Monday, May 3, 2021

#MicroblogMondays: Here's a story....

Here's a question for you!  A Facebook friend recently asked why people choose to post "stories" (and should that be "stories" or "Stories"??) instead of wall posts. 

Her main issue was how the stories zoom by so fast, and having to click back and/or hold her finger on it (on her cellphone) to be able to fully take in the whole thing. "If something's worth sharing in the first place, why not let it linger?" she asked. (Good question, I thought!) She also disliked that stories are now showing up in her Facebook feed, and she doesn't always realize it's a story versus a regular post until she clicks on it. (I noticed this recently too!) 

Some commenters agreed, saying they find stories "annoying." Most people said they prefer watching them on Instagram versus Facebook. (IG allows you to cross-post to FB, but not vice-versa, so far as I can tell.) 

Others came to stories' defense and said they enjoyed watching them. Those who have shared stories said they liked being able to share things they've found on other people's stories, and that it's a "tidier" way of sharing memes and other stuff they've found and liked without cluttering up their wall. Small business owners & entrepreneurs said stories are a critical marketing tool for them in helping to build their brands... that they reach and engage their audience (especially younger people) in a much different way through stories versus regular posts. 

I get that. 

But I have mixed feelings. 

It took me a long time to start watching the stories on my Instagram feed. I didn't "get" what they were all about, and it seemed like it was just one more thing I had to deal with/scroll through. Once I started looking at them, I realized that some of the content in the stories was different from what was in the main feed... and I certainly didn't want to miss anything posted by some of my good friends and relatives. I currently follow about 450 accounts on Instagram, and some of them are VERY active on stories -- some post literally dozens of snippets every day. That's a lot of time spent watching or advancing through stories every day! (I tend to watch them in IG far more than on Facebook, for some reason -- and apparently I'm not alone in that.) And the "deadline" -- the need to get through the stories before they expire -- makes me feel pressured. 

Stories from some of my favourite brands or "influencers" are one thing (and I do enjoy some of this content -- for example, I find @gocleanco 's before & after cleaning videos mesmerizing!).  Personal stories are another thing entirely -- and one user's in particular, lol.  ;)  My MAIN complaint/reservation about stories is that Older Nephew's Wife uses FB & IG stories almost exclusively for her social media posts -- which means we get 24 hours max (and often less -- because we do have to sleep...!) to enjoy any photos and videos she posts of Little Great-Nephew before they disappear...  And sometimes it's a week or more before she posts something else. It would be nice to be able to go back to them later and watch at our leisure. It's especially maddening when COVID-19 prevents us from seeing him as often as we otherwise might and taking our own photos. Someone suggested taking screenshots -- which we do -- but those don't adequately capture the full experience -- or cuteness :) -- of the videos. I don't know WHY she uses social media this way -- and I suppose we could ask her/tell her how we feel -- but I don't want to make her feel bad or feel that she has to do something just because we're annoyed by it. She is, after all, our nephew's wife, not our own daughter or daughter-in-law!  And she's the mother of said Little Great-Nephew -- we want to stay in her good graces, lol.  

Plus, I have an issue with impermanence, lol. Okay, I know nothing lasts forever, especially on the Internet, but I have a general tendency to want to hang onto things. I'm a packrat, even in my virtual life...! 

You might guess that I don't use stories myself. (Or at least I haven't to date.) One friend confessed they've only ever shared stories by accident -- I had to admit I'm in that camp too. ;)  I think I might have shared one deliberately once to enter a giveaway. Part of the reason I've never used stories is I honestly don't know what the heck I'm doing when it comes to posting one. Maddeningly, social media doesn't come with instruction manuals. All those special little effects -- the captions (in different fonts), the stickers, the music, the polls, the tags... How do people do these things??  (I suppose I am showing my age here... younger people seem to have an instinct about how these things work, and certainly less trepidation about just diving in and using them.) (I also suppose there is such a thing as Google, lol...)  

So -- Instagram &/or Facebook Stories -- yay or nay? Do you use the "Stories" feature on these apps/sites? Why or why not? 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here

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