Friday, April 10, 2009

OMG its SNF!

Yep, this is how I am feeling. I have a serious case of "social network fatigue" or SNF. I didn't even know this was a real "syndrome" until I looked it up, and found an interesting article about it.

The article states just how I am feeling about participating in social networking sites: you hear about something that sounds interesting, you sign up, then soon enough the interest fades and you forget about it and you're occasionally reminded of the pain spent in managing connections instead of enjoying being connected.

BHD has participated in social networks including Boots on Line, Gearfetish, Recon, BLUF, and even MySpace. He's been invited to join Facebook countless times (but has resisted). He once was on other boot-related networks on ning and still belongs to the "abootfetish2" yahoo group, though it doesn't do anything for him any more. And he's forgotten already about two dozen other one-time wonder networks and yahoo groups that he had signed up for, looked at for a little while, the forgot about.

BHD's professional side belongs to LinkedIn, about 20 yahoo and google groups, and six listservs set up by professional organizations or societies.

All these things take a lot of time to manage, and get exhausting.

Interestingly, Bill -- the husband of Larry of "hotboots" fame -- suggested recently that I examine just what participation in these social network sites and email groups "does for me." And you know, he's right, it doesn't do much for me any more. I've made my friends. The hassle of dealing with occasional bozos who have harassed me through these sites (and getting it cleaned up) is more trouble than it's worth to continue to participate, and I'm sure is annoying to webmasters who have to deal with goofball matters like this. And frankly, I'm just tired of the same-old, same-old boring stuff I see on these sites. After a while, it all blends in to a general jumbled visual mush and is rendered meaningless.

That doesn't mean that I have lost interest in maintaining and building my friendships developed through connections initially made through these sites. It just means that I have enough now already and the men I have added to my life with whom I regularly communicate are great. But as my Nonna would say, "Basta!" -- enough is enough.

Good friends have expressed similar feelings lately. AZ, JohnSmith, Bama, Clay, Maf, and several others -- we're all expressing the fatigue of keeping up with all the clutter of networking, instead of actually networking with those with whom we have made a connection. Funny, it was Bama who expressed what I was observing, "all the cool guys are gone...." (though I am honored that such a cool guy would refer to me by that term, but I digress.)

No worries, fellas, I'll still be around. I will continue to maintain, update, and refresh my website, post regularly on this blog, and keep an eye on other things, but my active participation on BOL, abootfetish, etc., etc., is of less interest and value to me.

Anyone else suffering from SNF? It seems to be a growing syndrome that the younger set can teach us older guys about.

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