The following post is a guest post by the Antisocial Nurse:
Everyone seems to have a Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or other social network these days. Companies, grandmothers, kids, and ever “thing” in between.
I have no clue why they are so popular. I suppose the thing that is so attractive about these sites is that you can secretly check up on people without having to give up your identity, or let them know you are watching them. It is kinda like gossiping, but you get the scoop just by observing the page. You can see that “so and so” gained weight, or who is dating, etc.
Personally, I don’t really care at all. Gossip bores me. So people get older, break up, get wrinkles, and so forth. That’s life isn’t it? Why spend your time on these sites to read about this stuff?
But the fascinating thing to me is the life cycle of these social network sites, and how people seem to flock to, and subsequently leave them behind the second a newer trend emerges.
I am not sure which site was first on the scene, but I know that Xanga and Friendster used to be the “thing” to do if you were going to social network and create your own ‘page.’
Then, suddenly Myspace took the crown as a social networking giant. It seems that for a while, you couldn’t escape the Myspace buzz. It was all over the web, on television and news stories, at school/work, and everywhere. Everyone had a myspace page.
I got so tired of it and it seemed as if it was here to stay forever. Then, I gradually stopped hearing about Myspace. Then, I began noticing a new trend: Facebook.
Facebook is similar to Myspace in many ways (it is yet another social networking site), but once again seemed totally pointless to me. I mean, I don’t want to actually have a way for people to find me or contact me. There are some people in my life I would prefer to not speak to again, or see. In my off time, I want to do fun things, not sit and email people all day, or sift through friend requests.
But nevertheless, people flocked to it as if Facebook was some incredible thing or something. Even companies started to really take advantage of these sites. When I seen that Lowes.com had a facebook, I couldn’t believe it.
I mean who is going to update it? The general manager? The CEO? Is it going to add us as “friends.” It just seems silly. Granted, it may enable them to reach a few potential customers (making it a smart move on their part), but it still just seems absurd.
And then, just as Facebook is going crazy, Twitter pops up out of nowhere. All I hear about now is twitter, tweeting, and everything in between. On CNN they will often post about some celebrities “tweet” that reveals something they feel is newsworthy.
I think twitter is even more ridiculous. Who wants to “microblog” all day anyway? If you have anything worth saying, why not just write a full article? The small text space really limits your voice. Not to mention that it seems to have way too many security holes, as it has been hacked countless times.
All of this just makes me wonder…
Is Social Networking and Microblogging Going to Die?
The trend appears that, yes, they will eventually die. The current cause of death for social networking sites seems to be a “new thing” that replaces it. Myspace was ousted by Facebook, Facebook is getting silenced by Twitter, and etc.
I just wonder if social networking in general will ever die? Will people ever get tired of taking the time to register for an account, spruce up their pages, add friends, and take the time to log in each day and post? I hope so.
The thing that frustrates me even more is that people have no idea how much money they make for these sites. They literally sit all day and make ad revenue for these companies.
I mean, if I am going to write something, I will do it on MY OWN BLOG. That way, I have rights, and I can monetize my site and make money from my writing, rather than someone else making money from my writing. If I ever want to sell my site design and content, I can make money that way too.
How many people could have huge blogs making a steady income (or side income), if they used all of that energy and zest that they put into their social sites and focused that into their own blogs or sites? They could probably rank number 1 in Google, and make thousands per month. Especially these social network geeks that are on there every single day, and update their little “mood” status and quotes.
So if people want to Facebook so badly, why not create your own blog instead. I wouldn’t dare even use a social networking site unless I was using it to promote something. That is the only way, and even then I would try and automate it so that I don’t have to manually visit it ever again.
Don’t get me wrong, some people leverage these sites to drive traffic to their blogs, build their reputation, market their business, etc. That is great, and yes, it can be effective if done correctly. I also realize that these sites can be useful in some circumstances. Teenagers in high school can gossip and chat while they are bored.
But sometimes I just don’t think it is worth the effort at all. I think that time would be better spent doing something more productive, and using other creative methods to drive traffic to a personal blog or site, or a hobby.
I think they are definitely way overrated. I never use them, just from sheer boredom. I don’t want to chat, leave a comment on people’s page, moderate comments left on my page, or anything else that each social network site seems to require. Furthermore, I don’t want people to know my business.
Some people may argue that, “You can only add people you want to add.” But this becomes troublesome because what if the friendship goes bad? What if you suddenly prefer to NOT let this person in on your life’s details? It then becomes a problem. And what about a friend request that seems a little creepy, or someone you don’t want to “friend,” yet at the same time don’t want to hurt their feelings?
Conclusion: I Actually Hope Social Networks Die, and Blogging Picks Up
I hope social networks die a slow death, and instead people can simply blog on their own sites. That way, at least they will get paid for their own material. They can also have a sense of accomplishment, all without having to rely on a social networking site.
Most social networking sites die out or fizzle when a newer trend comes out. Hopefully, one day they will fizzle out and die for no reason at all. Or perhaps just because they are really pointless.