Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Should I or shouldn't I...

"Sandra's thinking about caving."

That's what my Facebook profile status would say right now... if I were on Facebook, which I'm not... yet.

Chris was all over that trend - especially given his research interest in social networks and information-seeking behaviour. For many researchers and organizations Facebook has become an invaluable tool and resource if not a research focus in and of itself.

But me, I've been hanging back - partly out of paranoia, partly trying to stay out of the tsunami of sheer overwhelming mass popularity of social networking websites. To be honest, I've been cheating because I'm a bit of a stalker - signing in under Chris' profile and checking in on friends to see what's up.

And that's the allure isn't it? Part of me does want to know what's going on in the 'cool kids' corner; what fun things are being planned and discussed that I might be left out of; looking up old high school and university friends; sharing photos and book suggestions; etc.

But then it can all become so much navel-gazing and self-absorption. I'll be the first to admit that I can talk about myself and my interests for hours (as if this blog isn't evidence enough!). I think that's what holds me back. The whole privacy paranoia can be somewhat mitigated with the settings one chooses and really, if someone wants to find out something about you, they will - I know, I've done it myself (it's fascinating what some people put up on the internet!).

I struggle with all that 'Me' broadcasting - maybe it's being an only child (there I go disclosing personal information again!) and being teased about the stereotype of being spoiled and selfish - something I deliberately try hard not to do. Maybe it's because since Chris' death, I've been undergoing a slow metamorphosis of sorts - I'm just not sure what I'm becoming. I know that I don't want to be pigeon-holed and I've become more guarded about myself when meeting new people who don't know me or my life.

Something to chew on. Any thoughts dear readers?


Amanda M said...

Come over to the dark side, girl!

It's fun. And if you don't want to remain friends with someone you just hit "delete". No awkward breakup conversations where you look at your feet and shuffle the grass and mumble "it's not you it's me".

It's quite entertaining, if only to see how retarded we all are. Especially the 'brarians among us :)

C'mon. Be my friend. All the cool kids are doing it. LOL

Mark I said...

Do it!

Shelley Long said...

Don't do it Sandra, stay strong! Your blog is an example of how to do a Blog right--it's interesting (you avoid the navel-gazing), informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Selfishly, I don't want you to dilute your focus by expending time and energy on facebook. Please....just say no. Your fans love you as you are!

Lori said...

As you know, I contemplated signing on for well over a year and now that I'm on I regret not having joined sooner.

Keep your personal info sparse and then build from there if you feel like it. Please join me on the visual bookshelf!

AnneW said...

Yes, just put as much info as you feel comfortable with. No problema.
Its more entertaining and easier than email, and not the same headspace as your blog.

Be brave. Be cool.
Venture forth, woman!
We're waiting..

Head Tale said...

One thing you may consider is signing up under "first name, last initial" or a nickname or some variation of those options.

That gives you a lot more control in that you can "friend" the people you want to but are much less likely to be found by people you may not want to find.

I have Facebook friends with names such as "Cenobyte B." and "Kay Cee" for example.