there are some disadvantages to being a nerd and novelty freak. new innovations, especially social communication tools, excite me, but because they are rather slow in grabbing the attention of other members of the society, i have continuously experienced being left alone posting my info. needless to say, social networks are hardly worthwhile if you're not in contact with others.
i experienced the sudden flow of people to facebook after already considering leaving it because it seemed as futile a tool as orkut and friendster. i was pleasantly surprised by the popularity it gained, and still consider it a valuable tool for keeping in touch and organizing events.
i stopped tweeting two years ago, because no-one seemed to know about twitter: i had four followers/followees of which two were geeks not unlike myself and two were friends i half lured, half forced to join in order to try it out. again, it wasn't all that interesting after a while.
new tools for social networking are difficult to activate because they require others around you using them together with you. it doesn't matter if you've got the coolest new gps application in your iphone if no-one around has it, too. unsurprisingly, you need people to socialize with people.
while there are many others like myself who embrace new tools and applications, most people are still rather hesitant with bringing their social life online. for example, it baffles and amuses me to read supposedly tech-forward finns publish and discuss analyses of facebook complicating people's friendships and distorting some individuals' conceptions of true friendship; exclamations like "well, you can't have that many genuine friends irl!" receive a simple "duh, 'real life' is not as it used to be..." from me, but i realize that it is because i maneuver online quite naturally, believe to understand the ways it alters social reality, and consider it an inseparable extension of my being.
the radical manner these applications change the way we communicate appears incomprehensible to many people: novelty often arouses fear and anxiety but, more importantly, confusion about how to relate with innovative tools of social interaction. it may take a while until social networks truly become understood as equals in communication although they probably never will surpass face-to-face socializing as the most meaningful on human encounters. the way we've cyborged already, it would not surprise me if calling on the phone was soon considered as inefficient and outdated as sending letters in a bottle only surviving as a romantic gesture or leisurely luxury: a filtered feed of your whereabouts and doings will soon replace active contacts.
social geo-mapping is what i'd like to experiment with, but unfortunately i lack a 3g phone essential for the applications which really does not matter for what i understand from this article, even the bay area isn't quite into it, yet. as frustrating as it is, my enthusiasm is curbed by the reality of technology catching on slowly.
but i'm willing to give twitter a second go since it seems people are finally using it. in case you wanna follow my tweets, they're here.