22 January 2009

Social Experiment

As social networking things go, a blog is fairly low on the totem pole. A writer like me chooses their own content and design. There is some interaction between readers and me, but it is only a step above a static website. I do have a couple of wikis here and there for various projects, and while they have not achieved the level of interaction and collaboration I would like, I appreciate the potential of a shared space. Ditto for Google Docs. In the past year, I've added Twitter to my tool set and have grown to love and depend on it. Even though all of these spaces are different in the purposes they serve and the connections they create, they seem to work for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I added Facebook to the mix. Hey, everybody's doing it, right?

I'm not sure that I get it. I've been telling people that it feels like remedial Twitter to me. Sure, it's nice to connect with a long lost friend or classmate...but then what? We only know one another as we existed decades ago and it is unreasonable to assume that whatever commonalities we shared then are in place now. People grow and change with time. I do have a few current friends added to my Facebook page, but for the most part, these are people I see or e-mail/text regularly. There are better ways (for me) to keep up.

When I think about this blog, the wikis, and Twitter, they lead to new learning for me. I get to meet and interact with people who share my current interests and who challenge me to think and move forward. My now and future selves are found in these networks. I struggle with understanding the need for one which has the primary purpose of dragging me back. Or perhaps I am just turning into a fuddy duddy and Facebook is too "young" for me.

So, I'll give it another week or two...see if this new social experiment starts to grow on me. There may be charms it has yet to reveal. Or maybe I'll just make my peace with the past, delete my page, and move forward in other ways.


teacherninja said...

I deleted mine, but while I have a Twitter account, since it's blocked at school I haven't seen much use in that either. I keep waiting for the breakthrough moment, but so far...

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Hey SG, my fly fishing friends got all excited about Facebook, so I signed on. I get the same vibe you do, only I feel like it's more like an interconnected forum.

Too much time can be wasted there, and aside from getting my site going, I haven't been back for a while.

I did connect with a long lost school mate/playmate, although you have to ask, WTH do you say to each other after 40+ years besides, Holy S--t! You're still alive!?