Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leaving FaceBook

OK, since I just stopped using Twitter, I have also deactivated my FaceBook account :-) I will basically only use LinkedIn now. Is this a bad move?


Kevin Makice said...

Definitely. Bad move.

Not only are you in an industry where use of such tools is helpful for connecting to people, it is also important from a research perspective. You use these things, at least a token amount, so you understand the changes going on in technology, both the function and the discussions passing through them.

There is nothing wrong with your choice to favor LinkedIn as your social network of choice. Many of the improvements bring in the best of both of the platforms you are shunning.

However, sinking all of your interaction into only one network lessens your opportunity to talk to and be sought by others not in LinkedIn. That tool is great for your professor and designer colleagues, and (at least in the SOI HCI department) for graduating students. It is not good for prospective and current students, however, who are not as likely to have even have heard of LinkedIn, let alone make use of it.

Twitter, in particular, serves a significantly different function than LinkedIn. Even though the latter has added status messages, the use constraints of Twitter offer significantly lower barriers to entry. The service is entirely about letting people know you are present, and being able to know the same of them. You won't get that, or more importantly GIVE that, by using LinkedIn exclusively. This is a particularly important function given your current situation of needing to stay connected on two continents.

There may be ways to connect your communication in one system and automate the spread to other systems, so you make use of the other networks you have formed.

Josh said...

+1 to everything Kevin said.

Also, what's going to happen when LinkedIn is overtaken by the next big thing? I prefer not to have all my social network eggs in a one basket.

Muz said...

I think, I'm seeing a pattern here:
* A short period of curisoity and excitement
* A period of comfort and happiness
* Beginnings of boredom and uninterestedness
* Abandonment
* Finding something new to replace the old

Has anyone already theorized that human-technology relationship has similar characteristics to human-human relationships (e.g. would an actor-network count)? I guess, it wouldn't be wrong to call such relationships attachments that could last short or long depending on the "thing" or the person. Some loyal parties will continue to stay attached but many will find something new to "consume". I think, the dissolution of the facebook crowd already began and the same could happen to other social connection tools sooner or later. The pecularity of these social environments is that they lose their appeal really quickly once people start to drop out. I think a good project could be the analysis of the life of such a social networking application and comparing with offline ways of getting together/keeping up/socializing.

PS said...

We'll miss you. But I'm curious as to why you wanted to stop using twitter. Why delete the account? Did something make you mad? or sad? or are you just being very very bad? (source: Dr. Seuss, Red Fish, Blue Fish)

Aaron H said...

I would say keep using twitter personally. If twitter is too much of a time suck, I would say only read updates twice a day and update only during those times as well if you want. Protect your updates if you are concerned about privacy, but don't leave twitter.
Twitter keeps people connected with each other in sometimes silly, but almost always interesting ways. It can do this over vast distances. I personally would miss your updates or knowing that you know what I'm up to.
As for Facebook, meh, I could do without it, but more and more people join every day. Cousins, old friends, aunts, uncles, people of every generation seem to be flocking there. I want to see that picture of that girl I had a crush on in high school, that friend who now lives in Hong Kong etc, but I don't want to do it that often.

Erik Stolterman said...

Thank you all for your comments. Well, it is obvious that my two latest posts are the most "popular" ones :-) A couple of comments, I might write more about this later.

Of course, I agree with most of all your arguments for why I should continue to be on Twitter and FaceBook. Someone asked if something has happened that caused this, the answer is no. I think it is well descibed in Muzo's comment and I do agree that your ideas Muzo are definitely worth researching. I think I have gone through the "maturity" model you describe and today I do not really find any value in participating except that it takes a bit of my time. Not much, but still. If I have an account I can't stay away :-) So, let's see if I will miss it, if this will influence my online life and communication. It is of course also an experiment :-)

Anonymous said...

I just started Tweeting a few weeks back myself and I've got to say, seeing Erik on it gave it a nice bit of validation to balance out reprobates like Makice and Houssian. ;-)

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