Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Oversharing or stocking?
At one point today I had four different tabs open: my gmail account (where I can post my status), my blog reader (more status), my facebook account and twitter (both where I can post my status). What the heck? That's way too many sites to be sharing personal information on. Seriously.
But here's why I like, or don't like, each one:
Gmail: I do love my email. And I get a lot of it, and I check it impulsively. I'm not very good at keeping it all organized and I thank google very much for putting in a nifty search function. Thanks Google. Chatting on gmail is kind of silly, but it's fun, too. Going invisible is a nice touch. I'm invisible right now.
My blog reader: I love my blog reader. I remember when I first started reading blogs and I would painstakingly type in each address and visit each site...then my labmate told me about this amazing thing called a reader and I watched an informational YouTube clip about RSS feeds and oh man, my life changed forever. I think the reader makes it easier to just look at the pictures people post, instead of reading the content. Only sometimes do I read blogs for content, mostly I love the pictures.
Facebook: I like to think that I was among the first to get on facebook, all thanks to some forward thinking East Coasters who explained to me what an actual facebook is (like a yearbook, I guess?). Anyway, I started, then everyone got on it, and it just kept getting nifty'er. Except now I find that I only really do three things on facebook: read people's statuses as they change, look at people's photos and follow the news feeds to see what people have posted. I'm not going to lie, I do some facebook creeping. Don't you? Times have changed though and now there are multiple generations on facebook and it's a "real" networking site. Too serious?
Which brings me to:
Twitter: Let me begin by saying that I think the name for this site is awesome. Second, I have to admit that I joined specifically so I could "follow" Lance Armstrong and peek into his daily life. Fantastic. Lance is talking to me. I haven't gotten the hang of twitter yet (what is all this @so-and-so business?), but it's ecentially just like updating only your facebook status, and posting photos without all that additional stuff (honestly, don't message me on facebook, because that message just gets sent to my gmail inbox, so send me an email, post a picture on facebook, and tweet about it!).
Let me conclude with a few thoughts: are our lives really that interesting that we have to be sharing our inner musings with everyone? Am I adding to your life with this post, with my tweets? Or are all of these 'networking' methods just simply ways for us to keep track of other people? Are we experiencing the evolution of the mass email and where does it go from here? Doesn't all of this make your life feel noisy? Ultimately, how will oversharing benefit all of us collectively?
I'll tweet on that some time soon.