Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I don't like the Media in Social Media

In the year that I've been without Facebook, I've enjoyed not being surrounded by images and statements that cause me to wonder if I'm living life to the fullest.  I've experienced almost none of the dreaded FOMO (the "fear of missing out," a real psychological term).  I've been able to maintain friendships the old-fashioned way: in person.  Rather than sharing pictures of events or goings-on, I have had the blessed opportunity to experience them with people.

After a lengthy discussion with The Man over dinner last night, we both came to the conclusion that the part of social media we dislike is the media.  We love catching up and staying up-to-date with our friends.  We do not, however, love the bragging and bravado a public profile causes.

Think about it.  When was the last time you set your status as a real feeling?  When was the last time you posted a picture without caring how awesome it made you (or your children) look?  When was the last time you slightly over-exaggerated the quality of your newest purchase, tropical vacation, or all-night-party?

Now consider this: when was the last time you really talked to those friends you're "trying to stay in contact with" via Facebook?  I'm not talking about reading his or her status or seeing that they leveled-up in Farmville.  I'm talking full conversation, two-sided back-and-forth conversation, actually catching up to present day.  Just because you're friends on Facebook doesn't mean you're actively a friend.  And passive friends?  Lame.

We would like to see a platform that allows for easy socialization without all the fluff.  We'd like a place that we could visit, see all of our friends in a list, be able to click on their name and send them a note, ask them how they're doing, and maybe share some goings-on in our lives.  You know, be friends.  It would be nice to have the ability to share pictures or files, but we don't want to deal with tagging or public albums.  Keep it simple.  Maybe allow for video conferencing or voice calls or instant messaging.

*Dawning of realization* I think I just described g-mail.

We'd rather contact people individually and with purpose than to blast out a bunch of fluff for people we don't really stay in contact with anyway.

Lose the media, love the social, ditch Facebook.  And please? Be an active friend.

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