Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stretched Thin by Social Networking

This social networking craze has gotten a little out of hand.

As sensible and easy as it is to connect with others online, I've become stretched thin by all of the social networks I've signed up for over the past few years. Now I'm at the point where I find that most of the ones that I'm signed up for I rarely, if ever, even find time to look at. Here's how stretched thin I've become when it comes to online social networks:

-LinkedIn: This may have been the first social network site that I started using. However, I don't think I've ever gotten much of value out of it, but I can see how it could be valuable for things like finding a job or researching somebody's background.

-MySpace: I used this for a few months and grew out of it. I don't think I've updated my page since sometime last year. Too hyper and shallow for me.

-Twitter: I signed up for this recently, and have had several fleeting moments of interest in it, but for the most part I don't have time to get bombarded with messages all day, so it's pretty much fallen by the wayside.

-Ning: I'm signed up for 3 separate Ning networking sites, none of which I check with regularity. One site has a ton of members signed up for it, but is basically dead quiet. Another has lots of chatter but I don't know anybody. And the third just got started up so we'll see where it goes.

-Plaxo: Somebody recently sent me an email to sign up for Plaxo, and so I did, and so goes another page that just sits there and I don't look at.

-Facebook: Right now, FB is the clear leader for me, though my interest in it is starting to wane. I enjoy the games on there and occasionally catching up with friends, but for the most part, reading about how people don't feel like going to work/class/relative's house is just not all that intriguing to me. Good site to kill a few minutes while relaxing on the couch.

As you well know, there are literally thousands of social networking sites available on the internet, but I just have to wonder at what point this whole system will either collapse or radically change in some way. Most people I know enjoy using one or two of these sites, but the return on investment of time put into them seems to decline after a while. Plus the fact that you have to tip-toe around what you say because it could come back to haunt you makes them a little less inviting. Let's see what the future holds for social networking, and hopefully it develops in a positive direction. In the meantime, I'm going to go check my good old fashioned email...

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