Over the last couple of weeks I've been looking at a range of social networking sites / apps and one of the ones I've been trying is me.dium and initially I thought 'ooooh! Interesting idea!'... but... (inevitably?) after a week or so... I've just uninstalled it off my main browser (although still on Flock). There were a couple of issues I had with it. Firstly, getting anyone else to particpate or participate in a meaningful way at the same time as me was like trying to get blood from a stone. Second, I actually just didn't like the feeling that I was being 'watched' on the web. Although one of the people working for me.dium said to me that users weren't actually being 'tracked' per se... it sure felt like it when I saw my name eerily floating in cyberspace.
I kind of wonder if a lot of these social networking sites / software apps make others feel that way too? Do we want lots of superficial contacts with people whose names we see on a screen in front of us? Or do we want to have meaningful relationships with the people we 'know', online and offline? Is being followed round the web really an effective way of doing that? Is signing up for lots of different services, handing over a piece of ourselves to be stored on someone else's server, outside out control really what we want? If it is... is it really what our students want? Where's the off switch to our lives? Doesn't the private version deserve some downtime too? I recall seeing the 'Web 2.0... The machine is us/ing us' and thinking what a cool little tour of Web 2.0 it was. But... it's also slightly disquieting. I don't want to be part of the machine. I'm guessing that lots of other people don't either. I want control back over the me which is separate from the 'us' everyone's being encouraged to become.
Would write more... but... shhhhh... I think I'm being watched... ;o)