Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Technologied Out

Diane over at Blue Ridge Gal posted about a change Google is making that could impact my blog, and maybe yours. I strongly suggest you read it if you're a blogger interested in traffic and the social networking impact of your blog. Di is really up on the blog stuff and her thoughts and opinions on these things seem to be spot on.

The idea, I gather, is to urge users to head over to Google+ and things will integrate that way.

I personally don't care for Google+, and I think it ultimately will fail like some other Google products. For one thing, it doesn't have a catchy name. Google+ is not even as good a name as My Space or LinkedIn. It's more like a product placeholder name until somebody comes up with something better to call it. I also do not like the interface. It also doesn't have a good feel to it; it does not seem friendly. I am not quite sure how to explain that.

The Roanoke Times this morning offers an article about a junior at Hidden Valley High School who is unplugged - she doesn't have a Facebook account or a cell phone. She knows how to use a spinning wheel. She sews, creates, and is otherwise engaged in the world.

Good for her. Because I am starting to think too much technology is not a good thing. And the changes are coming fast and furious.

Way back in 2002 and 2003, when I first started working in earnest on my master's degree (yes, it is taking me a long time), cellphones were not as hooked into the Internet as they are now. So when we took breaks in class, my classmates talked to one another. Some went outside to smoke, others went to the restroom, but always at least a few of us stood around and discussed the world.

Fast forward not even a decade and I find it is completely different. I was struck by this last spring when I returned to Hollins University to try to complete this degree.

During breaks, people do not connect. They get on their cellphone. They check Facebook. They text home and make sure the kids are doing their homework. As they walk out to their cars, they text, they talk on their phone. They rarely talk to each other. Not even in the bathrooms!

The people from class that I now call "friends" . . . found me on Facebook. We're Facebook friends. But are we "Let's go out and grab a cup of coffee after class" friends?

To be sure, those classmates with whom I am friends on Facebook will probably be my friends longer than some. Most likely, they will be in my line of sight on the computer until the day I hop off the technology bandwagon. Or they "unfriend" me, whichever comes first.

I have made friends from this blog, including Diane and a few others, and I am very glad of that. But do I have the time to Google+, Facebook, blog, be LinkedIn, and still fix dinner?

Don't get me wrong - I'm not giving up my blog. I enjoy this and will keep on. But if the hosting companies, which, I admit, owe me nothing because they host it for free, continually make changes that force me to use up my precious time to learn stuff I don't care to learn, I have to wonder what I am gaining.

The computer eats my time as it is. I sit down to write and the next thing I know I've lost an hour reading email or news stories. Technology is no longer my friend.

Maybe we should all take a lesson from the girl in The Roanoke Times article, and step back from the gadgets and re-engage the world and one another.


  1. Because I'm semi-anonymous, I won't be linking my blog with G+. But with that said, I find a great deal of value in Google+; I use it as a content and idea aggregation point more than a friend/contact utility. That's why I'll keep Facebook, as much as I dislike most things about it.

  2. I'm resisting Google+. My blogs, website, and Facebook are enough to keep me busy. I blog maybe twice a week and update my website monthly. I rarely Tweet and I've resisted LinkedIn completely. I do check FB on and off during the day because it's easier and faster than emailing everyone.

    While I love and appreciate technology, it's nice to get away from it sometimes.

  3. Guess we should all go out and buy weaving looms... Or make homemade soap. perhaps bake and sell pies? Can't stop the wheels of technology so I quit trying years ago and just hopped on the bandwagon. I do enjoy a day here and there without it though. I'm not a huge fan of Google+ either and as you say, it will probably fail one day. I do however need it should Google Friends Connect go away entirely. Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  4. i want to pull out my hair ... i just started this journey only a bit ago ... & already more changes... what a pain. i'm not ready. i'm still learning how to get my blog posts on FB & twitter. i'm learning, but it takes time. grr. more research needed. please, keep me posted. thanks. (:

  5. I liked Google Share, but do not like Google+ and have refused to sign up for it. I also do not have a cell phone, and am not on facebook or twitter, though friends and family are constantly pressuring me about all three.

    Sometimes it is good to step back and take a break from technology. I try to stay offline at least one day every weekend, and was actually offline four consecutive days over Thanksgiving. While I missed checking in, it was also nice to completely disconnect, and I was glad I had set up a few posts in advance, in the off chance I would be away from the computer so long.


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