Thursday, June 4, 2009

The fickle world of social networks

Ah, social networks - call me old fashioned but they just don't really cut it for me. I finally got a Facebook (FB) account just to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything and found... I wasn't missing out on anything. It seems a lot of the new voguey Web tools get tried out, then dropped just as rapidly. Here is an article that highlights a few trends in the current wave of social software on the net. One thing I found I worried about using FB was that anything you write is permanently on the net and possibly able to be indexed at some point (even if you choose not to have your account indexed in the options). Whereas, sending an email seems less risky or at least not as permanent. It's all 'out there' but email still seems more direct and private (not that it really is private of course). I can see some benefits of Facebook but, after checking many people on FB looking for potential old school friends, etc, it does seem that a vast number joined up then never used their accounts after that. Did they merely submit to peer group pressure? Did they join up in the hope of locating old friends and acquaintances but then discover for every name they tried there were 500+ results? At least in my case, I was only one of 2 or 3 with the same name, but anyone from my old school days won't find me as my name has changed. I think I find email and the phone (including texting) much more reliable and faster! It was fun to revisit old school FB accounts though and see some of the students who had attended there since I left.