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Social Networking Sites Are Bullshit, posted by sam

There. I said it.

Oh, they were alright back when Tribes was good for getting laid and you could be emo before emo was a word on LiveJournal, but these days? Not so much. Sure, there are some out there that serve an actual purpose like LinkedIn, but for the most part? Bullshit.

But here’s the thing, social networking sites are one of the biggest things out there that promotes the mainstreaming of Geekitude. So here I am, a geek, looking for broader acceptance of my geekery, basicly biting the hand that feeds me. Why? Because you should all be ashamed of MySpace.

Here’s a look at the current big three in social networking:

MySpace. This is what hell would look like if the devil was a 14 year old with an obession with My Chemical Romance and taking pictures of themselves. Speaking of taking pictures of themselves… It’s MySpace’s fault that I now know who Miley Cyrus is. Do you think that idiot knew that it was just a matter of time before her self-pics that verge on child pornography ended up in the public domain? Who cares. I now have this crap in my brain and it’s all MySpace’s fault. MySpace is great if you want to make people look at animated gifs and listen to music that’s so overplayed, even pop radio stations won’t touch it any more. My little brother used to use MySpace to share music he created with the masses. Talking about that now embarrasses him horribly. I had a great analogy about MySpace being this generation’s {Blank}, but it completely slipped my mind. Sorry.

FaceBook. Remember that guy in highschool? The one who fucked with you all through your algebra class freshman year? Well, he’s 15 years older and the rosey glow of nostalgia makes him want to be your bestest friend ever and tell you all about his job as a sales associate at the local Ford dealership. Facebook might have started out as a way for real social groups to keep in contact online, but these days? Not so much. It’s now the Nostalgia Machine where all the people you made an effort to avoid after graduation can find you and tell you about their children. And here’s a dirty little secret you probably aren’t even telling yourself: If you had wanted to keep in touch with any of the hundreds of people on FaceBook desperate to make a connection with someone who also went to BFE High 17 years ago, you fucking would have done it. You wouldn’t have lost touch with those people in the first place. You would have made the effort to call them every couple of months, or send them an email. you wouldn’t need to have them remind you who they are and how you should know them. My girlfriend recently got a FaceBook account and she’s been telling me about all the asshats from high school who want to be friends with her now that everyone’s hormones have settled and the pecking order that seemed set in concrete back then as ben revealed as meaningless.

Twitter. 140 character microblog site. You can update as you go about your day, and check updates on other twitter account with your phone or whatever. The site’s ease of use promotes constant updating, and a lot of the accounts I’ve followed have at one point or another forgotten that there is no privacy on Twitter. Once you make your account public, everyone can see every post you’ve ever made. Sometimes that’s funny, but other times it’s just sad. Like the congressional Republicans bitch-tweeting during President Obama’s first speech before congress. Then there’s the TMI tweeting: “Just saw A Lot of Penis…” (This precious update was from earlier in the week on an account that’s being followed by someone else I follow.) Honestly, Twitter is the social networking site I have the least problem with. It’s only as “social” as you want it to be and you just need to remember that everyone can see the crap you choose to post about.

Confession time: I have a twitter account. And yeah, it occasionally brings me shame. I resisted getting an account on Twitter longer than your grandma did. Fear my herculian powers of resisting peer pressure. I got it for a journalism class last year and I kept it once I found I could use it to get all the reporting updates on local politics in one place. I’m too lazy to use RSS feeds, I suppose.

12 Comments

  1. This is why we refer to Sam as “the angry one.” ^_^

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  2. He has a facebook account too, but he never uses it. Mostly it’s a placeholder, so we don’t create one for him and play connect the Sam dots with the shambles of his past life in HS.

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  3. That’s what happened a few months ago. I logged into it, changed the password to a random string of characters, turned off all notification, and logged out. It brought me joy.

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 3:03 pm | Permalink
  4. letha

    I’m not sure I know anyone that uses these…..I should get out more.

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  5. Letha- I’ve got accounts on all of them, although I haven’t used MySpace in ages.

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  6. Letha: That means you’re a good person.

    (I’m turning on threaded comments. This is awkward.)

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  7. letha

    Carlos doesn’t get to count since he’s my baby brother. I knew I liked sam since he’s obviously brilliant. :P No really….I guess except for Carlos I don’t know anyone….if you can’t give me either your email or phone number to communicate with then chances are I’m not going to talk to you. High maintenance people that give me too much information upfront are not my regular friends. Except Carlos…but we already know he doesn’t get to count.

    Posted on 14-Apr-09 at 5:32 pm | Permalink
  8. Kurt

    MySpace threw me into epileptic fits the first time I visited years ago. It was ADD overload, and instantly made me feel like an old man complete with “back in my day” rants. Facebook annoys me on totally different levels. I have an account there, but only check it every few days or so. It’s interesting in that voyeuristic “what are my friends doing” sense, but aside from contacting old high school friends or far-flung family members it’s not overly useful.

    I don’t Twitter, sorry. Microblogging is something I just don’t get, because back in my day we picked up the phone and called our friends to bore them with the minutiae of our lives…

    Posted on 15-Apr-09 at 12:08 pm | Permalink
  9. I had a MySpace page, for like, an hour. Don’t you remember Sam? It was how Bonnye brought us back together again! Bet you were hoping I wouldn’t bring that up ;)

    I deleted that account shortly after I opened it, and what a horrible pain in the ass that was. As far as my Facebook page goes, some of my friends conned me into that — friends that work for the DEVIL! Now I’m addicted to discovering how many of those high school asshats want to be my friends now. *Shakes fist in air*

    Posted on 15-Apr-09 at 10:19 pm | Permalink
  10. Ergonomic Cat

    Here’s a secret:

    LinkedIn is Shite too. It pretends to be useful and valuable, and every very rare moment, it is. But it’s just people spamming you with directed ads for seminars and white papers, people posting jobs you don’t care about, and people trying to grow their networks.

    In the 5 years I’ve been on LinkedIn, I’ve gotten 3 pieces of useful information out of it.

    However, Facebook is how my mom and my family keep tabs on what’s going on in our lives – we post up pics and status updates, and my mom reads them, then, when enough build up, she calls me to talk about them.

    Posted on 15-Apr-09 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
  11. Michael

    Linked in is valuable only for getting the email of people you couldn’t track down otherwise. So if you want a job it’s okay, but it’s awesome for reporting. You can bypass PR departments with ease to get a quote.

    Posted on 16-Apr-09 at 10:11 pm | Permalink
  12. Darling

    Yeah I had to agree on that note too for most of the time. I never liked any of it and having heard of Facebook soon to release this Facebook Home is like total stupidity!

    Posted on 13-Apr-13 at 8:18 am | Permalink

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