Social Network Overload

March 22, 2009

I think I must be a techno wimp. Maybe I’m just a social phobic. I enjoy learning new things about my WordPress blogging software. And when I have to play around with HTML I feel kind of proud of myself if I can figure something out. But social networking is wearing me out, and I hardly even use it. I just try to check the social networking sites on a regular basis and I’m frustrated.

I try to log on to Facebook at least once a day to see if anyone has posted something I want to see. Usually they haven’t. I don’t spend time learning how to send gifts or do quizzes. I don’t know a lot about Facebook features and I’m not sure I want to.

After last week’s post about Twitter I started using TweetDeck. It makes Twitter a little less noisy but it still seems like an electronic toy more than anything else. It’s a gimmicky gadget. I don’t really like gimmicky gadgets. I prefer tools.

I also have profiles on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Naymz, and a couple of others I can’t remember. People asked me to join their networks so I signed up and joined. Thing is, everyone who asked me to join one of those other networks also has a connection to me on another network.

My contrarian side is coming out. A few coaches claim they get new clients by being on the social network sites, but most are on the sites sharing photos with their long-lost friends, linking to other coaches, and asking each other how to get clients using the sites. Lots of people who are presented to me as examples of successful use of social networks for marketing simply post again and again and again about their latest teleseminar, live event, or super-discount-special.

And I don’t give a flying flip!

Self-employed people are being told by many voices from every corner that they need to be active on social networking sites to build their businesses. I’ve been drawn in, despite my skepticism, and have given them a try. I don’t buy it.

I think social networking sites are great for… social networking. If you want to keep up with friends and family between calls, or have people you like to “keep up” with but don’t want to allot much time, they work great.

If you are creating an online persona using a word like “Diva” or “Underground” or “Guru” or whatever, I suppose they are another forum for putting on your show. I get bored, then annoyed, and finally fed up by all the self-promotion and ridiculous hype. I don’t want to hear from these people, and I never want to come across as one of them.

I think I’ll approach these sites with a new mindset. I’ll try them out to see how useful they are to me for social networking. I even like using them for professional networking, if that means talking to colleagues for ideas and recommendations on resources and services I need. But I don’t think I’ll be using them as an excuse to SPAM people.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey
Ideal Life Work & Self-Employment Advocate (but not yet a Twitter Critter)


2 Responses to “Social Network Overload”

  1. Ken on March 23rd, 2009 3:02 am

    I feel ya, brother. I’ve just learned to ignore the hype. I look for people who really add value, people who have something to say or who point me to things of interest. Then I try to do the same. I think this is the way to make social networking work both for you and your friends and followers.

  2. Hannah on March 30th, 2009 1:52 pm

    My question is–who has this kind of time? There being a limited number of hours in the day for sunshine, fresh air, family, friends, animal friends, food, and work.

    Call me old-fashioned, but there are so many (to me, anyway) more meaningful ways to spend one’s brief time on earth.

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