sugar, to tidy your room, stop reading Who magazine, to start watching Lateline, to grow all your own herbs, to learn to scuba, to learn to mosaic and to learn to speak Spanish. All admirable as they may be.)

I asked my Facebook community what their digital resolutions are. Their ideas included:

  • Using social media more efficiently: ie not checking their sites so often, and not allowing social media to be a big distraction
  • Shifting more focus to Google Plus
  • Auditing privacy settings and terms of use
  • Developing a new website
  • Developing a new blog / focus more on blogs
  • Giving up on Facebook ads

See the full comments and context on the Prakky Facebook Page. If you have time up your sleeve, it’s a good idea to sit back and think about how you use social media. It is taking up too much of your time? Are you enjoying it? Are there elements that annoy you? Is there a social media tool you’ve been meaning to use or a community that you’ve been meaning  to set up? Now could be the time to address this. As with any resolutions, it’s wise not to have an overwhelming long list that’s difficult to implement. Keep it simple or prioritise with the most important up top. I’ve created some mock digital plans below, which you might use.

Plan  one: Facebook quick n easy

  1. Check your Facebook  profile’s privacy settings. Go to your profile page. Click ‘view as’ and see how the rest of the world (non Facebook friends) sees your status updates and photographs. Don’t like what you see? Head to your privacy settings and make adjustments.
  2. Consider your Facebook friends. Is it time to lose a few friends, or go out scouting for more? Take a look at your Friends list (bottom left Facebook menu). Don’t be afraid to unfriend people.


See 'view as' under your Facebook cover image to see how others' see your profile.
See ‘view as’ under your Facebook cover image to see how others’ see your profile.

Plan two: Twitter promises

  1. Set up Twitter Lists. This helps you sift through the Twitterverse and avoid missing tweets from accounts that are important to you. Have for example a Friends list, a Clients list, a Media list and so on. Whatever hobby you have, put together a list for relevant accounts.
  2. Every time you’re spammed, report and block that Twitter account.
  3. Check your Twitter Favourites list. Is it time to unfavourite some tweets you had saved, or do they still apply?
  4. Try using a different Twitter phone app, to see what they offer and what might suit you best.  There’s the native Twitter app, but also Tweetbot, Tweetcaster, Echofon and Hootsuite.
  5. Look for a regular Twitter hashtag to participate in. This can help you find interesting tweeters to connect to.
Experiment with a new Twitter app, like Tweetcaster
Experiment with a new Twitter app, like Tweetcaster

Plan three: Do more

  1. Look at a service like IFTTT (if this, then that) to do things like saving all your Instagram photos to Dropbox, sending a Facebook update to Tumblr, post a daily cartoon strip to your Facebook and so on.  There are ‘recipes’ to browse or you can build your own automated actions.
  2. Audit your Facebook business page from the point of view of a stranger. Is it easy to immediately understand what you offer? Can people easily contact you? Does the cover image or description need a refresh?
  3. Audit your LinkedIn profile. Is there more you can add? Is it time to ask for fresh recommendations? Do you need to eliminate some jargon from your descriptions?
  4. Join a new group. Explore LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Google Plus Communities and online forums. Introduce yourself, browse previous discussions, answer questions and participate. If the group doesn’t appear to offer anything of value – after a month or so – leave it.
  5. Look at all of your profile photographs across your social media accounts. Do they need updating? A new year, a new wrinkle? 😉
  6. Read, comment on, and like more blog posts. (This is one that I’m doing). Get outside of your own blog and acknowledge and remark on others.  Be a better blogcitizen.
  7. Assess your RSS feed. Are there things you need to unsubscribe from? Are there blogs or sites you should add?
  8. Write down two sites or tools you’ve always meant to try but haven’t had time for. This might include Quora, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Path, Branch or the new MySpace. Sign up, find friends or interesting topics. Participate heavily for a week or so, then assess your experience and consider whether you want to continue to use it.
Prakky's Pinterest
Prakky’s Pinterest

Of course, not all of your ‘digital life’ involves social media.

Your digital resolutions may also include improving your data back-up routine and password protection habits. You might decide to use email differently, switching off instant notifications, setting up folders and better auto signatures and more. You might change your hardware. Again, write a list of what’s been annoying you and what you want to achieve more efficiently. Adelaide Tech Guy and Packet Networks have lots of ideas for this field.

What are your plans for your digital life in 2013?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jerome Dudley says:

    My resolution is to cut off all social media/Internet and live off-line.

    1. Prakky says:

      Good luck Jerome! I really should have mentioned an option like that in my post. Have you read Susan Maushart’s book about her family’s year without tech? It’s interesting.

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