Thursday, February 14, 2013

Socially Awkward

It dawned on me this week that I am an internet social-networking whore. I don't know why? It's not like I have a significant amount of followers. My ego aside, I don't have an active life that requires such an excessive amount of internet "sharing". Some of the websites I frequent, facebook in particular, I don't even enjoy using. Others, Google+ in particular, I simply love.

Why then do I use so many social sites? Why can't I just focus on one community and be happy with it?

I went deep into myself and found an answer.

It's all about expressing our egos while connecting with others. As we all do this in various ways, so do the various social sites have styles of expressing our egos. These styles, while influenced by the functionality of the website, are set by how the mass of users choose to use it. I'll give you a simple rundown of the ego-sharing styles of my three most used websites.
"Look at how great my life is."
"Look at how witty I am."
"Look at how great my hobbies and interests are."
These styles of sharing are natural considering the crowd of users in each site. Here's a rundown of who I find mostly in each website.

Friends and Family
People Who Have Hobbies
In that context, perhaps you can see why I share differently across the platforms. Personal events and accomplishments I share on facebook for my friends and family to see. Worldly observations that my family may not appreciate but someone "out there" might, I put on Twitter. If I find an interesting article, I share it with the appropriate community on Google+. It's weird I admit, but there you have it.

Something tells me I'm not alone in this, as I've seen an interesting variety of sharing styles for each social site. The simplest way to explain this is in the different use of memes. Facebook is plagued with those meme pictures that promote personal morals. "Like" if you think children should be beaten when naughty. Twitter has the hashtag postings, where each user attempts to gain attention for their witty use of a given hashtag  My personal favorite hashtag to use is #firstworldproblems. It's funny and offensive all at the some time. Google+ is a mixture of the two, except the meme pictures are more of a subculture tone. It may just be because of the people I follow there, but you don't see very many "+1 if you're a friend of Jesus". It's usually more of the "+1 if you think Han shot first".

Facebook users you can stop reading here, as the rest of this is just propaganda to convert you over to Google+.

If I had to choose, I would drop facebook and twitter entirely to only use Google+. I find it's U.I. very intuitive in sharing and controlling my posts. Gamers can see my gaming stuff, No Agenda producers can see my political posts, and my family can only see the stuff that would matter to them. It's very easy to meet new people who share your interests with the use of the twitter hashtag system. Then there's the new Communities feature for finding like minded users. Communities is basically just fan pages that combine users posts together. It has become a great way to get the latest news on any subject that interests you.

It's a shame everyone I know in the real world still uses facebook, otherwise they could join in on some of these great communities and conversations ...  Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge.

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