Coming under the realisation that everything from watching TV to keeping a note what book I am reading is done online, I am trying to think if I am spending too much time online. I guess the realisation was part of watching this video on youtube.
It is from 2009, so the issue with over saturation may be worse. In fact, the people who I know, who now use sites like Facebook, have increased since 2009. OK, a lot of people don’t seem to use these websites that much, and use them as another way to contact friends and relatives. And there is nothing wrong with that. The services that are used, tend to be free, and are so much more appealing than paying a phone call or meeting up, where you need to buy food, coffee, etc. But the issue is, which is what is covered on many avenues both online and off it, that we get so much more information from people that we may not be of particular interest anymore.
It makes it harder to decipher what is important, so that we should care about it, and what should we be ignoring. Everything from estranged school friend’s photos from a night out and alerts about browser games to heart felt messages from a friend in need. They are all posted with the same level of importance. And with the high volume of information, would a person look into their Facebook timeline enough to get the information to help their friend?
Probably not. We just blend all the nonsense into one thing, and if it isn’t at the top of the page, we just don’t see things. So, there is truth in what the video above states about our attention span. But the one thing I do disagree with, is the dislike of reading which is lengthier than the average status update. Maybe it’s because I fell in love with the internet, through using forums and blogging sites. And that is still what I do. *shrugs* So I guess, I am part of the exception.
I use social networking A LOT. Seriously, think I am kidding, follow me on twitter. I like the fact that I have different things on different sites. A lot of things get shared on Facebook. But that is easy, because Facebook is very good at linking together with other sites, such as YouTube, GetGlue and well, WordPress. So it adds more personality, in that it shows my blog posts and what videos I like, but it is, ironically, less personal. I don’t have to access Facebook to post things, and a lot of the time, I don’t go near the place.
But then you have Smartphones, with access to all the social networks. It makes it even easier to tweet what is on your head, and use FourSquare to show where you are. It sounds strange to most people, but to some it is great to meet people. Why? When in Blackpool over the summer, I went into a bar and checked in using FourSquare. FourSquare posted through Twitter, that I was at such and such pub. And the next thing I knew, Tanny, a girl who saw my tweet, came and introduced herself, and said that she, like me, was alone in this pub as her friends were passed out at her hotel. We had a drink, went for food. I made a friend.
Yes social networking gets bad press, but used well it can bring people together. It goes beyond function, and becomes magical. My relationship with the internet, is as well rooted as my relationship with music, which is the love of my life.