Social M/Tedia

It’s been awhile since I’ve gone all meta on you, so I hope you’ll excuse me when I start talking about social media and “friends”.

First off, I’m in the process of updating my iPhone to the newest Firmware that appears to have been released last night. It’s 246.4 MB of software goodness which will allow my iPhone to suggest walking paths when I use the maps feature (more useful to me than driving directions), download the latest podcasts directly to the iPhone, and, hopefully, extend battery life.

I won’t bet on the last one

So far I’ve limited my Aps downloads to free ones—my favorite so far is Twitterific, which lets me keep track of Tweets on Twitter without having to go onto the web, or get endless SMSs. I have had to take the radical step, at least as far as Twitter is concerned, of unsubscribing from some people—I find people who update more than 7 or 8 times a day are hard to keep up with. I also have to confess that I think too many people using Twitter confuse weak and strong ties.

Actually the strong/weak tie confusion is something that seems inherent to social media. There are too many people who equate leaving a comment on a blog, sharing a link, or “friending” somebody on myspace as an indicator that we’re now best buds. Hint: We’re not best buds after one comment, sharing a link, or friending somebody. It takes time and effort.

It mystifies me when somebody follows 300 people on Twitter—so I can’t say I was surprised when such a person stopped following me. If you follow 300 people on Twitter, the rate of updates must be something like 5 a minutes. I’m sorry, I might not have much of a life, but I at least I have a life—if you can follow 300 people on Twitter in a meaningful way, you don’t have a life. As it is, I follow 21 people and corporations, a number that could grow by 5 or 10 (provided they are infrequent and interesting tweeters) before I start to feel a bit overwhelmed.

I have similar amazement with Flickr—I can’t keep up with the 34 Flickr Groups I belong to or the 26 people I’ve labeled contacts as well. I’m always a bit amused and/or stunned when one of the mega-social butterflies adds me as their 1,234th contact—or, better yet, somebody I’ve never emailed, chatted with, or otherwise interacted with, marks me as a friend. (I have 124 people who call me contacts, and I have had to block 7 people—one of whom labeled me a friend and then asked me for my “stats” and provided a link to his profile on “Silverdaddies.”)

Over on myspace, which I don’t think I’ve logged-in for about three weeks, I get requests to “friend” bands I’ve never heard of—bands whose pages I have never visited. Why would I “friend” them? Instead I get great pleasure in “spamming” the requests, although I suspect I’m in a minority when it comes to this type of response.

There are a few people with whom I’ve become friends over the virtual media, but its always taken me more than one or two emails before I start to feel that way. It takes time.

Honestly, when I label somebody a “friend”, I mean that they are my friend.

5 comments to Social M/Tedia

  • Don’t dis the Silverdaddies. You’ll be one someday!

  • I’ve been getting a lot of friend requests on Facebook lately, usually from people who I barely know; we just happen to be members of the same music site. They never communicate with me there, so why should I “friend” them on Facebook?

    Sometimes I write them a personal message asking why they want to be my friend. Often times I never hear from them again.

    It’s a strange world, the internet.

  • @hanbang8: I might be a silverdaddy one day, but it’s still creepy when somebody labels me a friend in Flickr, sends me an email, chastises me when my response is too short, then asks for my stats and sends me a link to his profile. I told him to fuck off (He wanted to be best friends since his first name was also Adam…)

    @Cameron: I think its about quantity, not quality. Size matters in the myspace/facebook world.

  • koko

    I have a lot of friends on both facebook and myspace that aren’t really friends. About every couple of months I go through and delete people. There are some I keep for curiosity but end up getting cut a few months later.

    I personally don’t get twitter. I’m not hip though.

    I also just updated my iphone. I will say, the update to 2.1 definitely helped with battery life. so when you updated to 2.2, did you actually notice a difference with maps? to me it is identical as before? I only have one pay app right now which is a very useful tool for me. but other than that…free baby free!

  • Jul

    Shit, you mean you’re not my BFF now that we’ve commented on each other’s blogs?

    Lots of people I haven’t spoken to since high school (and who I didn’t like even then) have been friending me on Facebook. At first I was accepting them, thinking, eh, why not? But then something scary happened… the day after the election, one of them joined the group “Sarah Palin 2012 – the change we need”.