I rode the Wave then Twitter sucked me in! I don’t do Facebook anymore because too many people would know too much of my dirty laundry. (Not that I have anything to hide I’m just careful on what I share with whom.) It started over a year ago when those Facebook apps got to be fun. Before I knew it I was answering “would you rather…” questions and rating friends in a way that could be taken out of context. Nobody would believe that I was “just trying out this little app” if they were to come across some of the stoopidity I was putting in the checkboxes. Its dangerous. Not only do these social network apps link people in ways never thought of before, they have a way of weening information out of you that you wouldn’t typically share in a regular situation.
I’m a mostly open guy but I have a certain edge to my personality that, when not kept under control, can lead to random outbursts in awkward situations. Because 90% of my connections were work related and because Facebook has no qualms with broadcasting every minute move you make to your entire Friend list by default I found it’d be easier if I just left it alone, lest somebody thought I was experiencing a breakdown of some sort. I’m putting this out there as a warning to some of you who may be on Facebook and not realizing that the stuff you do there IS broadcasted and permanent. You won’t realize until someone in your office taps you and asks about your “wall” or inquires why you were up at 12am updating the movie preferences with Steel Magnolia topping your list.
More important is the distraction these things impose on your normal activity. Something as personal as spending the holiday with your family can now be interrupted by a series of dumb tweets on a nonsense topic. I don’t usually reveal too much of my personal life here because it’s supposed to be all about the sourcecode but that last statement is too true and speaks to my level of discipline. While I don’t believe I did anything too damaging with Twitter (following the Wayans Bros. trends) this weekend I do understand the potential for chaos.
Google Wave is another big nothing. On its own, its an IM/Email/Live-Twitter-Board that doesn’t give you anything you don’t already have. It just aggregates existing tools in an interesting new way and because it wears a “Google” badge you’ll use it regardless of its current usability issues. I burned an entire day trying to work around usability flaws my and lack of Wave connections and find some practical advantage of the new platform. I feel it does have potential and there is something big that could happen over the next few months but it is just taking too much of my time to follow along with everything else.
I always used to wonder about people who would pay for Cable, Pay-Per-View, NetFlix, Blockbuster, cell service, a land line, Satellite radio, and multiple-magazine subscriptions. Now I fear I’m becoming one if I don’t tone things down.