2012-10-17

Social Not-working

"I don't even like Facebook."

I shake my head in disbelief and stare at the screen. Once again, proof illustrated via an "unfriend" action on Facebook that friendships are best kept up close and in person or at a distance. It's the fuzzy in-between world of internet social networking that ruins us, social not-working.

"Was this person ever interested in me?" you ask yourself about a twice-remove classmate of a sibling who has just requested a "friend" or "link".

You find out quickly that Friend A, although close to you at one point in your past, has drastically different political or religious viewpoint than you. Maybe Friend A was best kept as a study partner in College. Friend B was your best friend for a period of time, and now to find that B's memory of you is less than favorable via a comment on someone else's "wall."

Social not-working brings us too close and yet keeps us far away. It becomes a soapbox, a podium, a platform that you would never stand on in close company. Friend C was always so mellow and easy going, but you've discovered C's on-line personality  makes "timelines" less enjoyable, tedious, draining.

You discover what you have in common, or rather where you differ and ask, "Is it really worth spending my time reading about topics that interest me about as much as having my teeth pulled without anesthesia?"

Over the last few months, I've asked myself, "Why would I want to post anything topical anywhere other than a forum where other people want to participate?" Is Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ really a good fit for what people are trying to use it as, myself included? The answer is an emphatic, "No!"

I started this blog because I felt that the Social Not-working platforms were poor platforms for thoughtful introspection or longer works (and I missed posting to my ~/.plan file). I post about running, my family, and gaming. Periodically, I've posted things about Buddhism, but I've avoided politics. When I do post, I try to place labels on them so if you are a reader, you can select the ones most interesting to you via the RSS feed filter options.

I participate in sites like DailyMile because there is value in a focused, topical forum for fitness in its many forms. Reddit has had me as a regular visitor again after years of using other sites because I value the ability to focus in on interesting tidbits of information about a specific topic. I've been using my Twitter account for those short, light hearted conversations, updates about running, and I'm starting to really like the idea of having separate accounts for separate interests and focuses.

With how ridiculously easy it is to make new blog, twitter, and social accounts, perhaps anonymity should be considered a viable way of focusing one's energy. It might even save a friendship or two.