Saturday, July 4, 2009

Too Cool for Social Networking?

I've become aware there are very tech savvy people who claim they are too cool to be caught on social networking sites. Very rare, but very curious.

I can understand not wanting to post personal info and not wanting your entire day to revolve around checking in with friends, posting updates, managing photos, etc... When you consider that a lot of people have accounts with different sites, this can become overwhelming. And if you're social person, why not actually get out and actually see your friends? For this reason I have limited myself to one account and check it rather infrequently--usually while at work waiting for processes/queries to return.

No matter how cool you say you are, here are two reasons you are most certainly using social networking sites...

1. Bands

Bands/artists aren't just using social networking to promote themselves but are offering access to themselves in ways never before possible. Some will write blogs and open them up for comment (i.e. interaction). Some will post updates on tours and new releases.

But the biggest advantage of having your fav artists as friends is the streaming audio player.

Just heard of a new band you want to check out? Yeah, you can sample on Amazon or iTunes. But the band's MySpace player will give you an entire track v. 15-20 seconds. You can see which tracks in the player are the most popular by play count.

Sometimes artists will post new tracks for streaming before they are even released!

If you love music you are on MySpace so stop denying it already!

2. Cyberstalking

Now let me clarify, when I say "cyberstalking" I don't mean anything nefarious or illegal. I'm talking about those little checks we all do on people from our past.

Want to see what your high school sweetheart looks like 12 years later? One profile pic and you know.

Got a crazy girlfriend from months ago? Want to see if she's moved on (i.e. will stop calling you after having three too-many at 1:30AM)?

A quick check of her MySpace/Facebook page and you'll know. Yes, some people make their profiles, or certain pages private. But it's more information than you had 30 seconds ago and it cost you nothing. Nada. Zilch.

No uncomfortable silences on the phone. No mixed signals when you make contact. No paid background checks to see if she really has moved to Fayetteville Arkansas and lives in a trailer.

Twitter may be able to give you even more information: real-time locations/plans/etc... Have some mutual friends with said nutcase? Want to know if she's going to the house party you're planning on going to? Twitter can be a life saver.

So keep lying all you you want to. I know you're on social networking sites and you know you're on social networking sites.

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