This Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals seemed like a good one, since I have not posted since October (!). I have been wondering what is bloggable and what is not. I have been wondering why I chose to blog and what I get out of blogging. So let me respond to the FF here:
I had the joy of spending time with Songbird last weekend, someone I would have never met had it not been for the blogosphere. Now we keep in touch using a large variety of methods: blog (hers a lot, mine not so much lately), facebook, twitter, text messaging, chat and email. So far there has been no skype.
It got me to thinking of the pros and cons of these relatively new means of communication and interconnecting and so I ask you the following:
1) What have been the benefits for you of social networking (blog, twitter, facebook, etc...)
The benefits are many - meeting new friends through RevGals (although I have not met many IRL, there are a few who seem like kindred souls), finding old friends through Facebook and keeping in touch with people's daily lives, even those who live in the same town but don't have time to call, and for my two best college friends, feeling like a part of one another's daily lives twenty years after graduation.
2) Which medium do you use the most? Or if you use them all, for what do you use each of them?
I have used chat programs for years, since Starman was in Australia in 1989 and we got in trouble for all the bandwidth we used (hah! kilobytes, it must have been) while using emacs chat on Unix machines. By far, chat has been my most used social media - my two best friends from college are on Windows Messenger, and I often chat with at least one of them every day, although they are in the West and I am here two time zones away. My mom and I use Skype, and I always have my FB window open while I work. I find FB most useful for keeping in touch - I often have a quick minute to write a comment on a post, and when I post, I find that lots of friends chime in with support or a laugh when I need it most.
3) If you could invent a networking site (with no limits on your imagination), what would it provide? What would it not provide?
Hmmmm...I agree with some others that all the silly games (Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc) could go away from FB and it would be better as a result. And the chat feature on FB does not work well at all. Otherwise, I am pretty happy with what I use. In fact, I use it too much! It feels like a guilty pleasure to pop open that FB window a lot of the time, when I am supposed to be doing something "useful".
4) Who have you met that you would not have met if it were not for the 'miracle' of social networking?
I was so happy to meet up with some RevGals at the Festival of Homies last year, and I hope to do the same this year. Otherwise, I haven't met anyone new, just a bunch of old high school buddies. I wonder about that. I am not an extreme extrovert in my blog or on RevGals, but there are bunches of RevGals with whom I would really enjoy spending time. I guess I am a bit intimidated since everyone else seems to know everyone else so well.
5) Who do you secretly pray does not one day try to 'friend/follow' you?
I am glad that there is an "unfriend" feature on FB. 'Nuff said.
BONUS: What was the most random/weird/unsettling/wonderful connection you made that would not have happened if it were not for the ease of which we can find each other in the computer realm?
Nothing amazing, but getting back in touch with my seminary faculty advisor has been richly rewarding, as has the support I have received from HS friends, actually some friends I had from 1st grade! For that reason, FB continues to be my favorite.