21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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What Does Social Media Mean To You?

September 15th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

I’m with Jeff at Daddy’s Toolbox. Social media has replaced nightly TV. I don’t feel there is much worth watching on TV these days. The things I used to think were worthwhile aren’t so anymore (with the exception of hockey games and Family Guy). Like Jeff, I would rather spend my spare time on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve been online since 1992. The internet looks very different, but we still use it for very similar purposes. I searched for information. I stayed in touch with people I already knew. I looked to make new friends. Internet porn is almost as old as the internet itself. There. I said it. I said “PORN” in a blog post. All it takes is one mention of “PORN” and you become a spam magnet. Just ask Jeremy at Discovering Dad. Spamdora’s Box is already open. If comment moderation slows down, you’ll know why.

Where was I? Oh yeah, social media. I don’t even use instant messenger and I got sidetracked.

Jeff’s post and some recent email conversations with some old friends got me thinking. My friend Pat has been online since 1994. He’s extremely tech-savvy, can build an entire website in Notepad, assemble a computer from parts, troubleshoot Windows (that alone deserves praise!), and gets along with technology in general. However, he flat-out refuses to go anywhere near MySpace and has put signing up with Twitter, Facebook and  LinkedIn on his procrastination list.

There are times when I feel cutting-edge, and there are times when I feel like I’m only Web 1.6. Pat and I email each other and have “conversations.” Instead of replying in one big block of text, we reply to each other’s emails paragraph by paragraph. We keep track of who’s saying what by the presence or lack of >’s.

We rarely send attachments in our emails. Back in the day, attachments were unwieldy, requiring you to manually encode and decode them. We simply posted files up on our web servers or FTP sites and put the link in the email.

I have benefited a great deal from using social media. What Classmates.com charges money to do, you can do for free on Facebook. I’ve had some great Tweet sessions. StumbleUpon continues to send traffic to my blog.

But all this takes time. MySpace and Digg are like gym memberships. I’m beyond inactive on those sites. I check in with Facebook and LinkedIn periodically. I don’t post nearly as many photos as I should to my Flickr account. If you ask nicely, I’ll Stumble your page or site. I also use Entre Card to promote my blog. All of these sites take time to work. If you’ll excuse me, someone has added me as a friend on Facebook. I’ll need to sign in and confirm them.

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