Caught in the (social) netWritten by Heather Miller | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Social networking websites are all the rage. Even my mother has a Facebook page. So do Oprah, candidates for Toledo City Council, and Fox Toledo. A co-worker even pointed out an add for the Wood County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook. Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook are everywhere. A recent article in PC World even went as far as to question if the recent popularity of social networking sites among Baby Boomers is ruining the forums for younger generations. But ruining what?
I’ll admit I’m a member (is that the right term?) of a few of these websites. It is fun to exchange odd little notes with friends and family. However, I’m still trying to figure out the value of social networking sites. If I really need to deliver a message to someone I can call, email, or text. But, apparently I also need to be able to write it on their wall. Yes, its fun. Yes, it is an incredible waste of time. It is a procrastinator’s best friend. The only good I see in Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. is to avoid work and to cyber stalk college ex’s. Social networking websites are making me quite proficient in both.
I also don’t need constant “communication” Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter provide. It is bad enough that people get ticked when I don’t answer my cell phone. What the heck did they do when the only telephone I had sat on my kitchen countertop? I certainly didn’t barricade myself in my home and wait patiently by the phone – just in case. Now I feel guilty if I don’t update my status often enough.
A friend recently pointed out the one true advantage of these websites. Turning down a “friend request” can be a great source of personal satisfaction, especially if you are able to continuously deny requests from the mean girl who smashed an egg on your head in 8th grade, or the creep that cheated on you with a college girl instead of taking you to the junior prom. The bitter teen is me does take advantage of this aspect or Facebook and Myspace quite regularly. But, other than that, I really have no use for social networking. I think I quite social enough that you.
I’m not planning on dropping out of the social networking scene anytime soon. I’m sure there are more classmates from Wapak Senior High to find and mentally pick apart. Besides, I still haven’t figured out what a “poke” is. I’m not even sure I want to be poked or pole someone else, but only time (and Facebook) will tell.
Heather Miller is a reporter for FOX Toledo.