I Suck At Social Networks

I recently reactivated my account on Twitter (yet again). I keep hearing how people are better informed because of this network so I decided to try to use it as a newsfeed, like a more real-time version of a rss reader. Of course this only works if I follow just news accounts and other accounts that catch my fancy and not follow people who I would normally follow on say FaceBook. I’m sure there is a more social way to use Twitter but I’ve not found a way to do it (it’s one of the reasons I’ve killed my account so many times). Which brings me to a realization: I suck at social networks.

Then again I’m not really good at socializing to begin with. When I’m not at work socializing with customers or work associates, I’m home doing non-socializing forms of recreation (reading, listening or watching some form of media). At least that has been my main form of recreation for the last year. The only exception to this are the few social casual games I play on my phone thanks to Zynga. I have been going out to comedy shows a lot less and staying home a lot more. I guess I’ve become a bit of a social recluse and I guess I’m ok with that.

It seems I’m more comfortable spending my time escaping into mediums of fiction rather than meeting new people or making more social connections. I only have enough time to just do random status updates and lurk through my various news feeds/timelines/streams to get an idea of what’s going on and then I log out and go on about my day (or at least that’s the only time I’m willing to divulge). Then again, another reason I don’t seem to updated my accounts much is that I don’t do much besides work and then go home. There is only so many times you can post that mundanity.

Oh well, how about you? How do you use your social networks? Do you get more out of Twitter than just a news feed function? Let me know.

Our Digital Nation

I recently saw this PBS Frontline Special called Digital Nation and was intrigued on the study of the internet on everyday life. It is true that most of us web 2.0ers are more engrossed with our smartphones and laptops and probably communicate less on a more personal basis.  I also wasn’t completely surprised by the Stanford study on multi-tasking and how the results were that when people multi-task they are in fact less effective than when they take things head-on and one at a time. This makes sense to me because I have noticed that there were times when I tried to listen to a podcast and read an email or a website and realized that I wasn’t able to complete that feat.

Having my life becoming more intermingled with the internet is one of the reasons that I’ve decided to cancel my Facebook account.  For some reason it has become a bit more oppressive toward me than a delight. I constantly felt like I had to make time to check on my news feeds, emails, etc. This of course took time away from more leisure or more important pursuits of mine. Not to mention that I’ve become more easily distracted and have an increased short-attention span than before. Of course, I still have my Twitter account up and running so I’m not completely disconnected from the digital world.

Frontline: Digital Nation is a great show on how the internet and other digital distractions have been changing our perspective on life and how it’s changing our brain patterns and how we think. I highly recommend it to everyone to watch and gauge how involved they’ve also become with this digital lifestyle.

Joining more social networks

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with keeping track of my twitter feeds and I was hoping to find some other way of making it more convenient besides just having a plug-in to my browser, when my wife introduced me to Friendfeed.  According to her, this would be a useful website for me because it strings conversations along in a linear user-friendly style.  After signing up and noticing that I could add other social networks in their so I could just have a all-in-one site, I stumbled upon Goodreads.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read and try whenever I can find the time.  More importantly if ever I’m curious about a book I always have to do a search for reviews and wonder if the review I’m reading is tailored to my tastes.  Well according to this site, which is a social network for book-lovers, you can link to like-minded individuals and read their reviews, likes and dislikes and see if you can find some good recommendations for yourself as well as suggest some of your own.  This sounds all fine and dandy, though I’m sure I’ll be wasting more time on the Internet before I can find a way to better manage it so I can focus on other things in my life.  Here’s hoping that time comes soon.  Now with this and a new podcast, I just keep piling stuff for me to do on my plate with no end in site.

At least I just have one site to visit now and maybe add more books to my “to do” list while I’m there.