Accumulating Digital Baggage

But don’t offer me a place out in cyberspace/Cuz where in the hell’s that at?

–Billy Bragg


I got a Google+ invite the other day from my best friend.  I have been curious about this so-called better social network, mainly because Neil Gaiman posted some frustrated thoughts on his experience with it.  Now that I’ve joined, I have this very tired, worn-out feeling that maybe I shouldn’t have either.

I’m a pretty analog person as it is.  I still write long-hand, I’m madly in love with books & will never get a Kindle, & still drag out my 35mm camera.  Over the years, this tendency has led to me giving up tv, giving away my PlayStation2 & refusing to buy a smart phone.  But I still accumulate baggage in the digital world.  I have a handful of online accounts: Facebook, Goodreads, Flickr, etc, everything listed here on my blog.  But, to add another just seems like work, not fun & distracting as the interwebs promises.

In reality, I’m a pretty solitary person.  I have friends & co-workers who I’m there for no matter what.  Everyone else is just sort of incidental.  I’ve tried making “friends” on these sites & it’s very weird.  They either want to get publicity out for some project they’re working on or they are these people who “collect” friends, just so their numbers are really ridiculously high.  A girl friended me on Goodreads with 900+ friends.  She isn’t talking to all of those people, nor do I imagine they are talking to her.  When I cancelled our connection three months later, I doubt she noticed.

Ok, this is starting to sound cranky.  But my point is that I think I’m at a key decision point here.  The attraction of Google+ is that since I already use a lot of the Google products, it would just be easier to have everything in one place.  But, the downside is rebuilding everything I have on say Facebook on another site.  Do I really want to go through with that?  It’s a curious idea: “moving” your identity from one place in the ether to another.


1 thought on “Accumulating Digital Baggage”

  1. Great post! I feel like I’m being forced to expand my technological “comfort zone” because of my job. How can I help people learn how to use these new sites and products if I’ve been avoiding them?? And Google+ should be called Google- It’s pretty crummy. >_< Courtney

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