There a saying that goes something like this:
“There are 3 types of people in the world: those who participate in the parade, those who wave from the bleachers and the people that don’t even know there’s a parade going on”.
Things online used to be fairly simple really. This made me think it is no longer the case. I used to meet people, if they were more “businessy” I would give them a business card and they would find me on linkedin if they wanted. They would potentially go see my website and maybe, subscribe to my blog. I’d drop them an email thanking them for their time including my contact info in my signature. Still very businessy. If they realllllly wanted, they would eventually add me on Flickr, but that usually meant we connected on a friendship level as well.
Now… well, there’s Facebook. I keep talking about this, I know, but mainly because I’m baffled about the way it’s used. I hate it actually. It’s made my little silos of personal information into a moshpit of social goo. It’s made my contact management a nightmare.
Everyday I’ll get one of the following sending me a Facebook request:
- long lost friends from 12 years ago.
- friends from Montreal that I haven’t seen in 3 years or don’t see often
- people that I studied with but never really spoke to
- people I studied with
- people I don’t like
- business contacts
- friend who already have me on all the other networks
- friends already have what i call “double click access” to me via ichat/skype, etc.
- people I don’t even know
So now I’ve completely lost the ability to sort where I want people to go and what I want them to see about me. What I decided to do then, is to do nothing. I don’t interact on Facebook, because doing so would mean that I am displaying a part of myself to an audience I’m uncomfortable with. The whole point of social networks used to exist to cater to your multiple online facets, and now clearly that no longer is the MO.
You could say that I could just close my account, that would make sense for the percentage requests that I don’t like, but it would mean shutting off my ability to reach some of my friends, who, not particularly computer savvy, find in Facebook all the functionalities they will ever need.
Good for them, but I’ll just wave from the bleachers on this one I think.