Dear friends and apparently long lost acquaintances,
It is with great pleasure that I announce my liberation from facebook. Although it has been fun finding old acquaintances and such, I have decided to spend my life in a better way than sitting in front of a computer at night actually pretending to care what someone had for dinner. Thanks status update! I could be reading, boating, playing Yahtzee with my wife (or other things;-), or simply socializing with friends or educating myself more…
This was posted by a friend of a friend on facebook who is in their 30’s – the person to remain anonymous and quoted here as an example to those of us who think we can’t live without social media: some people are opting out.
Oh no! Really? That can’t be! What does that mean for the rest of us?
Take a minute to calm your inner lemming before you, too, decide to abandon your facebook friends. For those of us who have bought in to social media – for ourselves, for the kids, for whatever reason – hearing about others deciding to drop out may be alarming. But, since most of us are over 35, we realized long ago that everyone makes their own decisions in this life and hey, we make ours, too. Other people opting out of social media do not invalidate a movement. I say this in reference to those people over 35 who are experimenting with social media such as facebook or twitter and then opting out–it’s these people that won’t invalidate the movement. (you can read the prescient 2007 article on fogeys and facebook here: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2007/tc2007085_051788.htm ).
Why? Momentum, baby.
This social media stone is rolling and it’s speeding up as it travels, picking up more and more of us. According to an article in USA Today, March 2009, even Boomers are ALL OVER social networking. (read that article here: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/internetlife/2009-03-26-boomer-social-networking_N.htm). Plus, even if Boomers weren’t, and even if the 35+ set completely opted out, this social media thing would keep gathering steam…it’s those kids, man…they just keep. pushing. forward. Social networking, the web, texting – the virutal world is intertwined with their physical world and for them they intermix with little disruption. (You can read what I think about all of that in this post: https://adriennecorn.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/the-future-ubiquity-of-social-media/)
Just another little prediction (not so hard to see, perhaps): There are going to be many many many more apps in the social media space in the near future – niche oriented apps that will help people hone their virtual interaction – so instead of feeling like you’re in one big overpopulated puddle with people doing and saying all kinds of whatever, you’ll feel like you’re hanging at the pool, drink in hand, conversing and interacting with those in the virtual community resort of your choice–and most likely, multiple virutal communities. Sure, there will be crossover amongst your virtual communities, but you’ll have a better way to sort and interact more efficiently without worrying about who you told what when and where and why**.
Instead of the few majorly branded “puddles” we have now that include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn, there will be so many boutique and niche websites hosting communities that you’ll find your own little virtual place in this world–and it may even seem a bit cozy. Hey, we may even be able to link them together somehow if we want, so we have one virtual community “dashboard” (hint, hint somebody). Trust me, it’s all coming. With all of that just over the horizon, why opt out now? C’mon, friend, settle in here and get comfy with us…
**That said, the net remembers everything – so with every interaction, you are creating your very own “long tail”…but in the future you’ll be able to be more selective about where you post what and why (and if you’re worried about what you’ve posted in the past, there are these new companies cropping up that will find all the stuff on you on the internet and “scrub” the less-than-stellar-you right off of the web–for a fee, of course).