Mental Health Monday: social media purge


Hi all! I’ve been toying with new ideas for the year and I thought it might be nice to do an occasional mental health Monday post, just a little peek into what I do to stay grounded and find meaning.

I recently made the decision to shut down my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. I found that I got very little pleasure from them and more anxiety than not. LinkedIn, in particular, was a waste and a nuisance. I rarely used it, but I was constantly receiving messages about security breaches. The thought that they couldn’t get their shiz together to secure my account was a deal-breaker after the umpteenth password change.

The election drama was a large part of my decision to quit Facebook. The amount of fake news and poor insight being promoted just made the choice all the easier. Since quitting, I’ve felt a sense of ease that I haven’t felt in a while. I don’t need to make excuses for not returning someone’s add request and I don’t have to censor my views and opinions because I might upset someone I know or work with… ain’t no time for that.

I’ve also started limiting my time on twitter. I love the sense of community among aspiring and new writers, but there are too many battles to be fought and I just don’t feel like getting into it. Cutting back and spending time on actual writing, blogging, and video-making brings me much more joy.

I love Instagram and it’s become my platform of choice for browsing. I regularly declutter my follows and try to curate my feed, but I much prefer the visual pretties over the storm of angry text. Pinterest, still good.

Overall, I’m pleased with the direction I’m taking and am less bogged down by other people’s opinions.

Try it for a few days, unplug and see how you feel. Let me know how it goes 🙂

managing online profiles, or my life is not for you

I’ve seen a rise in the number of followers I have on Instagram. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I am making a point of being a public figure on social media, but I do like to draw a line where people I know in real life are concerned. Family in particular. I am not “friends” with my family members. I barely speak to most of them and have little desire to get any closer. Former students and colleagues are a similar situation. If I haven’t stayed in touch, I don’t really want you in my life. Cold, but true. There are some I will ignore, but I just blocked someone I didn’t want following me. Is it a harsh move? Maybe, but I don’t want to deal with the mess that will inevitably happen when that person is offended by something I post (this person is related to me BTW).

How do you handle the divide between those you know IRL and everyone else? I find that I prefer my online followers; I actually have a better relationship with some of the people I’ve met through this blog or on twitter than I do with relatives or people I’ve met through work (my last job was at a Catholic school, needless to say, my views didn’t always mesh).

Just some thoughts worth mulling.

23 things: Part 9 – Web 2.0 sites and apps

Activity 9 – Web 2.0 sites


I visited to browse some of the latest Web 2.0 apps and websites. The site features hundreds of start-ups and well known social media websites that serve all manner of functions, from productivity to entertainment.

There are so many social media and app sites, it can be hard to keep track of them. Directories such as Go2Web20 make it easy to pick and choose apps and sites to try without needing to follow tech blogs and news.

Because this activity was about discovery, I decided to try a few of the applications featured on the site, rather than focus on a single one.

The following is an overview of the sites I explored.


FoodJournal is a photoblogging site for people who want to watch what they eat. The idea behind the site is that those concerned with their diets are more likely to be aware of what they eat if they photograph it. The social aspect is meant to encourage a sense of solidarity among dieters. While not especially useful for instruction, I supervise a large team of undergrad girls at the circulation desk, all of whom are on diets and permanently attached to their smart phones. I think they will love this site.


Greplin ‘s creators call it “the search bar for your life”. Given the amount of information that most people post to the web, Greplin really is a search engine for your online life. The site allows registered users to search for information on the social networks and media sites that they regularly use. For instance, the site can search your Facebook, LinkedIn, and GoogleDocs accounts (and many more), indexing your online content and making it easy to retrieve.


Ubidesk is a subscription-based collaboration site that allows users to work on team projects on a cloud-based server. For users who cannot install and maintain a program such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint, Ubidesk may provide a powerful alternative. However, Ubidesk is not the only program that meets this need; users will need to compare and find the site that best fits their need.


Keepio allows users to catalog their belongings, and provides the option for community members to trade and swap items. I was intrigued by the idea of keeping track of my belongings, it seems like a good way to have a record of your belongings for insurance purposes (or for the sake of curiosity).

