I can be… strike that, I am an introvert and, as a result, I use social media differently. I don’t post pictures of myself, the food I’m eating, or my super adorable cats. I don’t post while traveling, I don’t tweet my every thought, and I don’t like updating my status. “Why then,” you might ask me, “are you even on social media?” Well, dear reader, social media doesn’t have to be social. There’s a plethora of reasons why one might not want to advertise themselves on social media. So, when is social media not social?

Our blog is laden with reasons why social media is great for business. If you’re looking for something to read along those lines, I have more than a few suggestions. Our team at Roundpeg is dedicated to keeping up with internet happenings and that means having a finger on the web’s pulse. Now back to my ramblings:

My favorite social media platform is Instagram. I do have a personal account, but you’d never be able to tell that it’s mine. My name isn’t attached to it, I’ve tied a custom email into the account, and you won’t find any photos of me. Even if you wanted to look at my profile, it’s all shut off to anyone who I haven’t allowed in. My personal account is actually the one I use the least. There’s more to Instagram than pictures of food, and more to Facebook than your face. I don’t have low self-esteem or detest seeing pictures of myself, it’s just simply not what I’m interested in posting.

I think being incognito is one of the high points of the internet, and it seems I’m not the only one who enjoys the degree of anonymity on the internet. When asked if they used anonymity to engage with groups/people they wouldn’t otherwise, many Americans agreed that they do engage in such behavior. Being anonymous online allows for a judgement-free experience. Many of my interests came from research on the internet. I would never have had the confidence to walk into a homebrew store without first trolling the brewing subreddit on my anonymous account. Many resources I’ve used to learn a bit of sign language were provided to me in similar forums for Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons. I have no obligations to these persons as I do with friends in real life, but the connection can often be just as genuine.

I don’t think that being busy on social media equates to having a healthy social life. I’m no psychoanalyst, and social media is great for those short spurts of dopamine that we crave; but reading a ranty status on Facebook is just not the same as hearing that person kvetch live. Even while chatting over video calls there’s an obvious inhuman disconnect.

We have all these amazing platforms. Surely they’re not exclusively for keeping up with what our extended social circles are doing at any given moment. I don’t even know 500 people in real life, and even if I did, who cares where a distant connection is vacationing?

Ask yourself how social media is being used positively throughout your day and focus on that sort of activity. Of course, this won’t look the same for everyone. As with most things, sometimes you just need to take a step back to reconnect with what’s important.

And if you want to learn how to use social media more effectively for business, be sure to check out our social media starter kit.