Monday, September 7, 2015

If This Then That : Streamlining Social Media

Peter Barnes (

Remember when it was weird to have a Facebook?

If you were born before 1998, you probably do.  It didn't take long, but it's no news that social media has grown into an integral part of most of our lives.

Now, Facebook is just one of many social media platforms.  With Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Tumblr all increasing in popularity in the last 8 years, everyone and everything is documented on the internet.

With a massive amount of popularity, like anything, comes a massive amount of skepticism, and you don't have to look far to find reasons why social media is "ruining our lives".  From an ever growing amount of our data on the web, when is it too much?

Step back for a second and realize that there are people who make a living off of Instagram.

We spend so much time on social media because there is so much social media for us to consume, whether we are the creator, or the consumer.

Enter If This Then That.

If This Then That (IFTTT) is an application designed to streamline your social media.  For those unfamiliar with the concept of streamlining social media, here is an example with my life.

I'm a photographer starting a photography business.  Because I don't have an actual location for my service, I rely solely on social media to promote myself and my services.  Logically speaking, the more presence you have on social media, the more people will see your content.

In my case, I run a Facebook page, an Instagram page, a Flickr page, a Twitter page, along with my own business website.

Before I IFTTT, I would spend a large amount of my time updating all of my accounts, which only increased the time that I spent on my phone/computer, and less time actually doing photography!

IFTTT allows me to only post to ONE of my accounts and have all of my other accounts be updating instantaneously.

*Refer to the IFTTT website to learn more about how the application actually works.

Here's a synopsis on how IFTTT streamlines my social media

  1. I post a photo and caption on my Instagram
  2. IFTTT captures that post and uploads it to Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Facebook natively, and instantaneously
Why is all of this relevant to us?  

It brings up this question.  Is social media "bad" because of how much content we upload to it, or because of how much time we spend using it? 

Certainly both can have their negative effects, but in my opinion, based on how many people spend their days glued to their phones, the latter is the more important one.  

Effective use of applications like IFTTT can greatly reduce our time spent on social media. 

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