Friday, September 24, 2010

Too Much Information??? Warning RANT AHEAD

Is is me?
Am I too old for social networking? 
Or do I just not get it?

I'm preparing a presentation about blogging to give at the Maine State Library Association's annual conference next month.  I was going to try to do this as a comparison among various Social Networking formats: blogs, Facebook, publisher and author book sites, and other book collection/social sites such as Shelfari, Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc. I wanted to point out the advantages for librarians of various types of sites.  I'm finding however, that many of these sites seem to be turning into nothing more than verbal dumping grounds.  In fact, when I went to google image to see what I could use to dress up this post, I was rewarded with over 400,000 images that matched "blabber mouth."  Even filtering for those that allowed re-use, such as the one above, I still got over 1400~!!

Do I really care what time you're picking up your sister's kids after school today?  Do I really want to know all the intimate details of your latest doctor's visit? Why should I be a "fan" of your veteranarian? I'm not talking about asking for prayers for a loved one involved in an auto accident---that I need to know about.  But I'm talking about your cholestoral count, your BMI, your plans for purging etc.  IT's JUST PLAIN TMI TMI....

I've managed to hide all the farms, zoos, candy collections, and bible games that seem to be proliferating in the 2.0 world, but really, where are your manners?  If something is that important that you want ME to know about it, then call me up or send me a personal private email.  After all, I'm your FRIEND right?  And let's get some other terminology straight: just because I'm a follower, it doesn't mean I'm a friend. (A friend is someone I'd fly cross country to attend a funeral for, or someone I'd go bail out of jail at 3AM)

Yes, I know.  There's a delete button. And I use it frequently (along with the HIDE button when there is one), but I've noticed even on the threads on LibraryThing (my all time favorite BOOK sharing site) that we seem to be disintegrating into a group of teenie boppers who've just been given cell phones and learned to text.  And I can't delete those "Oh just popping by to say hello" posts that seem to clog up the airwaves.  The ratio of 42 posts to one book review is getting hard to take.

In researching some of these sites (Goodreads and Shelfari, e.g.), I have to go through so much stuff just to list books.  It's amazing.  I'm not sure I can find any redeeming social value in having more than one list, but I wanted to be able to be familiar with how they worked.  I realize different personalities relate to different images, arrangements, and models, and that's OK.  For instance, I really don't care if someone I don't know recommends this book to me, but if someone who is a serious reader, and whose judgment I trust says "This one stinks" I'm not wasting my time on it.  If I want to see what people think about it, I'll read their reviews. I don't need another feed in my email saying "So and so just sent you a recommendation."

You'll also notice that I have not mentioned texting, linking-in, tweeting, twittering, splatting, poking, and all that other variety of verbs with which I do not care to associate myself. As far as I'm concerned "delicious" is an adjective I apply to food that tastes good.  Guess I'm getting old. I thought I was really with it just having 6 different email accounts. (Don't ask.)

I do actually sort out personal blogs from book blogs in my feeder, (Yes, I use a blog feeder to keep up with the almost 200 blogs I like to glance at every week) and most of my favorite 'book' blogs do include some personal posts.  I don't want to discourage that.  After all, one of the reasons I trust someone's viewpoint about a book is that I feel I've gotten to know something about that person over the past two years of blogging. I don't mind once a week pictures of pets, or recipes, but that's about where I draw the line.

I'm just not getting the rest of this.  Can somebody give me a clue?


  1. Actually I can't help because I wholeheartedly agree with you. I really don't understand why people can't be out of touch with each other for more than 2 minutes, and with all that talking, is anyone listening? I doubt it. I hide and delete all those so-called games, and ignore most of the rest. But at least no one e-mails me dirty jokes anymore!

  2. as someone who could easily love without a phone, I totally understand. Twitter for example, I just do not get. Why would I be interested in the fact that you just got back from the dentist...and even more, why would you think that I..or anyone except maybe your mom...would care.
    Are we afraid to be alone, to not be constantly in touch with someone, even if it is just filled with..nothing?

    It is beyond me where people find the time.


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.