11.10.2008

Social Networks??

It's no secret that I'm into blogging. Or online journaling (whatever you want to call it these days). At one point in time I had about 7 separate and distinct blogs for various things. Some I posted to daily, some monthly, some yearly (SideOne, TrackOne, anyone?).
 
I think what I liked about blogging (and still somewhat dig) is the interaction. It was cool to post some piece of a thought or shite that was happening in my life and get feedback, comments, etc. from people across town and across the country. It was a way to feel connected. And it was a way to be lazy. If you wanted to find out what was going on in my life, all you had to do was check my LiveJournal page, or check my blog. It saved time from actually having to make an active effort to keep in touch with someone. If you didnt' read the blog, I could assume you didn't want to keep in touch, so screw ya. Now, admittedly, that's a skewed viewpoint as there were people that I might want to keep in touch with that wouldn't read the blog (or even know about it, or care). So, yeah. It was part laziness, part obssession with electronic validation and part geekery (and all parts were NOT equal, still aren't).
 
And then came Facebook. And shit....it's fun! It's a way to keep in touch with people...send updates, see at a glance what's going on in peoples lives (that they can tell you in 255 characters or less), upload photos and load all of these little annoying apps designed to suck time in ways heretofore unknown to modern man.
 
I figure that there are different levels. It's like if online services were drugs, Facebook would be the crack or crystal meth of the social networking.
Blogging is like Caffeinne. Addicting, but mostly harmless. Fun for all ages.
LinkedIn and Plaxo is the Wine. Mostly for adults and business men.
MySpace is the cigarette of the online world. Supposed to be for 18 & up....all the cool kids are doing it and the ones that aren't just really don't get why the ones that are actually do. And it's the gateway. All of the behaviors of the big boy social networks can be learned from MySpace.
and then you jump to Facebook. And it's crack. Pure and simple. You COULD try it once or twice and never go back, but chances are, by that third time-you're hooked. And suddenly updating your status takes precedent. Checking on others becomes important. Trying to get others the share in your addiction jumps up on the list of things that occupy your day.
 
And now Social Networking hits its ultimate irony...a tool meant to make socializing and keeping in touch easier actually serves to keep you in front of your computer. You're 'socializing' in the loosest sense. You're checking the Facebook status of someone that lives down the street instead of actually popping over for a cold one on a Saturday afternoon.
 
And I'm in no way condemning you. I'm in the same boat. I check it because it's fun.
 
And of course, because it's mostly harmless.
 
Mostly.

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