As a side note, one that isn't relevant to my point here, my husband has a different level of clutter tolerance. He believes a room is clean if you wipe down the horizontal surfaces and vacuum, even when there are still huge piles of stuff in that room. He absolutely doesn't understand my thing with the DVR ("it's not taking up any extra room in the house"). My solution, when it comes to our differing opinions on actual, physical clutter, is to define certain rooms of my home as my "circles of sanity," which are my most frequently-visited rooms, and to attempt to keep those rooms as clutter-free as possible. Bill can do whatever he wants with the non-circles-of-sanity rooms, like his office and the basement.
But I digress. My point here was that I was really intrigued the other day when I read something online (I forget where) about how to eliminate clutter from your life. Not only did this article validate my feelings on e-clutter, but it also mentioned that social media can clutter up your life.
And it's like, yes, YES, that is so true. That explains why I don't like Twitter, because to me Twitter is like the wadded-up Target receipt of social media. That is, you really don't need it. It's all ads and cryptic messages and general stuff I don't care about.
And let me say, I obviously have a pretty high tolerance for online oversharing, or I wouldn't write this blog, nor would I update my Facebook status (which I do a few times a week). I even do the occasional Foursquare check-in, so I'm not averse to frequent online updates.
But I do feel like social networking, even on sites I like such as Facebook, is insidiously creeping into our everyday lives too much now. It used to be that Facebook was a fun diversion that you could check a few times a day at work or while doing boring chores. Now we have Facebook on our phones, and we are checking in, sending photos, or updating statuses everywhere we go. We're getting emails or notifications (you know, the little red number next to the world in the top left-hand corner) all day long, and we have to stop what we're doing to put in the next word in this dialogue.
And yes, I know, you don't have to play the Facebook game. But, let's face it, at a certain point, you have to keep up. That's the way the world works.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is so new that it doesn't have little fingers poking into all aspects of your life. That's why I like Pinterest. It's there when you want to take a quick break to browse, but it's not on every device you own, urging you at all points in your life to give it some attention.
I'm sure that will change, though. People are talking about how to use Pinterest to promote your business, so it will soon become annoying and commercialized like Facebook and Twitter. And people are making more and more use of Facebook to share their pins, so ... insidious fingers.
Let me say one more thing about Facebook, specifically the Facebook "like" button. Please stop misusing this button, people.
The Facebook "like" button is only for situations where you might actually comment on somebody's status or photo with the phrase I like this or some equivalent sentiment. Examples of Facebook statuses where it's okay to use the "like" button:
- I have lost 15 pounds!
- I found my lost retainer!
- I'm going to Hawaii!
I suppose you can also use the "like" button for statements you agree with (e.g. "Nice weather we're having!") or statements you find funny. But do not use the "like" button inappropriately in response to questions (liking "Who's going to see Titanic in 3-D?" does not answer the person's question), nor in response to any status that has a partially negative component ("My sister has cancer, but they caught it early").
In summary, please use social networking responsibly. And by "responsibly," I mean, "in a way I deem appropriate."