Social Networking Fool

author: Brad Spear

posted 23 September 2009 in Family

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I guess I’m just turning into a social networking fool. And interpret that almost any way you like — it probably still applies. This is quite a long way from my older phones-are-evil, don’t-talk-even-if-you-have-something-to-say mentality.

My first experience with social networking was with a couple of school-oriented social networking sites I joined years ago, after a school reunion, but I rarely logged in to them before, and rarely do so now. Late last year I joined the employment-oriented LinkedIn, which gets a lot more use. Beyond that, I’ve easily resisted the more socially-oriented social networking sites as I felt little need for them. That is, up until a few weeks ago.

That’s when a job opportunity with MySpace came up and I applied. And since I felt I should really be a member of MySpace before I interviewed with them, it joined my stable. After breaching that large hurdle, I took the next small step toward the dark side and joined Facebook. I have even contemplated Twitter, but that still doesn’t make any sense to me. Well, getting “tweets” from the news services has possibilities.

Then there’s our cell phone service. My expectation has been for a phone to be just that. No camera. No music. No pictures. No texting. No web. No “apps.” Just a telephone. I even resisted having a cell phone at all until 2005. However, both Jake and Allison had been bugging Pam and me to be allowed to “text” on their phones. We finally relented and allowed them to have IM, but in turn, they have to pay for part of that service. Fine. But now I’m seriously considering the benefits of data service and actually using it. Then of course, I’d have to move up to a cell phone with better web abilities. Sigh.

You might think this resistance to technology is pretty strange for a guy whose entire career has been in software development. However, as much as I think the technology is interesting and useful, in my personal life I’m a bit of a neo-Luddite. (Okay, so I’m running a 3 GHz Core 2 Duo right now, but even that’s not cutting edge.)

Anyway, after joining Facebook and MySpace, I was surprised at the number of current and past friends that are members of these sites, mostly on Facebook. However, I’ve “friended” very few of them. There are several dozen more friends I could invite, and hundreds of “acquaintances,” but it still seems awkward to me. My feeling was that I’m not gregarious by nature, I don’t write a lot. Thus I wasn’t going to be putting much into the conversations and that made me reluctant to simply add everyone I know or have known. (Assuming they accept the requests. :-)) So, even though I had joined, I didn’t know what to do with these services.

Then, surprisingly, I found I was finally writing on the blog that I created in 2007, and had essentially forgotten about since my first entry. This is now my third entry in a week. And I can obviously share these entries on the social networking sites. Dude! A use! Maybe it’s time to start adding everyone now.

So, am I a fool? Will this be my last entry, or will I keep it up? After all, the only way to be a better writer is to write.


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