August 3, 2011

Google+ has taught me something. I’m too lazy to do this social networking thing. This is a weird revelation for me – seeing as I spend hours online, love sharing things I find and try pretty hard to stay in touch with people. With all the positive commentary I’ve heard about Google+, I (foolishly) expected it to be somehow magical. It wasn’t (my fault – unreasonable expectations).

But here’s the thing. When I first joined, I compared it to my empty apartment. Lots of potential, but at right here/right now, I’m bored to death. I spent some time fixing my profile and putting people into circles. Google gets some credit for giving me an easy way to add all the people I really care about quickly (this should be a given though, since they have access to my email contact list). This all got old pretty quick, since my email also has a lot of people I don’t see any reason to add. Then I actually sat and didn’t know what to do.

Figuring it was just because most people I know aren’t on Google+, I patiently waited. And although the emails began to pop up to tell me I’ve been added to someone’s circle, I still waited. <begin rant> The emails themselves bother me because they give me totally useless information. I don’t want to know that I’ve been added to someone’s circle if you’re not going to tell me what circle it is. And I really don’t want to be added to someone’s circle if I don’t know who they are. Plus, all the adding makes that alert in the top right of my screen appear (and it never goes away!). <end rant>

Thing is, I still don’t know what to do. And it’s because I don’t do anything on Facebook. Except reading my news feed and the occasional profile change. I don’t post pictures. I don’t do status updates. I don’t share links. I don’t do check-ins and reviews. And I rarely send a message (sometimes I chat). I absolutely don’t use apps or play games. For me, Facebook has basically become a gossipy news site about people I know. It might be stupid, but yes, I do want to know who’s married, who has kids, who is working where. I hardly ever contribute, and as of right now, most people I know have not migrated their lives to Google+.

small tangent: I actually tried once to use Google+ or at least what I thought was using it. I +1’d (yikes, that’s unhappy to type) something. I couldn’t figure out what it did – so it essentially did nothing worthwhile. I also thought sharing from Google Reader would automatically add it to my stream (feed, circle, I don’t know what it’s called). It doesn’t and I spent significant time trying to figure that out before I learned that it just doesn’t do that.

Even more strange though, I realized that everything I have and use is public. Twitter, Tumblr, blog – even my Facebook profile has minimal security on it. My friends, my family, my family friends, my co-workers, people who I’ve never met in person, and total strangers – it’s pretty much the same. I have no concept of “circles”. It may be a result of never having that option. But since I don’t feel like something’s missing… In fact, most of the time if I think it’s worth sharing to a few people, I think it’s worth sharing to everyone. Is that weird?

Circles to me is similar to when Facebook added in additional security for profiles. I couldn’t randomly look up people I wanted to know about but didn’t really want to friend. Except circles are sneaky, since I don’t know what circle I’m in. Either way, that extra layer of privacy makes it boring.

One comment

  1. I tried to join, but it wouldn’t let me upload a profile picture, so I gave up and moved on. Brett seems to like it, though. I think that at some point, people have to accept that info you put on the internet is not really that private, so why put in all the effort for imaginary security. For that matter, info that you tell people in person is rarely as private as you think/hope it is either, so you’re saving yourself a lot of stress and drama if you just decide your life is an open book, on and offline.

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