Thursday, August 27, 2009

Untangling My Social Web

I used to think I was tech savvy.

People would ask me computer questions and I'd be their tech hero by quickly copying and pasting with a few small keystrokes or finding the "lost" window at the bottom of the screen.

Then the tech world exploded into a bajillion networking, sharing, chatting pieces and I'm still trying to put enough of them together to sound mildly tech coherent.

Sure, I'm on Facebook, but who isn't? I'm on Flickr and MSN messenger. But then there was the Yahoo account from a lifetime ago that I can't remember the password to. Before instant chat was so instant, I was on ICQ and had a number for that, which of course I do not remember. To view my friends postings on MySpace, I had to create an account. But then I realized only trashy people who wanted to hook up posted on MySpace. I had to create a Google account for something else so now I have that email too. I don't remember the password to that either. And I just created a Shutterfly share site. If I have to be on anymore networks, I won't remember where I posted what or how to get back to it.

The other issue, and it's not small, is the time these wonderful help-me-keep-in-touch-with-everyone-I-forgot-I-knew sites suck out of my day. Before Facebook, my time nemesis was email. But now email is only the carrier. I will get a message that someone posted something on my wall in Facebook, think to myself, "I'll just go type a quick reply," and two hours later realize I just wasted two hours on Facebook. This is a problem at home when I would rather be spending my time with my kids, but it's even worse at work when I should be, well, working. If I have to start tweeting, I know I won't have a day left. The computer will have eaten it all away.

This class I'm taking (Digital Media) is supposed to help me differentiate between all the different types of social media and which to use when. We'll see at the end of the semester if the teacher is successful in untangling my worldwide web of confusion.