There is no such thing as a free lunch.

My Social Network (Or Lack Thereof)

Most of my friends are right around the age of 30, and with the exception of swash, they’re just poor social networkers in general. Most of them do use facebook, but that’s where it stops. Some of them actually still refuse to use facebook out of sheer stubbornness, and just look down upon the whole social networking concept.

It’s actually a little bit frustrating when I have to email my friends if I find an interesting article, send the URL of a good site that I bookmarked, or send out a link to my latest flickr photo album. If we all used friendfreed, for example, they would just know when I uploaded new pictures to flickr, bookmarked a new site in, dugg a new article, updated my Netflix queue, etc.

A common argument I get into is that by sharing all this information, it actually gives people less to talk about when they see eachother. That somehow, having knowledge of what I’m reading, watching, or photographing ahead of time will detract from normal face-to-face conversation. I think that’s just bulls**t, and an easy way for people to justify a resistance to change or having to try something new. Similarly, there’s a wide belief that by spending too much time on social networking sites and the Internet in general, kids are losing their social skills. This belief is also quickly being debunked.

So if you’re around the age of 30, and not sure what this social networking phenomenon is all about, I urge you to give it a try. It will also be a much more rich experience if all your friends could do the same. But good luck getting them to join you.


1 swash { 12.24.08 at 8:07 pm }

On the contrary, I believe we have more to talk about when we meet Mike. Sometimes I am not done with all the things I want to talk about — with some 75% of those topics having something to do with social networking, or things I found due to social networking.
Mike, I think it will be a long wait before peeps start getting more into it.

2 msg { 12.24.08 at 8:49 pm }

Who’s mike? You mean msg? 😉 I think Dan might be getting onto facebook soon but I’m losing out hope for anyone going much further than that. Some of these guys are using Smugmug for photos but mainly for storage. Forget geotagging.

3 Dan { 12.27.08 at 5:29 pm }

I’m still on the fence. There are some good aspects and some annoying ones. I will say that since I’ve moved away I have come to appreciate pretty much all forms of communication more and more. If not for the ability to have phone, e-mail, and text in my pocket at all times I would not be able to keep up with what’s going on with everyone as well and I’d miss that. That said, I like to be able to control the communication, how my different groups of friends / family / co-workers know and interact with me (you know work Dan vs. weekend Dan, etc.). I know you’ve both had a few church-and-state boundary blurring instances on facebook before, with more to come now that JLlo is on there.

4 msg { 12.27.08 at 6:13 pm }

facebook gives you control not just over who sees your profile, but even what parts of your profile people can see – it’s ultra-customizable. This website does a pretty good job of breaking it all down:

At first I left the privacy settings completely open so anyone could see my profile. But now, JLlo can see only that I have a profile, not all the gory details.

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