10 March, 2009

Facebook and shark jumping

I was not an early adopter when it came to social networking. I didn't see the attraction early on. I figured if I was no longer in contact with you, well I didn't care enough to keep in touch and nor did you.

Hell, perhaps I was deliberately ignoring one or two people (or in fact, almost everyone I went to school with).

If my memory is correct, I took the leap into facebook following the ALIA New Grads' Symposium in Sydney a couple of years ago. And it was then intended as a professional development tool, I befriended some of the folk I'd met at the conference, joined a couple of library related groups (or pages, or became a fan of...). It was nice and easy, library related status updates amused me. I felt connected to people across the country who were (like me) attempting to push their newgrad thinking on the intractably boring baby boomers who blocked our path to the top of the library tree (to rely on stereotypes).

But it was an idealised facebook which I joined. One without the foolish pokes and sheep throwing of the hoi polloi of the online world. However soon the real world impinged on my utopian fantasy as friends found me online.
Then friends of friends...
and school acquaintances I thought I had left behind for good.

But that alone is not the reason I am suggesting a shark has been jumped. No, I am now facebook friends with both my eldest daughter and my step-mother.

Let that sink in folks,
facebook is no so ubiquitous that there are three generations of us, from my daughter (who is keeping in contact with friends she lost touch with when we moved interstate), to my step-mother is is vainly calling out "what is a poke, it says someone poked me"

Sure, there are still librarians in my list of friends, probably more of them than any other group. And they are the most active of my friends. So I am not about to abandon facebook as a tool for a librarian, but I am no longer feeling quite as productive when I have a facebook tab open at work.


Andrew said...

I've found that, after moving to Darwin, I relied on social media heavily in order to keep my finger on the pulse of where the wider library industry was at, especially with some of the more interesting blogs that emerged in 2006/2007.

As for facebook - well, I found it quite difficult to make friends in Darwin. It's not exactly my social scene for going out and meeting people, and with the transient nature of people coming and going, this can also be somewhat trying when it comes to forming friendships. I found that Facebook was a great way of maintaining social connections with people. Unfortunately, as you point out, all of a sudden, everybody that I knew from my entire life back to kindergarten suddenly wanted to be my "friend". I found myself eventually living vicariously through the exciting lives of friends back in Melbourne, whilst I was alone and miserable in Darwin. I eventually committed Facebook-suicide, because it just wasn't worth it.

I recently resurrected my facebook after attending NLS4, because I'd met a whole bunch of new awesome people there. I generally don't accept friend requests from people who I don't interact with regularly, or don't have any intention of getting back in touch with. It's a lot healthier now.

I still think that blogs are the way to go. I'm a big fan of Flickr these days as well.

Global Librarian said...

My family now has 4 generations of Facebook users from my 87 year old grandmother down to my 9 year old niece...

I've learned to be more selective of who I befriend. If I don't remember you or, in the case of some high school bullies, I remember you all too well I simply ignore the request!

I also use the filters to separate the different groupings into family, friends, colleagues, etc. That way I can control what gets posted to each category.

Since moving to Europe I have found it to be a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends who I still want to be in contact with! It has become even more useful because with a 5 month old baby I have very limited time, but I can easily post baby photos for the various folks clamoring for them!

I still blog when I get a chance. I just don't get a chance that often.

ADHD Librarian said...

Your NINE year old niece?

I will take this time to tut tut, as facebook terms and conditions clearly specify you must be 13 to use their service (in fact, if you put a d of b which makes you younger than 13 then the computer politely tells you to bugger off and not come back until you have hit puberty. Well, I may be paraphrasing.)

Still, when have I ever advocated obeying an EULA?

Global Librarian said...

I'm guessing it's possible she put a different year.

Fortunately both of her parents are on Facebook and closely watch her account...

Anonymous said...

As a librarian with ADHD, I first clicked on your blog for that purpose. But I just want to say I hear you on the applications! I'm still trying to figure out how to disable them. And at least you could use the dial thing to limit the feeds you got as to quizzes, etc. Though otherwise, how would I have known to take the What Kind of librarian are you quiz?! Now back to the ADHD.