The Joys of Over-Social-Networking

I don’t remember the subject of my first email–but I believe that I sent it somewhere around my 8th grade or freshman year of high school. Then, after four years of becoming increasingly addicted to email, I went to college. Ethernet brought instant messaging and a whole new world of friends in immediacy.

Now…I feel like I’m assaulted on every side with new ways to meet and interact with people and the vast majority of them are going by the wayside. Ones that I’ve tried include AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Trillian, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Ning, SecondLife, LibraryThing, LinkedIn and somewhere I think I still have a registration to Judy’s Book. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something…

And apparently I’m showing my age because I still prefer to email or send an instant message. Although the Verizon plan I signed up for this evening does include unlimited messaging to anyone on any network, I’m not even really into text messaging. I use it for a few friends–one in particular whose text-spelling is so horrendous that to actually read the message you get nothing but gobbly-gook. In this world of skimming and processing without my brain really working, I can always read her messages clearly. It’s not a primary form of communication for me though…apparently this puts me behind the groove.

Among my immediate family, I’m the communicator. I have a couple of close friends from junior high still, one of whom I had dinner with a little over a week ago and another whose wedding I will attend in the fall. I keep up with people from past jobs, schools, lives (it feels that way some days). And yet–it took a conscious effort to remember that I had to go in and change a status on MySpace and Facebook last week. I don’t have a huge desire to be “friends” with everyone in the United States with my last name. I don’t feel the need to befriend cool strangers who “want to meet other cool people.” Selectivity–it’s a beauteous thing.

It’s cool to regroup with friends from high school and cousins who I’ve not seen since before college but otherwise I tend to just hover. If an email comes in–great, I’ll catch up with someone–but otherwise I tend to be somewhat unavailable. And considering I was out of college before I got my first cell phone–I have a feeling I’ll continue to be that way.