I thought it could never happen, but Google+ might have pushed me over the social networking edge into total fake-friendship apathy.
Full disclosure: I was not psyched about having another social network to keep up with. Maybe this means I’m officially old, or maybe I’m just boring, but I really didn’t feel like there was a gap in my life that a new social network could fill. Plus, I waste far too much time I don’t have as it is. Who needs another time waster? I hardly even have time to keep up with my personal email and blow up jewels. Priorities, people.
However, I sort of have to join Google+, because my job is on the interwebs, and if you don’t use these things when they emerge, you turn into a dinosaur, and fast. I’m semi-famous among my pals for being a late adopter. I didn’t get a smartphone until last year, for example. But once something enters the public consciousness to a certain extent, I have to learn to use it, or I can’t do my job. For Google+, I figured I had about three days to get with the program or move to a gated community in Arizona, so I signed up as soon as I could.
I hated it right away. The design didn’t feel intuitive to me, and feeling dumb is my least favorite. The profile pictures are huge, and somehow show every pore in your face. (Every new profile pic posted by either me or a friend elicits an “AHHHHH” the first time I see it.) But what really put me over the edge was this circles thing.
Google+ lets you organize your pals into circles, which is easier, on the surface, than putting your friends on different lists (a.k.a. “the Facebook way.”) The trouble is, I have no idea where to put people. Most of my friends aren’t just friends. They’re friends and coworkers, or friends and family, or business acquaintances who are also fun at parties, etc. and so on. I have maybe ten friends who have never been colleagues, or married to a member of my family, or part of some social group that would make restricting access to some of my stuff a good idea.
So it’s not quite as easy as putting people in one circle that sees everything and another circle that sees some things. Also, and I’m not the first person to say this, but there are no links that I feel like sharing on Google+. It feels like a place to share nerd stuff, and it turns out I’m only interested in gossip and smack talk.
But the absolute weirdest result of joining Google+ is that, despite the fact that I’m not really using it, I’ve stopped using Facebook as much, too. Maybe I’m just totally burned out on social media. Or maybe I’m just nostalgic for the days when its only purpose was to spy on ex-boyfriends. Anyway, the less time I spend on social networks, the more time I’ll have to blog and read my Kindle. So … silver linings.