Today a blogger I follow Yvonne Eijkenduijn wrote a piece about her attitudes to technology in general, but to Twitter and Face Book in particular.. you can read what she said at the link above.
But it got me thinking... and this is my venue for what I think... so here goes.
To my mind.. Twitter is an utterly pointless waste of time for anything other than a professional purpose.
If you are a business person and you twitter to inform customers about a new product or a sale, or to tell all your clients at once about you being somewhere at a certain time then I can see the use...
Otherwise, it's like walking into a room full of toddlers who are all DEMANDING your attention at once...
Never was a product so aptly named..
Definition of the word twitter = incessant chirruping of birds.
Synonyms.. chatter, prattle, babble, blather.
Who cares if Demi and Ashton are watching tv and discussing the meaning of life.. and if you do care you're an idiot !!
It's impossible to keep up. And why would you want to.
Mobile phones and PDA's are a slightly different matter.. I did have one when I lived in the UK, but apart from a short spell when my sister bought me one for Christmas have not used one here in Canada.
Here they are a total rip off... In the UK you can buy a 'pay as you go' phone and get a £50 phone card and that £50 is yours to spend for as long as it takes you to spend it. If it takes 3 years so what..
Here every phone card has an expiry date.. usually 30 days... so if you don't use the credit it's gone. How the hell is that right.. !!
Plus the whole texting thing is out of control... I've seen people send texts to others who are in the room with them.. it's destroying personal conectivity and relationship building skills. It's BAD.
Now Face Book..
I do use Facebook but then I am 6000 miles away from all of my longtime friends and family, so I can't just have them pop round for tea... and so for those people in my situation, I can see the benefit.
But I have only 27 'friends' and apart from two, [who are recently made friends who then moved 2000 miles away] I have known everyone on my list for 10 years or more... and I only have people I really really want. ! I think it's vital for your safety and security to keep your list to a VERY tight knit community.
The bitchy girls from school days get ignored.. that's one good thing about it, if you are contacted by someone you HATED .. you can tap a key and they are GONE. :o)
At least half my family is NOT there.. some because they don't DO facebook and some because for me 6000 miles is about the right distance away.
My husband is also NOT on my friends list.. since he's sitting in the room with me we actually TALK to each other..
People with hundreds and hundreds of 'friends' aren't paying actual attention to anyone.. they can't be. Even with only 27 friends if I don't check my page for 24 hours I can come back and find 200 communications. Multiply that by 20 and your talking about 4000 communications a day.. Who's going to bother to read all that.. the truth is they don't.
So if you're on a list of 'friends' in the 200+ range.. that person doesn't care what you say OR what you are doing. They are NOT your friend... and you are just talking to yourself.
One final thing.. NEVER allow any of the applications.. since you have absolutely NO idea where or to whom your information is going.
That having been said I think to describe Facebook and the like as 'social networks' is ludicrous...
Social engineering maybe..
Yvonne is exactly right when she says it creates a personal distance..
I had this very conversation with my step daughter on the phone the other day. She was talking about the new movie about FB and the name of it, 'The Social Network' sparked an discussion on the topic.
Her position was that technology makes people more social.. you can keep in touch and pass on information and so on.
I used holiday snaps as my counter argument...
Remember when we were young and went on holiday ?.. the first thing we did when we got back was to get our photos developed, and then excitedly spend hours with all our friends, explaining the story behind the snap, laughing at the funny ones, probably drinking wine.. The process involves smiling, laughing, storytelling.. the very definition of socialising.
She [my step-daughter] has just been to a wedding in the Carribbean, and all her photos are already posted on facebook... some before she even got back.
She took 139, with 15 or 20 tags, and yet there are about 10 comments in total on them. I looked at them myself.. they are lovely photos, but I felt utterly indifferent... and I would argue that the lack of comments means other people feel the same.
So tell me.. which of those methods of sharing is actually socialising ?? Don't bother.. I know the answer.