2011-08-05

Why I feel no need to join social network services

In spite of all the invitations I constantly receive from friends and even students of mine to join their favorite social network services such as Facebook and Twitter, and in spite of all the fuss they make in the media, I have never felt any need to join any of them (except for a purely academic and rather static one called Academia.edu - my account), as I consider them (as well as mobile phones) as electronic pacifiers.

I am not against social networks per se, and I even consider them as assets. But I have not been convinced that joining social network services is the best way to maintain my social networks. I do not understand why one has to tell to the whole world even on an hourly basis what one does. This kind of obsession reminds me of a baby who is trying to draw the attention of the whole world around the clock. The focus is always on yourself!

I also believe that written words, unlike spoken words, must be "fermented", as it were, even online, and the process of "fermentation" takes some time. Writing something in real time skips this important period. The result is a massive and ever growing accumulation of "non-fermented" vain words.

Unfortunately, I have only 24 hours a day. Even without such narcissistic social network services I am inundated with so many things to read. So as long as they do not undergo some fundamental change, I will not join any of them and waste my time following hourly updates of the users of electronic pacifiers.

PS: Of course, I do not deny the possibility that this blog is also an online accumulation of my vain words. ;-)