I Just Don't Get It
You should be aware of my position on joining all the different "social networks" by now. If not...get caught up!
Classmates was way ahead of its time by basically being a place to meet past friends, tell the world what you're doing, etc.. Of course it costs you a ton of cash to actually get any real information about the people you are actually interested in reconnecting with. They should really change that since it is much easier for people to get that same info for free (or free with registration) from any of the following sites.
LinkedIn is a "professional" network, designed to make your business life easier, provide access to information to business people who need it, and connect or reconnect with business professional and colleagues.
Facebook is a nicer version of MySpace. At least that's about all I can figure from looking at it. What? Fewer teenagers pretending to be legal? Anyway, it is supposed to be THE place for reconnecting with old friends.
Stickam is MySpace with a bit of YouTube put inside, and no other real differences so far as I can tell. Oh yeah...meet new people and reconnect with past acquaintances.
MySpace is the best way for a bad comedian to get sluts to think you're a great comedian, bad bands to get sluts to think you're a great band, bad men to get sluts to think they are great men. Oh yeah, you can meet a lot of teenagers and...reconnect with old friends.
I am trying to see the benefits in these things since I CONTINUE to get requests to join from various people. That is what I don't get.
The only real common ground among these things is the "reconnect with old friends" thing. Well, that and the fact that most of them require registration to join and see what's what.
First of all, if I am getting a personal invitation from a friend of mine via my e-mail address, then WHY do I need to join these sites? I've already reconnected with you and that's fine with me. Maybe YOU should drop me a line more often. Seriously, you've got time to invite me to join some network designed to make YOU feel better by accumulating more and more "friends" but you don't have the time to send me an e-mail, a letter, talk to me on the phone, or even [GASP!] meet with me in person? Hell no! What kind of "friend" are you to begin with?
Next, why does everyone assume I give a damn about the many people I've not spoken to in over 20 years? Why is it somehow wrong (or the behavior of a "grumpy old cuss" as one of my friends put it) for me not to care about what other people are doing? I've always been something of a loner without many TRUE friends and that has actually been a very workable situation for me. I'm pretty happy, which is amazing since so many people know me to be a depressing guy a lot of the time.
Third, it is a two-way street. I cannot control who finds me and therefore, the likelihood that someone I DON'T want to hear from may reach out and expect some sort of small talk/fake friendship thing as a result. I didn't go to my high school reunion for the same reasons. Avoiding people I hate is not the behavior of a grumpy old cuss.
Fourth, how naive do you have to be to think that EVERYONE on these things is actually going to be honest about their status in life, their goals & achievements, their contact information, their biographies, and their profile photos? These sites require you to register, but cannot require any honesty or good faith. Why? most people have none of those qualities to begin with, especially when online. Like I want to "reconnect" with someone who wants to mislead or exploit me for some reason or some other personal gain.
Fifth, and actually the simplest reason, I am already VERY EASY TO FIND ONLINE. Based upon the stats from this blog, the way so many have not read my MySpace page, and how few people simply don't listen to what I am saying nor read what I am writing, I am also VERY EASY TO IGNORE ONLINE.
So I will say again...if you want to "reconnect" with me, I'm here for you. Please don't be offended if I have not sought you out before now. I just don't search out people I haven't spoken to in 20 years that often.
If you can give me some legitimate reasons why these social networks should have me as a member I'll join. Otherwise I'll stick with what's already out there and reserve the right to join when it will benefit me or my career in ways I cannot do alone.