The answer in my case is…no. And it’s been a deliberate decision (under regular review) not to join it, despite regular requests from various friends. I use (with varying frequency) My Space, Bebo…I blog, I email, I wiki, I forum. I like to be in touch and aware of what’s going on in the world. I don’t, however, have an incredible compulsion to be constantly connected to my friends 24 hours a day, so, although I joined up to find out more about it, I can categorically state that I will never Twitter (unless someone can give me a better reason than “you can tell people who don’t care enough to speak to you in person everything you’re doing throughout the day, in response to a totally inane question about what you’re doing”). I also have a limit on the amount of times I really need to see the same people duplicated in my network of friends in different sites.
It started with MySpace, which I joined in a spirit of investigation and fun in February 2006, when it was filling the news headlines. I also joined Bebo at that point, and promptly forgot about it, until it was suggested by a workmate in March this year that I join, only to discover I already had! At that point MySpace was new, exciting and fun. I made friends, and more. Then Bebo became the Next Big Thing…now it’s Facebook. It’s turning into a pattern of social network hopping…How ‘cool’ you are is reflected by which networks you’re on…MySpace is SOOOO last year…Bebo’s trendy, but fading…now it’s Facebook, only opened to non-university students since September 2006.
But…I don’t WANT to Facebook! I’m one of those bizarre people that believes time is the most important thing you possess, and when you give it away you’ll never get it back. Do I really want to give my time to yet another social networking site, to see the same people doing the same things as they do on the other sites?
I want to appreciate my real friends, the ones I take the time out to write letters to, even though an email’s faster. Yes, these sites are good for me to quickly update myself on how friends I don’t see often are doing, but it’s not exactly socialising with them, really. Is it?
But…could these sites help me in my work? Do I want to join library and law groups on Facebook (which I believe exist, including an IWR group), or is it more efficient to just continue reading the blogs that interest me?
I’m not yet in information overload, but would professional networking on social networks tip the balance?