Google’s new foray into social networking, Google+, is where all the cool kids are hangin out now. Of course that leaves me out as usual, LOL. While my often cool spouse has received and invite and joined the party, I have not. She put me in one of her circles, I just haven’t received notification from the system which reportedly is currently at capacity for this stage of the roll-out.
I cannot say that I’m a big fan of social networking sites. As I have ranted here before, sites like Facebook just recreate the cliches and awkwardness that left me on the outs growing up. And what’s worse, many of my peers aren’t exactly internet mavens by any stretch of the imagination. As a result I tend to lean more towards Twitter than Facebook, where I can build an identity much less encumbered by the usual social barriers, and much closer to what I consider to be the real me. Or at least the real me in the context of the internet.
So why should I care about Google+? Because it seems to solve one of my biggest problems with Facebook. It allows you to group your acquaintances and friends in whatever circles you find appropriate and share with those circles only what you want to, without leaking. This leakage is why I’m so wary of Facebook. I have a lot of non-mainstream hobbies and interests that I’d rather not share with everyone I know either voluntarily as my own status update, or involuntarily through someone tagging a picture of me I rather not have tagged. I don’t expect complete privacy, but I would like a little more control.
I’m actually very proud of my hobbies and interests. They’re an expression of a large part of who I am. But I’d rather minimize the amount of trouble that may be caused by people who either don’t get it, or flat out don’t like it. I love many of these people dearly, but they really don’t need to know about the wig I just got for my Uhura cosplay last week. Much less spread that information to someone I’m doing totally unrelated business with.
I may not ever become a big fan of social networking applications, but they seem to be a fact of life now. So hopefully, Google+ is the next big step in their evolution.