Education

Friday rant: Social media, leave me alone

In this Friday rant, Toni Bowers talks about why she is sick and tired of social media.

So, OK, as a blogger whose emphasis is on career management, I have to tell people how important networking is for their careers. And a big part of networking in the times we're living in is done online through social media.

And I was on board with LinkedIn (for making business connections), Facebook (for social purposes), and Twitter (for branding purposes). Then along comes Google Plus (which is being touted as almost a requirement for people in my business). You show me the person who has time to maintain all these entities and I'll show you a person who has been cloned -- more than once.

Who can keep track of all the groups and contacts and friends and lists and status updates and profiles and still be able to do anything else in life? (And, again, thank you Google Plus for adding that extra layer of complexity with circles.) I mean, it would help to have some free time to work and actually live a life so you'd have something to put in the update box, wouldn't it?

By the way, every time I criticize Google on anything, I have that nagging feeling that they're reading it and adding my name to some kind of hit list. But then, when I think of Google I also picture this guy:

There is a social networking site for everything that exists in this world. And I'm not kidding. All the pro-social media pundits tell us to examine the way we use the tools and that will help us decide which ones to concentrate on. The problem is, every tool one that comes down the pike is touted as the one you have to use to get your brand out. Well, at least for today, I'm branded out. If you want me, you know where to find me.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

25 comments
jonc2011
jonc2011

is these stupid sites picking up address books from Outlook or wherever and spamming all the people on the list, not only once but three times. I ignore all invitations and consequently am the most friendless person on LinkedIn and Facebook - I don't have any.

barrynovak5
barrynovak5

I wholehearted agree Toni. When it comes to maintaining any kind of presence (in all its various forms) on the internet, or maintaining and provisioning a desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone, I try to follow a simple rule: if I'm not getting out of it what I'm putting into it, it's time to drop it. Not easy to figure out that threshold, but at least I'm conscious of it.

toodevastate
toodevastate

We may be taking this all a little too seriously, guys, really.

cappidad
cappidad

I'm fortunate.....in my '60's, partner in a financially rewarding business that affords me loads of time away from the business in order to do what I want to that does NOT involve social media. Why spend what time you have on this earth deeply engaged in FB, TR, etc.? There are too many meaningful aspects to life.....so take advantage of it. Maybe one day you'll have some cancer treatments as I recently have. Then it may make more sense.....

jfuller05
jfuller05

outside of FB and TR. No, I don't have 197017091709170173746 friends on FB, I have only* 123 friends whom I actually know in person, but they live too far away to drive over to their house and hangout. So, we use FB to talk and to schedule once or twice a year hangouts. Google Plus? No. Twitter? Nope. Myspace? What's that? Any other social networking? Like you mentioned: who the heck has time? I suppose the guy or girl who a gazillion friends has the time to make updates on FB, Twitter, G Plus, Linkedin, and all the rest, but those of us who actually talk to people in person or on the phone don't have that kind of time. * I hear this is a low number for FB friends. The cool thing is to have thousands of friends you've never met or talk to on a regular basis. Oh, and don't forget: the best profile pictures are ones taken in your bathroom with your mobile phone camera.

andrew232006
andrew232006

Since I started to get email invites for facebook I've been waiting for something to replace it like it replaced myspace and myspace replaced hi5 and so on for the 20 other networking sites that came before it.

g01d4
g01d4

I'm not involved w/the networking sites you mention but with IT many of us must frequently deal w/several facets of a basic idea: programming languages being the most obvious example. System administrators for small organizations and some developers and contractors typically have to deal with multiple operating systems. Of course the more facets you take on the less you're likely to shine in a particular one. As an RSX-11 internals course instructor noted a long time ago that when tuning parameters to optimize performance, even for the operating system of life, there are always tradeoffs.

W.E.
W.E.

