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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012

* The setup

When it comes to his Facebook and Twitter pages, state Sen. Sam McCann says he tries not to bicker with disagreeable constituents.

“I will accept a friend request from almost anyone,” said McCann, R-Carlinville. “There’s only been a number of folks, who I can count on one hand, who I’ve had to de-friend. We don’t put up with any nonsense or get into any debates.”

McCann is one of a growing number of lawmakers using social media to get their messages out to constituents. Out of 118 members of the Illinois House, at least 77 have created Facebook accounts of some kind, and at least 48 representatives have created Twitter accounts. Out of 59 senators, 47 of them have created Facebook accounts, and 32 have Twitter accounts.

For McCann, Facebook is like a daily journal in which he posts recaps at the end of each day. McCann only has one profile—his personal one.

* The Question: Do you use social media? If so, which sites? Also, how do you use your social media accounts? How often?

Yeah, that’s more than one question, but try to answer as fully as you can. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Tom B. - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 11:31 am:

    I tweet dumb things Romney says all day. There’s so much material to choose from.

  2. - Todd - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 11:38 am:

    Yup have a facebook page.

    I use it as a way to check up friends, even found some from highschool.

    But unlike many people on facebook I am under no delusions that the rest of the world gives a rat’s ass as to what i am thinking or pondering at any given moment.

    My comments are sometimes just a way of posting things i might find cute, amuzing or interesting

  3. - phocion - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    Twitter and Linked In are what I check out. Also have accounts there, plus Facebook. But I don’t use FB much. I post to twitter and linked in a few times a day on average. I look at other postings throughout the day on workdays just to keep up. About all social media I do is for professional and public policy purposes.

  4. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    I use Twitter in a most non-professional way. I probably post things a couple of times a day.

  5. - Joe Schmoe - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:07 pm:

    Yup, use our Association’s Facebook page every day. Post information on a continuous basis. Tie our e-mail campaigns to Facebook and LinkedIn likewise. Try not to tweet - that’s annoying sometimes. Hundreds of members tied in to Facebook.

  6. - Stones - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    I use Facebook but purposely avoid political topics. Many of my friends feel the need to express their opinions on political issues which only tends to incite emotions on both sides of the topic. I have defriended people (or blocked their feeds) when I feel that they are being overly political or controversial. While I support freedom of speech I also have the right not to listen if I choose.

  7. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Facebook is my main hub, which I have set up to automatically Tweet.

  8. - The Other Side Of The Moon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    I use FB, Twitter and LinkedIn. Primarily check FB, mornings, afternoons and evenings but limit my activity to a few minutes. I am a member of a Transportation Social Media group, and monitor various local, state and federal transportation agencies on FB from across the country.

    Huge fan of Twitter, monitor transportation discussions here too, mostly federal though. Post but personal and professional stuff. Limit activity on Twitter to 3-4 minutes maybe 5-10 times a day. Try not to get lost in the ocean of information there either. I created my own private lists to help with who I follow, etc.

    LinkedIn to keep in contact with some of my colleagues and to network. Post articles every now and again.

  9. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    The only people I’ve blocked are people trying to sell me something.

  10. - Solomon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    Deleted my Facebook around the time they opened it up to anyone. Life’s never been better.

    It only feeds people’s narcissistic desires to share with the world how tasty their ham sandwich was. We’ve glorified tedium.

  11. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    Facebook …mostly to keep track of family … & some friends.

    Plus at least one club I’m a member of has an active Facebook page.

    Once or twice a day … unlike my kid who figured out he could have FB text message everything to his phone and then reply with a text message.

  12. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    I stay off the social networks as much as possible. Already spend too much time on line as part of my job and there comes a time you just have to unhook. Do not have a Facebook page and amazingly I have no desire to get one. Most of what I read on social sites when I go is just junk. Drifted into LinkedLn by invitation and rarely go there.

  13. - TwoFeetThick - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    I use none of the above. It’s all good until something you twarted shows up to haunt you at a job interview 20 years from now. Nothing on there is undiscoverable and private, and it lasts forever. Besides, with my tinfoil hat I can directly transmit my thoughts to anyone I wish.

  14. - Irish - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    I have an email account. I do my communicating with that, the phone, and in person. I try to keep my life simple.

    I get flack from my brothers and sister who want me to get on Facebook so we can keep in touch more. But then you have other people who want to “friend” you and who want to know if you “like” what they have on their page. Too many decisions and a whole host of issues. No thanks. It’s like having a whole herd of Sheldons, BBT, knocking on your door, calling your name. It’s enough to give you the shivers.

    You want to be my friend? Call me up, we’ll go fishing.

  15. - MrJM - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    Q: Do you use social media?
    A: Yes.

    Q: If so, which sites?
    A: Twitter

    Q: Also, how do you use your social media accounts?
    A: To monitor and share the interesting thoughts and actions of interesting people. (And to comment on many web pages.)

    Q: How often?
    A: Very nearly constantly.

    – MrJM

  16. - Irish - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    Besides, I get all the social interaction I need on CapFax. LOL

  17. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    I use facebook and twitter, which are integrated so whatever I post on one bounces to the other. I use it to keep in touch with old friends, post content I want my friends to see, and occasionally discuss/debate political topics.

  18. - beserkr29 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 2:23 pm:

    I use twitter exclusively, mostly because me and facebook had a duel for my social life back in 08 that is still the subject of ballads amongst certain groups in central KS.

  19. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:05 pm:


  20. - formerpolitico - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:07 pm:

    What are “Facebook” and “Twitter”? I use the telephone and the US Mail.