Web 2.0 and ILI

While the individual sites that I explored proved to be more playful than productive, I did find the Go2Web20 directory useful. The growing popularity of social apps has led to the proliferation of sites such as the ones listed on Go2Web20. However, while not all sites succeed, a new one appears to pop up as soon as another disappears. This makes it difficult to keep track of the latest tech trend being used by web savvy patrons. Regularly browsing the sites listed on a Web 2.0 directory can make it easier for members of the library community to maintain a solid web presence and establish connections with patrons in an online environment. Meanwhile, productivity and collaboration sites can make the process of content publishing quick and efficient for instruction librarians.

23 things: Part 6 – Twitter

Activity 6 – Using Twitter


I have noticed that there is a divide with regards to Twitter: those who use it (not all may love it, but they see some sort of value in the service) and those who fail to see a point to it. I often hear people say, “Why would I want to know what so-and-so is doing?”. The prevailing assumption among non-users often appears to be that Twitter is an over-hyped status update tool, but to believe so is to overlook the means of communication that the site provides.

Twitter is not a status update feed; it is a micro-blogging site. While much of the content on Twitter may be irrelevant to many (as with much of the web), the Library of Congress deemed it a potential avenue for future research into society and culture, acquiring the right to archive Twitter’s content in 2010 (Read more here). Twitter provides users with an outlet through which to communication on all manner of topics and tracks these topics through the use of hash tags to note trends based on tagged keywords.

Using Twitter for ILI

For librarians that want to stay connected with users, but do not have the time to publish meaningful content on a blog, micro-blogging may be the answer. Many libraries use Twitter to keep their patrons informed about events, closures, and other relevant news; but librarians can also keep track of current events and happenings to cite during instruction sessions. One way to do this is to use the Twitter trending menu, which lists the most used phrases and terms on Twitter (these are often tied to major national or international events, or to pop culture). Trends can also be searched. Knowing what patrons may be interested in is one way to connect with them and bring useful, relevant topics to the instruction session.

In addition, as with many social networking tools, Twitter provides an opportunity for professional development in ILI and ways to connect with fellow librarians interested in ILI and/or how to use social media in libraries.

I use Twitter as a feed and as a means to promote my own content. My tweets can be found here: @thingssheread

23 things: Part 5 – Social Media and Networking

Activity 5 – Using Facebook and LinkedIn


It used to be that “networking” was a catchphrase for business types and motivational speakers. Every student organization meeting I ever attended during my undergrad years involved at least one mention of the term networking and how crucial it would be in our careers. Generally this meant going to meetings, workshops, seminars, etc. to hand out copies of resumes and/or business cards, and generally hob-nob with possible employers or “contacts”.

Social networking sites have changed all that. With sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut, MySpace, Ning, and numerous others, it is fairly easy for anyone to establish an online presence and watch their network grow. Social media allows users to interact with individuals with similar interests and pursuits, possibly even making that crucial connection.

Using LinkedIn and Facebook for Information Literacy

Facebook can serve as a powerful medium through which to communicate with students/patrons and introduce them to materials and services available through the library, as well as a means through which to promote library events that provide information literacy instruction. I recently created a Facebook page for the library where I work; it is still in its inception, but I have taken to using the page to alert students about workshops, lectures, and other events that raise awareness of current issues. I plan on using the site to also present information on the various databases and resources that we offer, so that students are made aware of sources that they may overlook while visiting the library’s web page. The best part is that Facebook sends me regular updates on how many users have viewed posts made on the page, so I can learn more about the content that appeals to them and finds ways to use the site to learn about their needs (Facebook offers polling and commenting options that may work well for informal needs assessments, if enough followers are willing to participate).

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn focuses on professional development rather than socialization. LinkedIn highlights personal and professional accomplishments, experience, and goals, and also provides apps through which to showcase projects and other items. While the site may be effective to connect with students and patrons through a group page, I find that the best use of LinkedIn with regards to Information Literacy Instruction is the ability to connect with members of professional organizations and others interested in ILI.

I can be found on both sites at the following URLs: