Over the past few years, I’ve used social media as almost a full replacement for real social interaction. It started out nicely enough and I’ve definitely interacted with plenty of people that have changed me. Some positively, few negatively, and the rest have been there. Unfortunately, with time what I, and others, want or need has changed, not unexpectedly; operating as if nothing has changed leaves me feeling somewhat empty.
July and August of 2008 was when I started actually using social media for purposes outside of just keeping up with friends on Myspace and Facebook. I ended up on Pownce, Twitter, Friendfeed, Ustream, Seesmic and others in rapid succession. That was also when I began taking blogging a bit more serious, in retrospect a very bad thing. I decided sometime around then that I had to interact and add value on Twitter every day, no matter how small. I kept it up for a few months pushing a motivational quote or video in the morning to try and lighten the increasingly gloomy situation.
Come March and April of 2009, Friendfeed rolled out their real-time site and I became instantly enthralled in the interaction on the service. It was so far superior to anything at the time, and still to most today, that I gradually stopped devoting time to the other sites. In between April and August of 2009, I interacted and got to know many people on Friendfeed, one in particular was Holden Page who people used to confuse with me and likewise me with him.
August 10th, 2009: The day that Friendfeed was lost; Facebook purchased Friendfeed and in the next few weeks, a large portion of the English-speaking community leaves. This push left only the most diehard lovers of the site and community there, but with the knowledge that it’s not going to get better and there is a chance the plug will get pulled. Every time something new has come along the question has been, “Will, or can, this replace Friendfeed.” The answer never an absolute yes, and nothing came by that could truly match the service with it’s community for nearly two years.
July 2011, the weary ship set adrift just a few years, yet a lifetime, ago finally scrapes against something that can truly match it, Google+. When Google+ launched it immediately became a haven for the reFFugees, and has thus sucked most of the remaining members of the community away. My community there is now gone; it’s not where I want to be any longer, as shown by my interaction recently. I guess I could try to embrace Google+, but it is not the site or community I want.
So for now, I’m checking out on actively utilizing social sites. Will I come back? I don’t really know. I’ve had fun over the years, but it’s mostly been for naught or worse. With the time I’ve recently had, I’ve had time to think about a lot of things that matter and those that don’t. I want to spend more time creating value that is going to last and less on the frivolous affairs.
P.S. for Friendfeeders: Right now, I don’t think I’ll be going Full-Cristo, but it could be a possibility in the future.
P.P.S. to Louis Gray: I know it’s probably your job, but please don’t encourage people to +James Fuller on Google+. 😛