  21. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:43 pm:

    I have Facebook pages for both myself and my company. I use the personal one pretty often (a few times a day at least) to touch base with people I don’t see in person that often. The business page supplements regular news (directly related to my field) updates that I send to clients.

    I use Twitter as my primary news source. It is tough to find another source that’s unbiased, so I create my own by following people across the spectrum. Plus, I also follow certain sports feeds. I rarely send out tweets. Given how many people most people follow, there doesn’t seem to be much use. Twitter is great for companies Reuters, who can reach out to 1.4 million people.

    I have a Google+ account but I never use it. It doesn’t seem to have enough people on to make it worthwhile.

    I use LinkedIn primarily for marketing. The Groups feature is a good way to reach a particular market.

    I also have a Plaxo account but as far as I can tell, nobody uses it. Anything from Plaxo now goes to junk mail.

  22. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    I only use facebook and it’s generally to keep in touch with folks I no longer have an opportunity to see on a regular basis and to “support” various organizations (including some publications) and a few public figures. As a rule, I stick to people I know, or at least have met and conversed with on more than one occasion. A small number are people I know by “reputation” only. When I’m on top of the “security” options, no one but my friends should be able to find me unless I post on a friend’s or “liked site’s” page. While I update my “status” occasionally to send out a greeting or to sometimes show support for a candidate or public official, I most often use the app to catch up on what others, including the orgs, are doing and will send a “like” or sometimes a comment depending on the topic. I seldom–if ever–use the forum to “advocate” issues and I never discuss personal matters. For me, that’s what face-to-face, maybe a phone, and occasionally, an email or messaging are for.

  23. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 3:51 pm:

    I have Twitter, but mostly use it for news feeds, I rarely tweet.

    I have Facebook. I use it with a small group of friends, co-workers and some cool blog owners, columnists. I exchange opinions, post articles of interest. But I’m not as actively engaged as others.

  24. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:02 pm:

    I use Linked In, but it’s most to just connect with other political types and catch up with old friends. I don’t follow anyone on Twitter but I find a lot of Twitter scoops from sports and political insiders to be more salient than articles and/or TV spots. I avoid Facebook like the plague.

  25. - mark walker - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:07 pm:

    Facebook sparingly, with tightly edited friends list.
    LinkedIn only for professional contacts.
    No tweets from me.

    (I find a cell phone a necessary evil, to be usually avoided.)

  26. - Bemused - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:34 pm:

    Short answer No
    I watch Person of Interest and wonder how close it is to real.

    How do you make those tin foil hats?

  27. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:34 pm:

    I use facebook and am an administrator on a page. I go to my facebook pages not to chat with friends, but to get and contribute news. Because of so many news sources, news come out quickly.

    On facebook, as so many of you know, there is constant “re-newsing” (my made-up word), like re-gifting. We get news from pages and share with other pages.

  28. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:36 pm:

    For more on “proper” use of Twitter, see following from The Atlantic:

  29. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:37 pm:

    I think Capitol Fax has a facebook page. The “F” in Fax reminds me of the “F” in Fender Guitars.

  30. - Rayne of Terror - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 4:43 pm:

    Facebook - check several times a day. I’ll friend most anyone I’ve met in real life. I don’t fiddle with the privacy settings because I don’t trust FB to maintain them. I’m quick to unfriend though.

    Twitter - check several times a day. Mostly talk with people who are local-ish (CU, Blono, Springfield) or mommy bloggers. I only follow politicians who treat it like a conversation i.e. John Fritchey.

    Google+ - I post anything I would have previously shared through Google reader. I check once a week.

    LinkedIn - hardly ever check it since I’m not job hunting.

    Blogs - subscribe to hundreds, have written or contributed to several over the last 8 years.

    Pinterest - trying deparately to resist it, but my mom is doing her best to get me to join.

    Foursquare - use it intermittently. If I’m Chicago or Springfield I try to remember to check into places to get discounts. There are only 2 or 3 of us who use it in LeRoy, so we are all the mayor of our respective gas stations, etc.

    Yelp - have an account, hardly ever check it because we hardly ever go out to eat with a wild n crazy two year old.

    podcasts - subscribe to about 10.
    Youtube - watch whatever is getting passed around fb or teh tweeter.

  31. - Timmeh - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 10:14 pm:

    Q: Do you use social media?
    A: Yes.

    Q: If so, which sites?
    A: Facebook, Forums, Chatrooms, Wikis, and Blackboard

    Q: Also, how do you use your social media accounts?
    A: Mostly for personal reasons. It’s also kind of nice for keeping track of certain sites or bands that I follow (sci-ence, Rush, etc.). Blackboard I use for college.

    Q: How often?
    A: Facebook: Around 3 times a day.
    A: Forums: I’ve got a notification system set up; usually results in those forums getting checked about 2 a day.
    A: Chatrooms: Not so much anymore, but might perk up after college.
    A: Blackboard: Whenever I need to work on an assignment.

  32. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 11:25 pm:

    Facebook and Twitter. Twitter, i follow a few people, don’t really tweet much. Facebook, I keep up with friends, family and fans of Wumpus. I rarely get into political discussions as I am not going to argue on FB about some goof who thinks they are so brilliant.

  33. - Liandro - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 11:56 pm:

    Yes, mainly Facebook. I have a personal account and a candidate page–an attempt to keep the two somewhat separate. I post positions, articles, commentary, and campaign updates on the candidate page, and in the personal page I keep up with friends, family, and military battle buddies spread all over the planet.

    I use it pretty much daily, since it is attached to my phone as well. If elected, I intend to post bills, votes, and reasoning right on my Facebook page (taking my cue from Congressman Justin Amash).

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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