I've been in IT since I bought my very own 286 (waited out the 8088 to have something more powerful) and everything I've observed indicates that these social media sites waste time, and have a tendency to bite you in the butt. Aside from security issues. When I read that almost 60% of employers check you out on social media as part of the hiring process, I certainly didn't want one. I don't have the time, the interest, or desire to be correcting whatever else people want to do on it. Here is a radical idea. You want people to know you and you them? Do something socially and actually meet people instead of thinking your computer and your Iphone are your life. Rant off.

charleswdavis6670
charleswdavis6670

I can't ignore the robo calls as dinner time is when the children call. It is aggravating to mute the TV, get up and walk to pick up the phone and hear: "This is a brief one question survey..." CLICK.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Toni, welcome back from the dark side, back to the world where actually doing something takes priority over telling others about having done it.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Posts with URL's in them I'll have to report them as the Spam that they are. After all this is a Technical Site and stuff like that couldn't possibly be posted here. And Davette back to [b]Counter Top Hell[/b] you know you want to. :^0 :D :^0 :D Col ;)

sonnystarks
sonnystarks

Had to have (or thought I had to) have a FB account to view the grandchildren's pictures. After enduring a couple of months of pointless comments (without context) and messages that did not concern me in the slightest, ("Can anyone watch little Amanda today while I go to the laundromat?"), I closed my account. I have decided that, If the kids want me to see the photos or videos, they can post them on Picasa, upload to Youtube or email low res copies to me. TAKE A STAND! Now FB wants to put "Timelines" on with no "Opt Out?" I don't think it's Google being "evil" but Facebook.

lastchip
lastchip

Absolutely right and the reason I'm not a member of any of them. People have been conned into believing it's the way forward, ultimately, it's the reverse. The planets worse invention ever for wasting time.

da philster
da philster

I couldn't agree with you more. Social skills are being eroded while one's face is stuck to a screen. I am not a luddite and appreciate technology, but at some point, effective networking is "face to face" and "one on one".

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Face to face? :0 [i]Do something socially and actually meet people instead of thinking your computer and your Iphone are your life.[/i]

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I would beg to differ here [i]where actually doing something takes priority over telling others about having done it. [/i] Should actually read [i]where actually doing something takes priority over telling others about thinking about doing it. [/i] Way too much garbage on those sites for my liking and I don't have the time to waste looking at them. Particularly that Tweeber thing is a complete waste of Electricity in running the site let alone those that waste so much electricity looking at it and making Boring Inane stupid posts which no one else bothers to read to begin with. I suppose it makes some people feel [b]Impotent[/b] making fools of themselves and forgetting all about the most basic Self Preservation Principals. I'm personally surprised that the idots on Tweeber are not handing out their Bank Account Details for everyone to drain their Bank Accounts. The only thing saving them from their own stupidity is the fact that they don't have any money to begin with so listing their Bank Account Details doesn't do any of the Thieves any good. But I then remember the old saying [b]A Twit and their money are soon separated.[/b] ;) Col

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

My curiosity is going to make me nuts, now. Dialup hell. You knew I was getting a break from counter hell, didn't you? ;)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

because my knees hurt too much today for me to stand. As to bank accounts and permanently attached phones, I was eating lunch last week at a crowded Chinese joint. I hear the guy behind me on his phone discussing buying something; I wasn't really paying that much attention. Then in a loud voice he starts reading out numbers: four groups of four numbers each. He then states a month and year a little later in the decade. Then he reads one more group of three numbers. His mama must have raised a dumb @$$.

W.E.
W.E.

How much electricity is used (read natural resources) to run Facebook, and the computers of the millions of users when they're on it?

ian
ian

Hal got this one right. People who cannot let go of social media are showing their impotence not their importance. It is just the same with phones permanently stuck to the sides of their heads, I call them digital umbilical cords. They have to stay attached because they cannot survive alone. These people are so insecure they are afraid to be left out of the loop or unsure about making a decision, they have to pass it by someone else for reassurance. Don't get me wrong, social networking is good, if done correctly. We need it if we want to get ahead, but to be on tap every waking minute, I don't think so. I'm sure there are those who will disagee.

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