Or: why I quit facebook and don't tweet.
A couple of weeks back I deleted my facebook account. I don't miss it. I hardly ever used it, and each new "update" just made the web page more painful. Besides, I really don't like the "all your data are belong to us" attitude betrayed by the steadily less private privacy controls.
Which brings up a question: we writing types tend not to be social butterflies. We're not going to write a novel in tweets or facebook updates. Heck, most of us won't write one in blog posts (and we won't mention my collection of dust-gathering blogs...). Where that gets fun is the ever-increasing requirement of publishers that their authors do their own publicity.
That's not the question. The question is this: in a massively networked future society, what happens to the introverts who don't want to be networked every which way? While there's always been an element of "who you know" to success, it's been possible to slip past that gateway and do well anyway, whether by luck, competence, or some other factor. When it's all networked together and your network is what determines if you can be trusted with anything from a McJob (if they still exist) up, what happens to the person who doesn't have and doesn't want a network?
It's an interesting thought, isn't it? For me it comes down to the question of whether the future that seems to be approaching at speed is one where I have a place. And that's before you consider the question of control - which is a minefield all by itself.
I like instant messaging because I can control who I see and who sees me. I'm not splatting something to the entire world. If I make a blog post, I know beforehand it's going out to the whole wide world (or the portion of it that's interested in what I write, which is a rather smaller group). I like knowing which is what, and having control over how much of it random strangers can reach. Or maybe that's just illusory - but the issue of virii and hacking is a different one again.
Is this a writer thing, or is it a geek thing? (Geeks will often choose to have more control even if it means more complexity, where the general population tends to go for simplicity at the expense of control). Or is it an introvert versus extrovert - or, just possibly, a Kate-weird thing?
What do you think? What do you want out of the facebooks and the twitters and whatever replaces them?