Thursday, August 30, 2007
Social Networking ( addictive??)
Is it me??? A question I have been asking myself quite a bit over the past few days..... and I am not sure of the answer. I seem to have become a Facebook person over the past month. It all began when I joined to keep in touch with people in my Hockey Club (as Chairman I need to know what is going on).... it wasn't long before I began to explore Facebook further, and found how easy it is to tie up all of your links from other places to the 'One Stop Shop' that is Facebook. It can easily aggregate my Twitter feeds, Blog feeds, Delicious links, it can also import YouTube videos and much, much more.....( I even seem to be playing Scrabble with Dean Shareski in Canada!)......... oh yes, the question am I becoming addicted to Social Networking , and is it just me???
The answer I think must be Yes, I seem to be addicted. Evidence for this I know that at this precise moment I should be doing some much needed planning for the new School Year which starts for us next week..... however I appear to be blogging about Social Networking !!!! ( I began at 9am this morning - getting on for 2 hours ago just checking e-mails and messages!!!) - very addicted. As for is it me, No I don't think it is only me judging by this piece of research by Mike at 'On a Hill' who has looked into just students using Facebook in Welsh Colleges!
"Out of curiosity I've explored Facebook this morning and looked at the regional and college statistics for Wales. These figures are correct as of today. The WALES network has 65,952 members. In hierarchical order the college networks (in Wales) have the following numbers of members.
Uni Glam, 2,243
UW Institute Cardiff, 1,653
UW Newport, 716
Swansea IHE, 481
RW College of Music and Drama, 332
A total of 38,274 facebook memberships. (How many students are there in Wales?) (How old are these networks?) To make sense of these figures, some statistical work will be required to show the number of facebook memberships as a percentage of the student population of each of the colleges, as we are not really comparing like with like here. (I suspect that Cardiff on Facebook includes the College of Medicine.) I wonder if I can find similar figures for Bebo or MySpace?"
I haven't dared to open up Twitter this morning as I know that this could put paid to my 'Real Life' and work for the rest of the morning. Twitter, using Twitteriffic and Twittervision is brilliant. Those brief 'to the point' messages or requests which come Tweeting in also can take over the task in hand...... In answer to a question from Allanah King in Nelson NZ, I prefer Twitter to Skype messaging at the moment as the message interface is so much more pleasing on the eye. I also allows me to pick up messages from a wider group of friends/colleagues.
I have one concern if it isn't just me, is everyone else substituting some of their 'Real Lives' to these 'Virtual Meeting Places'.... In a Flat World and Classrooms without Walls I guess the answer must be again Yes!
It is interesting to see how these spaces develop, it is very much the case that some 'take off' and some don't. personally speaking the main sufferer at the moment is the Ning Social Networking site - Facebook and Twitter are so much more instant and interactive that I don't seem to have the time to go and check out my Ning Networks.........there you go Mr H getting sucked into the discussion about which Social Networking Site is better ........ where do we go from here........ will I wait for a friend on Twitter or Facebook to point the way to the next development......... ( off to the 'real world' - q. Is it still light outside ???? )
Update on story (Friday 31st August ) - It looks as if I am not the only person worrying over the use of Social Networking, Channel 4 News in the UK ran a story last night about companies putting bans on the use of Facebook at work. Their experiences ran strangely parallel to my own in that as their 'expert' stated 10 minutes can become 30 minutes, then an hour, and before you know it 2 hours may have gone by while you have been online !!!!! addiction of the 21st Century? The jury is out ..... catch up on the article at this link
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