The Social Net Work
My relationship to various social networking sites explained.
Facebook: I have more friends than I can possibly keep up with. In pursuit of fairness I avoid them all. It doesn’t help matters that many of my friends are bawdy gay men, and many of my other friends are Christian conservatives. These are folks I’d rather not have talking to one another, and I’d certainly rather not have them talking to one another on a page that third parties will use to evaluate my professionalism.
Periodically my mother in law gets annoyed with me because I do not follow family news on Facebook. I feel bad about this, but I don’t know what to do. Perhaps I could loan her some of my friends.
Friendster: Like you, I once belonged. Maybe I still do. I’m not sure.
LinkedIn: I have this strange sense that professional networking demands it. On reflection, I have no idea where this sense comes from. LinkedIn has never done me a speck of good, professional or otherwise.
MySpace: The surest way for me never to listen to your favorite band is to link me their MySpace page.
LibraryThing: I really thought I had a LibraryThing account, but I guess I don’t. That’s good, because I don’t update it.
Scribd: I joined Scribd on the afternoon that Perry v. Schwarzenegger came down, but I did so only to get a copy of the decision. The courts’ site had crashed. One would think I’d be a Scribd kind of guy. One would be wrong.
Twitter: I have the profound sense that I’m not getting it. I cannot fathom how anyone can keep up with the hundreds or even thousands of twitter feeds they subscribe to. So I have arbitrarily chosen twenty-five as my upper limit, and I will follow no more than that. One of them is the exhausting Dave Weigel, who tweets harder than anyone else I know.
Sure, sure, I can always follow a bunch of people on Twitter just for signaling reasons, without any pretense of actually following them. I can make no effort whatsoever to read everything they tweet. I can even be totally arbitrary about my Facebook interactions and leave it all up to chance. Somehow I can’t bring myself to do it. I fear the perception of unfairness so much that it’s paralyzing.
Others: If I belong to other social networking sites, I have mercifully forgotten all about them.