Social Networking Sites Are Pointless

Social networking seems to be the buzzword of the moment, MySpace and Beebo are apparently a bit last year and now its Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t really “get” it. I mean, its not that I don’t have friends. I do, lots of them. So many in fact that they all go months and months without hearing from me as I find it so hard to keep up with them all! My friends are (almost without exception) internet-enabled so they should fit well onto the social networking model. Some of them are people I only know through the internet, but that doesn’t seem to change my persective.

Its not that I’m actively avoiding these things. Here are links to my accounts on:

I have the accounts, but I don’t really know what to do with them. The most useful so far has been del.icio.us, which I use to keep hold of bookmarks between multiple locations but not to share stuff really1. I think I “get” LinkedIn; I try to keep up with colleagues that I respect and would work with again on there, and in fact have actually used it today to check if I’m linked to someone, which is nice. Flickr is fine, I put my friend’s wedding photos there for her, but I’m not raving about it. Facebook has landed in my offline friendship group recently and I’m still waiting for the penny to drop about why people seem to be losing whole swathes of their lives to it. I’m on there, but if I haven’t seen you for years and/or your number isn’t in my mobile phone, then I’m not adding you as friend because clearly you’re not! And as for twitter … this is just a mystery.

So has the world gone mad or am I simply missing the point, like people who read websites in real life rather than on feed readers? Your thoughts please!

1 Also I used its API to write a game earlier in the year.

11 thoughts on “Social Networking Sites Are Pointless

  1. I don't see the point, either. That's why I've so far refused all the "invitations" to join MySpace, Facebook and BeBo.

    I do have a Flickr account, but I use that to upload photos that I want to share via the Internet (sometimes I have too many to email). I've got friends and contacts on there, but I don't really interact with anyone through that site all that much.

    I have been considering getting a MySpace account, but not for the social networking aspect - there are some bands I like on there, and that way I could find out what/when/where stuff happens. It's not a priority right now, though.

    The rest, I'm simply not interested in, I'm afraid. I don't see the point in finding ways to waste more time online than I currently do. And I have other ways of keeping in touch with my friends.

    BTW I'm going to add you on Flickr now. :P

  2. Um, I don't know, really. But when you add more photos, the last will appear on my Flickr homepage, and vice versa. Also, you can see photos that I've marked "friends only" or whatever, if there are any. And you can send me Flickrmail (exciting stuff, eh?).

    Like I said, I use this mainly to upload and share photos. I'm not sure how to use it to keep in touch with people in an effective manner. :P

  3. I think that they are all a passing fad. You get an initial bout of interest, catching up with "friends" you'd long forgotten. Real friends still invite you around for BBQs :)

  4. I didn't get it either but now I'm somehow addicted to Facebook. It's great for keeping up to date with people you should contact via other means but never get round to doing so. You can share photos and links and there are all sorts of applications being developed for it now (although most of these are pointless)

    Anyway if you've forgiven me for not attending your housewarming I've added you as my facebook friend.

  5. Simon: hehe - you're welcome any time! And thanks for the link.

    Stephen: Of course you're forgiven, I've added you in return. Come over for food one night and see our new place?

  6. Funny how the first time I've seen Facebook goes down is after we add you as a friend. You haven't been trying to bring it down have you?

    And yes we will have to do something sometime...

  7. Lurkers: Thanks for reading and adding me to your various networks, I still don't know what to do with it all but I appreciate the thought :)

    Stephen: Not me, I promise! It seems to be up again now though. Can you organise me to see you sometime? I'm not coming out drinking with you lot again though, you're menaces!

  8. Not so sure that pointless is a valid criticism - nearly pointless I would allow you to use...

    After a brief flirtation with facebook I have come to the conclusion that it does have its uses. Keeping in touch with people you wouldn't otherwise bother to, and organising and publicising events, being the main ones for me. But then I'm useless at keeping in touch normally...

    As for the others I have no comment to make, other than I probably won't be joining them...

  9. Michael: I was pretty surprised to see you on facebook at all, if I'm honest! Perhaps because you're normally quite allergic to communication ... thanks for dropping in and adding a comment though, I'm honoured :)

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