Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Five: Social Media

I’ve been taking January off from a lot of my usual pursuits, but even though the month is not over, it’s time to resume them. So here’s this week’s Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals. Kathrynzj says:

“I had the joy of spending time with Songbird last weekend, someone I would have never met had it not been for the blogosphere. Now we keep in touch using a large variety of methods: blog (hers a lot, mine not so much lately), facebook, twitter, text messaging, chat and email. So far there has been no skype.
It got me to thinking of the pros and cons of these relatively new means of communication and interconnecting and so I ask you the following:”

1) What have been the benefits for you of social networking (blog, twitter, facebook, etc...)

I really hate making telephone calls. I don’t mind receiving them, just making them. So blogging, email, and Facebook have all enabled me to reach out to people without having to pick up the dreaded telephone! There are some people who aren’t really reachable by these media and I need to call them, but not many. The fact that my children are in different time zones from me also makes these other methods quite useful since none of us is awakening the other from a sound sleep! I’ve also made a lot of connections to distant cousins, etc. for genealogy purposes, via online forums of various kinds. My membership in DorothyL (an online discussion group for mystery readers, writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians – basically anyone interested in detective stories) has enriched my life and added to my library.

2) Which medium do you use the most? Or if you use them all, for what do you use each of them?

I’ve been using Facebook far too much! I’m going to need to set some limits for myself. I probably check my email a bit too often, but Sisterfilms sometimes emails me with urgent questions about commas and such, so maybe that’s an excuse. I’m not a fan of chatting or instant messaging online (and have no cell phone so no texting here). Chatting seems too disjointed to me. Tried Skype, had some success and then not so much, gave it up. I have a hard time sometimes deciding whether to email someone or send them a message on Facebook – wondering which they will see sooner? I’ve been bad about blogging partly because of perfectionism…Onkel Hankie Pants is similarly afflicted when it comes to email, feeling he needs to compose as carefully as if he were writing a letter to the Times of London.
3) If you could invent a networking site (with no limits on your imagination), what would it provide? What would it not provide?


I can’t immediately think of anything else I’d want. I don’t care for all the applications and games on FB, but have managed to opt out of most so that’s OK. I’m afraid I’ll just wait to see what the 20-year-olds come up with next!
4) Who have you met that you would not have met if it were not for the 'miracle' of social networking?

Three RevGalBlogPals (in person that is—numbers more still in the virtual world, but that could change!) Many people on DorothyL and Goodreads who share my reading tastes and also help broaden them.
5) Who do you secretly pray does not one day try to 'friend/follow' you?

Someone I once knew who had a crush on me and in whom I was completely not interested – not quite a stalker but uncomfortably close. I did put my maiden name on my Facebook profile for ease of contacting people who knew me 40 years ago, so it’s possible. My excuse for not friending people is that I have my screen resolution and font size set so that I don’t usually see the stuff at the right side of the FB screen unless I look for it. (That’s also why I might neglect to wish someone a happy birthday…nothing personal!)
BONUS: What was the most random/weird/unsettling/wonderful connection you made that would not have happened if it were not for the ease of which we can find each other in the computer realm?

I can’t come up with just one. Would it be the descendant of my great-grandfather’s “missing” brother? Scattered friends from my high school in Germany, or the woman who had the same third-grade teacher I did a year earlier (also in Germany)? Or just one of the many people in my online communities who lead very different lives from mine, but with whom I’ve found surprising common ground? Of course, way back when we first got Internet connectivity, I found a distant cousin who told me about our family connection to Malaga Island, a big surprise that will continue to affect our family for some time to come (especially if Sisterfilms makes her documentary about it!) I expect new surprises daily.


Mary Beth said...

ooh, I am just the same about phone calls. Don't mind talking, but DETEST making them.

Mrs. M said...

I hate making phone calls, too. =(

Mompriest said...

ok - very cool connections for you! loved reading about them.

Jan said...

Well, I decided to friend you on FB, if you can vaguely remember me from RevGals. I totally identify with you about making phone calls--I much prefer email and even handwritten notes or letters. Maybe that's why I like blogging--sometimes I feel like I'm writing a note to a friend.

Funky Grampa said...

You made my day! I’ve always had a phobia about making calls, but not receiving them. Even in retirement, I welcome yay even covet calls from my kids and grandkids. How do I contact them? Email! It’s wonderful to discover a fellow eccentric!