Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why I hate social networking sites

OK, you got me, social networking sites are a great way for people to connect right? I mean how else can you keep track of all your friends from elementary school that might have moved away across the country? How else would they be connected to you on a single software platform? Remember the days of AOL? Not everyone had it and you couldn't add everyone you ever met. Them came friendster and myspace and facebook, a web based, third party platform that everyone could go on too and connect with others. And indeed just about everyone did (well not for friendster).

I was into myspace early on but then didn't like it. I don't like the idea of everyone I've ever met being able to contact me. I guess I like privacy. I don't want everyone to know everyone I know, or even certain friends from knowing everyone I know. I don't want everyone i know from having access to me. I like to disappear from time to time from certain people or from all the people I know. I don't want them to know what I'm doing or who I am doing it with. I don't want them to even have a clue, such as a remark made by someone on my wall or someone else's. I don't like that fact that rumors can spread fast on social networking sites. I don't like how girls you date can be checking up on you, and how almost all of your business can be out on display.

Of coarse for the attention seeker social networking gets you out there like no other media can. You can be exposed to so thousands, millions who you'd never get a chance to, if it weren't for the digital media. Some people live for attention. We've all had fantasies of being famous. I myself enjoy privacy a little more. It's interesting how social networking sites allow you to control the way people see you.In a sense they allow you to create your reputation. If you want to portray yourself as a party monster all you have to do is show pictures of yourself getting wasted numerous times. If you want to appear intellectual you write about your favorite authors or philosophers along with there associated media. In a way you can control how others see you, especially to those who don't see you in person often.

It seems as if facebook is winning the popularity contest. It has over 300 million members and has given myspace a run for its money. It has a more simple format and a chat program. It doesn't allow users to customize the background and force youto listen to music in it. It did seem as if myspace became a way for people to advertise their music or companies. The criticism of myspace was that people's profiles became way to bloated with fliers and graphics and music. Facebook cleaned it up with a simple white background. And the masses went to facebook.

I have to admit that it is interesting to see people's profiles and what they write and who they are friends with. A person can spend hours and hours on facebook, and that's precisely what I hate it so much. It has become the conduit for which all social interaction takes place. I've lived with people who were on facebook or myspace almost every hour that they were online. It takes up so much of people's time that they lose touch with real social human interaction. Like I said before I see the benefits of social networking sites, but I don't take part in them because they can become addictive and result in a deficit of real interaction, I don't like people knowing who I know or what I say to those people I know, and mostly, I don't like people from my past being able to track me down and obtain information on me. This blog is anonymous. All you know about me is my name and maybe where I live. You know a great deal about my thoughts on a number of topics but not my identity. And that's the way I like it.

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