Social Networking Overload
So many social networks, where will it end?
To Generation Y, emerging trends are part of the daily grind. What makes this generation different is that they have experienced both the computer-less-world, and been heavily immersed in today’s digital world. The 1980s introduced mobile music with the invention of the Sony Walkman and the boom box. It also saw the explosion of video and arcade games, and the introduction of the now-seemingly-primitive desktop computer. The 90s began the boom of the Internet itself and mobile phones. All of these led to those belonging to Generation Y to always expect something more—something better. To them, there will always be a 2.0 following the first model, a new and improved version of the already revolutionary item that we had to have the second it came out.
Gen Y’s fascination with the new and improved ultimately leads to expectation. Everyone grows so accustomed to being instantly gratified with a new version of their phone, or an improved Facebook layout, they’re afflicted with what Abbie called in a previous post, “shiny new object” syndrome.
My personal introduction to social networking came in Junior High with the discovery of Xanga, a social network, similar to LiveJournal or Tumblr, like an online diary. Quite popular amongst my peers, it offered a necessary distraction from school and homework. In high school Xanga was replaced by Myspace and Facebook, college brought the beloved Twitter, and I’ve just recently added Google + to my ever-growing social media repertoire.
According to a recent Mashable announcement, Google+ is fast approaching the 18 million user mark, exemplifying yet another new and improved something to get everyone’s attention. Guesstimating, the average social networker already has a Facebook, most likely has a Twitter, and is now dabbling in the idea of, or has already explored Google+. The snowball effect has caused experimentation in social networking, (like Xanga), then more social networking (like Myspace and Facebook), then even more social networking (with the addition of Twitter and Google+), to the point where we can’t wake up in the morning without checking one or all of these networks on our phones, laptops, iPods, iPads, and computers. It’s exhausting.
When will it end? After Google+ what will the next college drop-out genius invent tomorrow? Already rummaging through five or six plus different social networks, we’re driving ourselves into a barrage of likes, +1’s, RTs, circles, lists, shares, posts, check-ins, mentions, DMs, views…
My advice to you, fellow social networkers? Unplug for a day. For fear of exploding into a million tweets.