Thursday, February 26, 2009

Social network congestion: why less is more

Flickr and Facebook have gone from hot to not. Does somebody still really use MySpaces? Twitter/Jaiku whatever really looks hot but they're just bollocks, a new momentarily adrenaline dose for the tired.

Social networking works when the network is small and smart. The moment it grows unmanageable to limits of human cognition (what do you really do with 2.359 contacts?!? Can you remember your common history with no. 1.703?) and quality plummets below mediocre all the networking effect wears off.

Flickr was cool when there was just trannyflickr with Miss K and Erika Baarova (ok perhaps a couple others too :), and it was a privilege to join. Now every picture gets ten invites "Add to my 'Blondes wearing pink lipstick and high heels while sitting on sofa' -group!".

I've read bright opinions how all this false "being connected 24/7 and having hundreds of friends all over the world" is actually worsening the quality of our social lives and more importantly prevents us to focus on anything, be it work, family, hobby, or a real social life. I strongly believe in the referenced fact that being good in anything requires long-spanning concentration more than anything. Would we have the relativity theories if Einsten Twittered his daily minutes of life? I give you Kathy Sierra, I really recommend reading it. And she wrote it two years ago!

"Coffee with your next-door neighbor could do more for your brain than a thousand Twitter updates."

To prove my point, take a look at this monster. Inspiration for this post and a picture from that enables you to send your status messages from web/mobile/social sites to all the major social networking sites. God bless us from the minor.

I'll go make a coffee and concentrate on my work.


Joanna said...

I know what you mean. I'm trying (and not always managing it) to restrict my friends list on facebook to actual friends or at the very least people Ive met

I think some people view it like the football albums - going around Facebook collecting up as many tranny friends as they can ;)

I think the other issue is that in the past you might contact an old friend to catch up and see what they're doing - have a chat etc But now with facebook/blogs you can see what they're doing, so you don't then feel the need to contact them....

Campbell said...

I agree, there is more noise with large numbers of "friends". I count myself a part of that group, someone who is interested but can't by any definition of the word be called a real friend. Some people use Flickr as an outlet to express themselves, others to gain some kind of positive reaction to confirm what they are doing is right. Whatever reason we have, it doesn't work with more than a small number of contacts/friends.

Facebook is for the real me and I only allow people I know or work with on it. That does mean it gets a little interesting with some of the photos I post but that is why we can choose who we are friends with.

I've never seen the point of twitter or some of the other similar services where we are expected to post so many updates it becomes a form of self implemented state monitoring. I'm sure a lot of people that are heavy twitter users would object to being filmed by cctv all day but I see no difference.

Don't forget to have fun. Coffee, work, friends and fun ! :)

Unknown said...

This looks like a very nice place! I liked it so much and very interesting, too! Thanks for sharing the experience.
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