Saturday, April 04, 2009

No more social websites

I finally saw the light with social websites and networks, including micro-blogging, which isn't really doing a web-article or web-log at all, but just a string of status updates and nonsensical gibberish.

As more and more people get in an electronic social circle, more and more the quality of the communication you have goes down. Slowly, but surely, it became easier for people to just check my 'status', as opposed to calling or actually being interested in real life. People who used to call me and ask about life now don't call at all, but rather check Facebook and leave a little comment there.

So, my conclusion with MySpace and Facebook are that they cheapen communication, and ultimately cheapen relationships. Twitter is essentially running 'texting' logs for the web, and 'texting' was never considered anything more than cheap communication. So, why would Tweeting be anything more than that?

The 'drama' part of this is how I arrived at that conclusion. I wrote a status 'complaint' about people writing nonsense statuses or tweets, inside comments, or things that should have been messaged to just one or two people but instead were sent to everyone's feed. A friend of mine wrote me messages saying that I shouldn't take social websites so seriously, and that they exist purely for fun. Of course he is one of the people who writes the posts I have a problem with. So, I did a little experiment. I started posting a series of nonsense postings or ones that didn't have anything to do with me or him. He promptly removed me from his the people who he follows. Apparently still not getting that I was only doing what he was doing to me.

I hadn't looked into some of the harm noticed by other people and professionals really until now. I'll list a few articles that I happened to find recently:

Social websites harm children's brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist

Social Networking Sites and Social Theory

Bye Bye Facebook


  1. Hmmm. Yeah, I'm minimizing my use of Facebook for some of these same reasons, but maybe not entirely as I do still enjoy some of the practical uses that Facebook has for complementing real-life relationships, photo sharing, eVites, etc. The first article reminds me of many that I've read about the many harms and influences of television and video games on children.

  2. And the part I'm seriously re-evaluating is the part about these technologies being a compliment or not.

    For example, there are other, much better, photo sharing sites. Much better article sharing sites (i.e. Blogger!), etc.

    People have written papers and articles for years on the negative effects of both phone texting and e-mail on authentic relationships. Considering that Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are those kinds of technologies on becomes harder and harder for me to see a strong benefit anymore.

    I have to admit to myself also that I've been ignoring the older arguments about e-mail and such too.

  3. And yet, your blog is fine? ;) Just checking in. Of course, I've not had your phone number for years. Hope you're well, friend.

    WV=jurbers: Like gerbers, but with more jur. /nonsense.

  4. I don't think that blogs are social websites. They are facilities to post articles. I'm not retreating from the Internet, or from technology. But I feel like I do need to retreat from certain electronic environments where the personal convenience is of more importance than the people themselves actually are.

    I'm not saying that these technologies are not in many cases leveraged responsibly. Some people trim down their subscriptions or "friends" to keep in contact with a few specific people in an effective manner. But in general, the majority does not...and the amount of noise that generates is merely a distraction.

    Since I would have trimmed down my subscriptions, followers, and friends down to those I wanted to read my writing, or wanted to doesn't make sense not to just stick to a blog and e-mail, rather than use other social networks for the same purpose.