Sixty-nine per cent of reddit users that engaged in the three questions asked (1. Do you filter what you post on particular social media sites? 2. What’s something you never thought you would post on social media but in the end, you did anyway? and 3. What’s something you regret ever posting/ sharing on any social media platform?) disclosed that they definitely filter what they post on social media. Some explained that particular social pages of theirs house a particular type of content whereas others were more wary of what they post on social media as a whole.
Awario explain part of this social media filtering in three short quotes.
- “The core of Facebook ‘culture’ is friendship”
- On Twitter, “your readers are not friends anymore. They are a huge crowd with a very short attention span”
- “Instagram… allows you to use filters that could make almost anything look beautiful”
One user explained that they prefer to keep their political views off of social media as they would like to refrain from people they know, who don’t know each other, from starting “a complete shit show in the comments section”.
Another user put their filtering system in simple terms; Facebook was for their least sexual content, Instagram was for mildly sexual content, Snapchat was “basically porn” and Twitter was for all of the above. I couldn’t help but compare this to my own personal filtering system when it comes to social platforms. I find that I share my more personal achievements on Facebook as that is the platform with people that I’ve grown up and communicated with. I’ve also found that my Facebook account has some of the highest security settings. Instagram sees a very filtered version of my life and it’s the platform that I will hardly share anything ‘real’ with. Like the reddit user, my Twitter also sees a combination of everything. I use Twitter to connect to similar communities, whether that be television shows or sporting teams; to share assignments and the projects I’m working on; or to just house my thoughtless rambles.
Forty-four per cent of the responses stated their job as their main reason for filtering their social accounts. Linda Skates reported on ABC that “applicants are being warned it is now standard practice for their social media profile to be checked when it comes to assessing their suitability for jobs.” One response came from a small business owner and they stated “… before I contract employees, I do a general background check which includes a brief glimpse of their social media”. They also continue to say that they personally portray themselves “in a way that accentuates [their] highlights as a person, and choose to omit [their] rather likeable qualities”.
One participant replied that they never really thought they would post anything to do with their day or life, but they have found themselves occasionally doing so.