Social Networking Sucks

I just had someone ask to follow me on Twitter and was amazed to hear that I didn’t use it.  I also don’t use Facebook or any of the other newfangled social networking sites.  Why?  Because they all suck.  I have no interest in what they’re peddling.

I tried the “Great Twitter Experiment” for about 6 months a couple of years back and concluded that it was a complete waste of my time.  It was virtually all spam, even from the very few people I cared enough to follow and while I did get a couple hundred followers very quickly, the amount of quality content or discussion that came from any of them was virtually nil.  It’s hard to debate anyone seriously in 160 characters or less and it’s impossible to hold anyone accountable, they just vanish when they can’t answer the questions.  Sorry, I see nothing worthwhile in any of that.

See, way back in the day, this new thing called “messengers” came out.  AIM was the first and best known of the day and I, like most people, used it.  However, you ended up having to lock down your friends list pretty quickly or you’d get spammed into next week.  Sure, it was fun being able to talk to your friends any time they were online, but it suffered the same problem as Twitter in that it was hard to have a serious conversation due to limitations in message length.  It was easier, if you wanted to talk, to just pick up the phone and call.  As such, I haven’t used a messenger in years.

Facebook, you say?  What’s good about Facebook?  It lets people from your past find you?  Well hell, if I wanted them to find me, I wouldn’t have lost contact in the first place!  Add to that the fact that the vast majority of Facebook people I’ve seen are just vain asshats who think the world needs to know what music they’re listening to or what they’re doing every second of the day, I pass.  Sorry, I just don’t care.

If people want to contact me, there are many options.  They can e-mail me, although I will admit that I don’t check my e-mail as often as I should.  They can comment on my blog.  They can go to any of the forums I frequent and send me a message.  For closer friends, they have my phone number and can call or text  I’m not hard to get ahold of.  I just won’t follow them around on Twitter or hang out on their Facebook page.  I find both idiotic.

5 thoughts on “Social Networking Sucks

  1. Right on. I totally agree with you. The way people are becoming addicted to these things is sickening. What happened to meeting up and having a cup of coffee or chatting over a beer after work? It isn't the fault of the creators of social networking sites by any means. Its the fault of the users for jumping on the bandwagon and avoiding any kind of real interaction. This generation and ones to come are losing the ability to carry themselves appropriately in real-world, physical interactions. What? You mean I don't have an hour to tailor my response to what you just said? Ridiculous. It isn't hard to have some interaction people. Get off of your lazy asses and do something for a change. As time goes on, it seems as though our children will only know of online interactions and have an aversion towards actually talking to people. I am very much against that mentality, but what can be done to stop it? Everyone and their mothers are accepting this approach to social interactions. Maybe I sound like an old fogie, but seriously think about the ramifications. There are plenty of people out there that exist entirely in the realm of online socializing. Is that really where we should be? There's something to be said for meeting face to face and getting to know a person. It has nothing to do with being against social networking or the internet in general. There's a very different level of interaction and understanding of a person when there is a physical encounter.

  2. Maybe you guys'll enjoy http://www.Formvote.com , it's more about connecting the world and getting honest feedback than anything. Really fun too lol. I like networks that are based more on connecting you to people you wouldn't have met otherwise.

    1. I took a quick look at it, as much as I can without signing up (yes, it bugs me when I can't even see what a site has to offer without signing up for it) and it appears to be very basic. Post a question, get votes. It's not clear if you can discuss those votes with the people who vote or not. There are plenty of similar sites out there and I've found them to be rather pointless, you have people who vote just to piss people off, etc. Sometimes you get vote-riots, like those organized over at Pharyngula, where he directs people to go vote a certain way and suddenly, the whole outlook changes.

      Interesting concept, not terribly useful though IMO.

  3. Amem…thank you for posting this. i couldn’t agree with more. i grew up in a time where people actually talked face to face..or put pen to paper. we couldn’t make too many long distance calls back then because of the expense. i really long for those simpler days before the internet and the over saturation of social networks. maybe I’m the odd man out..but I’m happy and still have plenty of friends and family to connect with without facebook.

    1. One of my biggest problems is that people seem to get really competitive over how many "friends" they have. On Twitter, people want tons of followers. On Facebook, people want tons of "friends". Yet these aren't friends, how many of them have you ever spoken to in person or on the phone or even over Skype? How many do you even know their real names? These aren't friends, they're just a tally of the people yo ucan convince to follow you around like a ridiculous cult of personality.

      No thanks, I'd rather stick to friends that I actually know.

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