about     peas & carrots

Items tagged “is_archive&rdquo


breathe in, breathe out

maura @ 10:30 pm

So you may have heard that last Monday was Quit Facebook Day. Did you quit? I’ve considered quitting Facebook for a while, and thought about it more when I heard about QFD. Like everyone else I’ve been pretty appalled by the privacy implications of all of the recent Facebook changes: they just keep ratcheting up the stuff that’s public by default at the expense of what’s private by default. Although with this recent round of changes I was finally motivated to go in and tweak my own account settings (restricting everything to friends only) which is frankly something I should have done a long time ago.

But I also went in and removed my college + grad school info, because one of the changes is that those institutions are now automatically linked to a dynamically generated page that pulled everyone with those institutions into one place. And while I loved college, I’m not really all that interested in appearing on a page with everyone else who went to my college, too. I never added much other info into Facebook so there wasn’t anything else to remove, but I hear that similar things happened with all of the other “interests” people list on their profiles. Which is just cruddy.

I definitely have a tortured relationship with Facebook. There are many things I like about it, but it stresses me out a bunch, too. I am old enough that it is still kind of weird to me to essentially have lots of people I’ve known at many different stages of my life together in the same room. I also see fb’s hypnotic + addictive side — it’s just too easy to lose an hour poking around to see what everyone’s up to (though maybe since I’m not on it that often it takes me longer when I do visit).

Since I don’t spend that much time on Facebook it was easy to envision myself quitting, but in the end I just couldn’t do it. I hate to say it, esp. since fb is monetizing (ugh, such an evil word) my info, but there’s too much of value there for me to quit. There are quite a few of my extended family members that I rarely see in person that I’m in touch with because of Facebook. And all of those friends who have moved away, acquaintances from college + high school + earlier, pictures of their kids, etc. etc. etc.

This week was the most glaring example of why I haven’t quit Facebook, which I will share even though it’s kind of embarrassing. My birthday was this week, and it was really, really nice to read all of those well-wishing messages from folks on Facebook. I have my fb email forward to my regular email so I didn’t even have to login to fb to see them: anytime I checked my email, there they were, and they came in throughout the day. I’m totally lame, I know, but it made me smile.

Except now I feel kind of guilty, too, because I don’t tend to leave HBD messages for folks unless I happen to be checking in that day, and I don’t check into Facebook that often. Guess I should change my ways to keep on keeping on with the good karma, huh?


green and breathing

maura @ 11:40 pm

Lots of ink has been spilled about kids today and their use of social networks, but what about us grown-ups? Of course the way we oldsters kick it online is hardly as important for the future as it is with the kids. But in many ways our negotiation of these spaces is much more varied + complex. When I have the time I like to read about this stuff — sociologist Eszter Hargittai @ Northwestern (+ her lab) has done lots of work on this. But I’m more familiar with what’s been done re: kids-college students than adults.

Recently I realized that DUH, it’s all about social identity construction! Kids (teens thru college) have had limited time (and need) for multiple social identities. I mean, how many kids really have a secret life (other than the one that all kids have running inside their heads)? For most people college provides the first real opportunity to begin building a new identity.

But by the time we reach adulthood we’ve necessarily constructed many social identities. There’s the person that you were in high school, the person that you were in college, your career persona (which can splinter even further for those with multiple careers, the archaeologistwebproducerlibrarians among us, e.g.), and your parenting persona (if you have kids), just to name a few. Through it all there’s your native family persona as well, the you that your nuclear + extended family knows.

These multiple social identities are often kept separate, either purposefully or for time/space reasons, i.e. my mom doesn’t know my library colleagues because she lives in a different place than I do, and I haven’t been a librarian for long enough for her to have had the opportunity to meet them.

So, I’m having some small twitterbook issues lately. And what’s kind of funny is that the issues are reversed for each online entity. In facebook: it’s all about the personal confronting the professional, and for twitter: strike that, reverse it.

I’ve mentioned before that I joined facebook to see what libraries were doing there. But, you know, you’re there, you have friends, they have friends, etc. And I don’t do any of the games or apps, but I do like the status updates + seeing friends’ status updates.

Recently there has been a huge influx of fb action from folks I knew in high school, and I’ve found myself a bit uncomfortable in that space. It’s not like I have anything against my high school or the people I went to school with — really, they’re all lovely (and if any are reading this, hi! You’re lovely!). I guess it’s more that, well, high school is kind of a yucky time, emotionally. For me it was all the standard teen drama (nothing THAT dramatic — really I am totally boring), plus my parents’ marriage was starting to break up (also not too horrendous, but not balloons + cupcakes, either). It’s not really a mental space that I like to inhabit much, as lovely as the people are, hence the discomfort.

I’m sure I’ll get over it, because really facebook is a social space, and is really far less professional than other places online. Plus, as I mentioned before, I am boring — the only real risk is that I will post something silly. Which is more a guarantee than a risk!

(Also, I’m hardly anonymous on the internets anyway, thanks to my weird name.)

Twitter is the exact opposite. I joined because Jonathan made me (lots of software developers use it) but so far I have only been using it in essentially the same way as facebook status updates — mostly frivolous. I do follow some librarians + library things (as well as famous people [Kristin Hersh and Felicia Day] and the AMNH!), but they’re in the minority on my following list.

Except that I went to a conference a few weeks ago and followed the live twits (still have a hard time saying “tweets” — too precious) in progress. And ever since then I’ve been chewing over whether to follow those twitterers. Because that will make twitter a more professional space than I’ve been using it for, and can it be both? Yes, I could create another profile, but really, who has the time?

Today I finally stopped hemming and hawing and jumped into the twitter followers pool. Twitter really is a better space for professional-type stuff, anyway. And I keep hearing about people who get good answers to questions via the twitterverse — maybe I can get some answers to my questions, too. Like does anyone know if there’s a concise, college-level summary of “Suzanne Briet’s What Is Documentation?“?