The Importance of Social Networking

21Oct08

Originally published June 16,2008

Being 25 means that I’ve been using Social Networking sites for many years. My first experience with an advanced form of Social Networking was the dreaded Myspace.com, written in teenager and over populated with young girls trying to get attention, boys trying to get girls, over-exposed internet celebrities, free publicity, perverts and the perfect way to try to gain the popularity you never had in high school. Oh, and don’t forget the millions of bands trying to become the next Led Zepplin. I knew what blogs were, I’ve used instant messenger, I had my own web page in high school with my thoughts and rants (this was before blogs existed), I used the internet as my main source of research when doing papers; I considered myself pretty savvy when it came to communicating on the web and then one day a friend in college introduced me to Myspace.

I think my head promptly exploded.

Being young and in college it was the perfect way to kill time when I should actually be studying. Good thing is I went to art school = little to no actual “study time”.

Outside of school I was very in involved in the local music scene and the best thing about Myspace is that a bunch of people I already knew were on it! My social network in real life was actually online and I just never realized it. Myspace gave me ways to keep my social calendar full with bands to go see and also let me quickly message a friend to find out what their plans were for the weekend. You also get to lurk and learn more about people than you ever thought you would (for good and bad)! You define or brand yourself online. With all the profile editors out there, you can actually make yourself into a brand. Look at Tila Tequila and her show. Thanks Myspace…

Since moving back to the east coast, Myspace has provided me and easy way to keep in touch with all my beloved friends back in Seattle. When I left I didn’t have to make sure I had email addresses and phone numbers for everyone because I already had them on Myspace. My blog on MySpace keeps my friends up to date about what I’m doing without me having to tell 50 different people the same thing 50 different times. I’m allowed to share multiple photos and videos. Customize my brand into who I want people to see me as.

I know a lot of people out there think that Social Networking is killing communication like email killed the written letter and yes, there are times I would rather write an email or a text message than call someone, but at the same time, do I really need to have a full length conversation with my boyfriend to find out if we need milk? Text messaging and Social Networking allows information to be communicated at a rate determined by the user. They decide when they view the information on their schedule, just like when you ignore an email you don’t want to answer right away. There are pros and cons to everything; I just think we should try embracing the pros of Social Networking and find ways to overcome the cons.

~Lynn

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