SGPsychStud: Networking on Social Media

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In definition, social media are
"websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking." (From Google)
The main purpose of social media is to allow people to "create and share content" or "to participate in social networking".  Social media has become so integrated with our lives that most people will have one social media account, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.  However, (imo) not all social media are suitable for all types of networking.  It has been mentioned previously that networking is a essential task in a successful career, regardless of your industry, and social media is a huge medium where this can be easily done.

The question is "Which social media is more appropriate?"

Firstly, we need to understand the type of network or association that we have with the other person; this can then be followed by evaluating the type of social media that we wish to be connected on with him/her.  Rather than discussing how the respective social media is being used, I am talking about who you are connected to and why they are connected to those social media.

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It really depends on how intimate or close you are with the other person.  Here is my suggestion for how the levels can be broken down and how social networks can be used in the respective levels:
  • Intimate level
    • This level includes your close friends and family.  These are the people who you communicate on a regular basis.  Social media does not restrict you but you have all of them on all levels of your social media. 
  • Personal level
    • This level include your friends from school, previous work places, and family friends who you do not contact regularly.  You still wish to have them as contacts for old times sake, even though you might not have seen them for the last few years.  Hence you have them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and similar social media platforms to get regular updates of their daily lives, no matter how far they are from you.
  • Professional level
    • This level includes people from your current workplace that you are not too close with, and/or people whom you only contact for work purposes.  For the group of associates, lunch and work meetings are probably the only reasons you spend time alone with them.  For them, you would probably restrict them to your work emails, and probably LinkedIn.  For professional networking, LinkedIn is probably the preferred choice in Singapore. 
  • Acquaintance level
    • These are people who you would probably only meet once in your lifetime.  It would be preferably that you do not have them on any of your social media.
Social networking is undoubtedly very important to help you build personal and professional connections, however it is also equally important to distinguish the level and the respective social media to connect with the person.
You do not want strangers on your most intimate social media!