A-Social Networks

2 minute read

Note: This thing is already quiet old and just like social networks, I’ve also evolved and moved on. So I’ve annotated the first paragraph to represent my actual current presence on social media. The ideas in this thing… are still, more than ever valid ;-)

Unlike some many among you, I see so called socials networks as a necessary evil. Yes I have a Google+ account, yes I have a Twitter account, yes I even have a Facebook account. Today an Instagram account is still active.

Let’s work ourselves up from the lowest … I’m on Facebook, also known as the privacy whore, because for some strange reason, my fellow students think it’s their bread and butter. It seems to be the only way to communicate around the university. So I’m rather a social hostage than a user. It is also the last step in my social network stack, where I only forward Tweets to.

Twitter is the new RSS feed that I can use to publish updates to my site. I still don’t see the added value over email for personal communication. And as far as I can see, most use it that way, Tweeting about things they read online, adding some nifty remark. So if you don’t want to use RSS anymore, ok, I’ll follow.

The only platform that I do appreciate is Google+. Occasionally I post something to a select group of people, hardly ever something public, because I have this website for that. Although I’m going to change that, because from now on I will publish updates to my site publicly on Google+, have them automagically Tweeted, which will also post them on my Facebook wall. My website is public and you like your walls, timelines and streams flooded, so here’s some more.

Google+ was fun for a year, but recently it seems that it also contains 90% of pseudo-poem wisdom that aims to make me feel good about myself. Guess what … it doesn’t and it doesn’t have to. Well maybe it does, because it tells me more about you than you’d like.

I’m looking forward to the next social network. But then I would love to see a real social network, one that is social and not asocial like the current so called ones.

What’s social about a network that requires you to connect, request, follow,…? A social network should in fact connect you by default to every other member and require you to disconnect, deny, unfollow, …

The catch is that once you have done that, there is no way back. You just lost that connection on the network forever. Now that would be a real social network, because it would make you at least think twice about the real value of social connections. There wouldn’t be a race to gain followers, but to keep them.

The very fact that you would be cut off from someone should also be broadcasted throughout the network. It tells me more if someone doesn’t want to be annoyed by your ramblings than if someone starts to follow you. Make every update count, because if you’re part of the noise, you’re out.

But given the name “social network” is already taken, I’d be glad to call this the a-social network, where the a-social act of de-friending rules, where less is more and you’re not bothered with house-wife wisdom.