Year of questions: Are social networks good for us?


I’ve been off Facebook for close to 5 months now.

There are definitely tradeoffs involved, and I’m not a technophobe, but the decision to be on/off/limited on social networks seem to me to be fraught with questions about self-identity.

According to a recent infographic 80% of posts on Facebook are about the poster. I just tried saying 8 things about myself and then 2 others, and I got annoyed just listening to myself.

So I can imagine what it would be like for other people to hear it.

And I think that highlights one of the primary problems of social networking……a good number of people never edit. Ever.

I love editing, I was just telling a friend the other day about how when I was younger I used to hate to revisit things I’d written, so I’d often get stuck in all or nothing writing. Now I enjoy editing immensely. The chance to refine my thoughts is always interesting.

So as a result of this stream of consciousness sharing people never seem to edit anymore. When I’m on social networks it’s almost like I’m constantly at someone’s cocktail party, or band practice, or rehearsal of some sort. It actually doesn’t bother me much because I’m good at tuning things out that I’m not interested in, and I’m not afraid to just leave / or not participate if I’m not enjoying myself….but I can understand why other people get annoyed.

I call it the “Social Media Basement Syndrome”

Basically, every social network, if it focuses intensely on expanding, will eventually include the 38 year old guy who lives in his parents basement and reviews candy bar wrappers and tells you more than you ever wanted to know (for a hilarious similar reference read this and laugh over the guy who has to tell you how much he knows about Dr. Who)

I just hope that’s never me…’s  a large part of why you won’t find me on Facebook these days.


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