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Disclaimer: the views on this post reflect my personal opinion, and I have the right to change my mind at any point of time.

A clarification for the reader: Social Networking means interacting with people socially or through a social network, it is a concept of relationships between individuals and it’s been around BEFORE the Internet.

With the rise of Digital Social Networking Services and Platforms people have been using the term almost solely to reflect on the DIGITAL part of it – