I admit, I am probably not terribly cool. Of course, being in my mid-50’s no doubt contributes to that. It simply goes with the territory. That said, I do consider myself open to the benefits that are derived from so-called social media. I suppose that this blog itself falls somewhere in the genre of networking, although it clearly falls well short of the “power to connect” in near real-time, as is the case with other forms of social media.
I don’t have a facebook account, for a couple of reasons. Even after it was opened up to people who were not still in college, I thought it seemed a little weird for someone my age to have an account. I know lots of “mature” folks who have facebook accounts, including my lovely wife. She enjoys the networking and often tells me about people she has “friended” via facebook. Perhaps on a subconscious level I fear rejection and being a person with a facebook account and no friends, or worse, just a bunch off “pity-friends”, a term I may have just made up. And, as someone who is mildly competitive, I am not sure that Ashton Kutcher’s million plus friends is a goal that is, in any shape or form, one that would be attainable by me.
In all seriousness, while I am still groping for the real benefits, I remain open to the possibility that I will someday understand why I would want to establish a facebook account. Perhaps it is the ability to communicate more effectively with my younger friends who seem to prefer this method above all others for staying in contact electronically with their peers. And that might be the only reason to do so. Still, the broader benefit of having a facebook account is not readily apparent to me at the present.
One of the social networking tools that absolutely defies understanding for me is twitter. I cherish the thought of someone actually sitting down in front of me, face-to-face, to explain what twitter is all about. I’ve seen and read the blogs, I’ve seen the YouTube video published by twitter explaining how it works, and I still absolutely don’t get it. It is so not apparent to me that this graphic says it all. (In the process, it might also provide something of a near clinical diagnosis of why other types or forms of social media are so popular.)