Friday, February 17, 2012

How The Social Web is Sucking Us Dry: Pinterest, Words With Friends, Facebook, Oh My!

I remember when I first joined Facebook one of my new Facebook friends said to me “welcome to the ultimate time suck.”  He was right. I soon became fascinated with Facebook and all of the long lost friends and acquaintances I was reconnecting with every day. I felt the need and desire to check in and see what everyone else was up to on a regular basis.

I’ve managed to inflict some sense of self-control and am no longer obsessed with Facebook, but I admit I still check it quite frequently. 

Isn’t it funny how social networking has in some ways made it easier to connect with people but in other ways it has made it harder because we feel the need to update our friends with so many details of our daily life?

Pinterest just opened another forum for sharing and exchanging information among people with similar interests and it is exploding in popularity. I admit, I am curious about this new social network. I’ve read a lot about it, heard the buzz from my Facebook friends and have joined the group and started to dabble with it. However, I feel as though I don’t have time for another social network, much less one that is going to distract me with delicious recipes and crafty things a person like me was never meant to attempt to make.

Words with Friends is another example of what appears to be a fun social game, but will also bring out the obsessive compulsive person in you. I had lunch with a good friend the other day who couldn’t stop talking about Words with Friends. I again had heard the buzz but hadn’t taken the bait.  She said it was so much fun and that she would invite me to play with her.  I flat out refused. While it did look like a lot of fun, I told myself I cannot have one more thing distract me from my day to day activities.

As a public relations professional focused primarily in the high tech industry, I feel compelled to keep up with the latest technologies and play around with the newest social tools.  In fact, I use a lot of these tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on a regular basis for my job.

However, with more personal social media tools, there is a line between exploring and jumping in feet first.  For now, I’ll continue to pick and choose where and how much time I spend on social networks and hope that I don’t miss out on a wonderful crème brulee or creating a fabulous new word with my remaining tiles.