Anton's Weblog

Another roof, another proof.

Social networks

I’ve not been using ICQ for a year or so. Some days ago I also removed my twitter and Facebook accounts (that I din’t use actually). I’ve been trying for a while to explain my position on these questions to lots of people, but didn’t succeed. Maybe in the written form it will be more structured and comprehensive.

My personal answer is simple. My workflow is entirely base on e-mail and google chat (when I need to talk to someone immediately). Fortunately, almost every person I usually need to contact has a gmail account. If not, I use Skype or my mobile phone. All the social things seem completely obsolete for me.

Every social network is a kind of trend. Blogs, instant messaging, social networks (in the sense of Facebook), now twitter. Every of them carries a nice idea behind: this should be THE tool for communication. And every of them result into people spending an amazing amount of time exchanging useless messages. Every of them has eventually become a way to escape from reality, replacing the notion of acquaintance by the entirely different notion of friend. That’s extremely funny for me to see people with hundreds of friends. Some years ago I read in interview with the creator of livejournal who was amazed by the current state of things with his child. He created the service to share news with his family when he had to move to another city.

There are still people in the world that understand: a tool is just a tool. Blogs are nicely used by companies to share their news (which is not much different from a news feed with comments). Few people use Facebook to store their contacts. The problem is that this percentage is extremely small.

Every thoughtfully written e-mail is worth 50 messages in a social network, while the first one takes much less time. It’d be nice if every dependent person reads a book instead of re-watching the same pictures of the same “friends”. My approximate calculations show that an average social geek spends 2 years (a lower bound) of his life in this bog.

Finally, there are lots of other ways to escape from reality that are much much better. Play a board game with your friends of family. With the real people you can see and touch. And I’m sure that everyone will feel himself much more important than what the illusion of being popular online give you. It’s a pity to see people being blind about others suffering around them while being occupied by changing their status in another social network and reading those of some random guy living in another country you’ve met once.

This writing is not intended to offend any of you. In fact, I’m happy to say that only few of my friends seem to have the social network disease.

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Written by Anton Fonarev

17/02/2010 at 18:59

Posted in Life

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