This might seem a strange question — and it’s quite lengthy, forgive and bear with me — but IMHO it’s something that probably needs asking (and not only because I’m personally interested to know). Everything you always wanted to know about Social Network sites, but were too introverted to ask. :)
I tend to resist using sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc., because I’ve heard lots about the blather and drama that goes on there — I think there’s probably no practical use for the “little guy” because most of their users are either teenagers, celebrities, or companies (especially those that deal specifically with social media “branding” or “Web 2.0 marketing” or whatever the terms might be). Much less for chronically bashful folks like me.
But I also feel as though there’s no point in my using them because they’re mostly for “friending” people you know “IRL” (in real life), of which I, sadly, have none. :(
Now I promise I’m not a troll, a stalker, or a 45-year-old WoW fanatic living in mom’s basement scouting out anime pr_n (perhaps the other danger of these sites — on the Internet, nobody knows you’re wearing a dog collar!).
I’m actually a HS grad just recently released from the madding crowd, a girl who was so unpopular and so much of an outcast that even the so-called outcasts thought I was odd. (Think if Ally Sheedy’s character in Breakfast Club and J.D. Salinger had a love child.) I’m not working, and the only people I have contact with are my family members, all 60+ who still think a mouse is something you give a cookie to in a children’s storybook. ;-)
Still, I feel as though I’m maybe missing out on something. I want to see about joining one of these sites, but I have no idea of how to use them if I don’t know anyone on the outside who would. I have a lot of interests and talents — the most “gifted” of which is writing, and a great interest in books and reading — a clever, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, and plenty of opinions on things going on in the world. But sadly, I have no one to share them with, and I’ve heard social media sites like Facebook (notice I said “like” Facebook, not that I do, but in other words, probably not FB per se), are the 21st-century way to get noticed and air your breadth of gifts to the world (or even just chat idly in “small talk,” a LOT of which apparently fills the dialogues on these sites).
I’m an aspiring author (not of “fan fiction,” though), and more and more I’ve read about all this author platform junk that people need to do with social media. But I am very much naturally geared towards Salinger’s brand of “social networking.” I also know the “contacts” made online aren’t going to be friends in real life. But how can or should I use these sites to get involved with things and meet new people, even if only online, if I don’t have anyone I know personally face-to-face, and am not yet able (18, but not yet driver’s licensed) to go out and meet any on my own? I’m limited in technical and business knowledge, and can’t afford a domain name or anything like that; also, how can I also jump on this very complicated and dizzying ride called the S.E.O. bandwagon? If you want to know how limited I am in knowledge about that — weren’t they an ’80s rock band or something, kinda like Journey or Styx? :)