Last week we turned MakeUseOf over to you in order to gauge opinion on a relevant topic. We asked you a question, and you answered in a multitude of interesting ways. We have read and replied, cogitated and compiled, and ended up with an understanding of what you think of the subject at hand.
The subject at hand was social networking; which has become a dominant force on the Internet in recent years. From mainstream sites with household names (Facebook, Twitter), to niche sites which are just being discovered (Path, Diaspora), it would seem there is a social network out there for everyone who wants to reside on one.
What Is Your Social Network Of Choice, & Why?
We asked you what is your social network of choice, & why? Although the number of respondents wasn’t huge, the responses themselves showed what an impact social networking sites are having on people’s lives.
Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ got mentioned lots of times. Which comes as no surprise as these are the social networks of choice at the moment. They have all broken through into the mainstream, although Google+ is still lagging behind its elder brethren for the time being.
Other sites which MakeUseOf readers advocate include Pinterest (subject of this week’s poll), Tumblr, Diaspora, Path, and Foursquare. Even MySpace enjoyed a couple of mentions, though it was talked about mainly in the past tense.
Interestingly, email clients, IRC, and Reddit/4Chan/9Gag were all also mentioned, although they push the boundaries of what a social network is. Or do they?
Comment Of The Week
Comment of the week goes to Chris, who gets nothing but my admiration and respect (which is surely more than anyone needs) for:
I used to be a big fan of social networking. From what I recall, Facebook was and is still the biggest thing. I enjoyed Facebook a lot, but it was very addicting. Now don’t get me wrong, it is great for social networking of course, but in terms of how long I was on there, I’d say all day. When I wake up, I check my phone. At school, always on it half the time. When I get home, on the bus, etc. It got to the point where I made a decision to not have one because my grades dropped by a letter or two. It was bad.
I also had a Google+ (it hasn’t reached its max potential yet, and although it’s far more useful than Facebook in terms of features, my generation has not migrated towards it yet.), Twitter (very strange, almost stalker-ish if I can say, too much spam), MySpace (It’s past it’s prime, good for aspiring artists, although they should revamp the music player), Tumblr (Meh. It was okay, nothing special. Not necessarily social, more artistic show offs.)
The only social network (if it is one I should say) would be Reddit. Some people say it is comparable to Tumblr, Pintrest, 9Gag, 4Chan or whatever. I don’t see it. It’s dedicated to people who share a common interest (internet memes). I find it hilarious, and enjoy it very much. Great for a good laugh if you understand what type of comedy it is.
Summed up, I think people don’t remember real life. I understand that you have a Facebook, but if you’re on your phone all day waiting for a notification, and can’t hold a good conversation, I think you should get off it a little bit or completely. Humans have lived without technology for a long time. Going outside, working out, socializing in person, shopping, competitions. It’s great human experiences that are being replaced with gaming and social networking that I think we’re losing our natural abilities. Pretty soon, all of us will become bland and overweight haha.”
This is someone who has tried social networking and rejected it (with the exception of Reddit and the like) on the basis that it’s an addictive pastime and was getting in the way of ‘real life’. Can social networking be a part of real life if managed well or does it risk taking over and replacing meaningful friendships? I’m sure we’ll explore this question in more depth in the future.
We’ll be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. ‘We Ask [You] Tell Us’ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.
Image Credit: Beck Tench