I'm on Facebook (FB), with a profile set up where I post some pictures, update my status and post messages on "friends" walls every now and then. Almost everyone I know maintains a Facebook page - my Mom has one, my college friends have them, most of my cousins (older and younger) are on FB. For the most part, I enjoy Facebook - sure, there are some aspects that annoy me - like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and who become friends with whom, not to mention Facebook's ever changing layout and policies. What I have done to make my FB experience better for me is I've learned how to "hide" certain applications. That's right FB friends, I'm not going to help you earn more animals for your "farm" and I'm not interested in reading your daily horoscope! I've also made sure that my profile is set up to private and only "my friends" can view my pics and wall postings. The problem here is that as soon as you join FB, you get like 500 friend requests and since your new to FB, you probably accepted all those people, who can now view all those pictures. Recently, I've edited my group of "friends" and have decided to de-friend (that's right, I said it) a select few - not everyone from my past, but some of the initial people who I friended but haven't even had one interaction with since I've been a member. All in all, I'm a fan of Facebook and find it a fun way to interact with people.
Now onto Twitter - this past weekend I spent some time with a dear friend, who is an avid Twitterer. She is well know on the Twitter front and has met a tons of new people through this type of social interaction. Even though I do find myself checking in on her Tweets to see what she's up to, I have no desire to join this social movement. It does surprise me how many people and businesses do have accounts and send out daily Tweets. Media outlets Tweet now - sending out "breaking news alerts", Cincinnati's street department Tweets - sending out info on local roadways, local and national politicians are on Twitter now - even school systems are Tweeting their students now when classes are cancelled because of weather conditions. You get the gist here, lots of people are using this and with our iPhones, Droids, and other Smart Phone devices, it makes it very easy to instantaneously keep up with your followers and Tweet back your thoughts on whatever subject is out there.
And how about Foursquare? This one is so new to me that I don't have much to comment on. Lots of people I know use it and say it's a good way to learn where someone has been and find out where they might be headed next.
(Hmmm - Something about that last sentence makes me think of stalking - Anyways...)
I go off on all these tangents to ask this simple question: Is social networking making people more anti-social? Is it taking away the basic need for human, face-to-face interaction? First there was a new thing called Email - which is still widely used, but most "youngster's" would rather leave you a wall post or send you a private message on FB to get your attention. So sites like Facebook & Twitter have replaced Emailing in some people's mind. What's next for the generations ahead? How will they interact with one another & what will it be called? One can only begin to speculate.
Maybe someday I'll be Tweeting about where I'm getting my hair done - Maybe someday I'll be the Mayor of the Starbucks near my house on Foursquare. Who knows, but to all my friends out there, I'd like to state for the record that I'd much rather have a cup of coffee you in person, see those pics of your kids in person and talk to you about what you've been up to in person - yes, all of that I'd much rather do in person, instead of reading it on your latest FB status or checking in on your most recent Tweet.
Now, let me go update my FB status ... about my new blog post!