Why Are You Here?


The internet.

Social networking.

Blogging sites.

Music sharing sites.

Why are you here? With the upheaval in the social networking atmosphere, all the conflict and arguments over which site is better and why, I have to stop and ask, why are you here? For some the answer is easy and simple. Perhaps you’re online for the sole purpose of sharing photos with relatives living far away or to simply connect with your friends.

For me, it’s more complicated and it governs how I use each of these services. Just two examples (and for me the biggest players):

Facebook is where I reconnect with long forgotten friends and acquaintances, as well as keep tabs on the daily lives of my close friends. Pictures of kids, location check-ins and yes, even the dreaded “Look what I had for dinner” post are all welcome in my feed. These days we all live further away and our now hectic lives filled with jobs and children prevent

us from talking as often as we would like. With Facebook, I’m still lucky enough to have access to the minutiae of their lives that makes me feel like I still know the core piece of them. Anyone who’s spent any time on my Facebook page is well aware of my all-consuming Diet Coke addiction. It’s a joke, it’s serious, it’s quirky and it’s 100% me.

Sweet Nectar of the Gods

Google Plus has become my haven for intellectually stimulating conversation, the thrill of meeting new people and being exposed to circles of people far outside who I’d normally meet within the confines of my hometown. Sometimes we argue pitifully over grammar points, sometimes we share thought-provoking articles and sometimes we all just giggle over the same ridiculous cat GIF. My content and entire attitude are wholly different than on Facebook. A new way to express myself, a new way to socialize online and a new way to discover interesting web content.

There’s been an incredible featuritis debate over many of these sites. I’m definitely unhappy with some features and pleased with other features on each site. I’d like to challenge you though, before you complain about changes, ask yourself why you’re really using the service. Do these changes enhance or detract from your intended use? Do the changes interfere with your perception of privacy? On a side note, I feel that any privacy online is merely an illusion and gives you a false sense of security.

I’m at the beginning of a long love affair with Google Plus. G+ is providing me with the stimulation of new ideas and new people. I’m also, oddly enough, still enjoying Facebook. The warm comfort of my friends and family who understand and appreciate my insane urge to post Diet Coke pictures all the time and the shared memories of a lifetime keep me around. I actually like some of the new changes. The filtering system is helping me keep closer contact with my close friends and relegating the acquaintances to the appropriate level in my Newsfeed. While not entirely on board with the Ticker or Timeline, I’ll admit that these changes are enhancing the service of connecting with my friends and family. I’ll admit though, I’ll be culling that close friend list down and inviting the others over to Google Plus instead.

So, I ask you, why are you here?

  1. i’m here for teh lulz?

    heh

    i just like meeting new people and checking out new stuff

  2. I’m “here” because you told me to come here. 😉

    I’ve been communicating with people online since my first computer, back in oh… ’93 maybe? Back when IRC was the big communication portal. There wasn’t even a graphical web yet. Freenets and BBS’s were the way to go. I guess you could say it was the early stages of social networking, and I’ve been riding that wave ever since. I like meeting new people, because you never know who you’ll meet and what they’ll bring to your life. I’ve met some of my best friends (and even an ex wife) via completely random online experiences. I can say, without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am today w/o any of it.

    Facebook and Google are just a few of the great methods to communicate, learn and gain new experiences/friends.

    Also teh lulz.

  3. This is an outstanding piece, and pretty much sums up my thoughts as well. The only real difference is my addiction to Coke Zero vice Diet Coke… Thank you for a very articulate glimpse into your life.

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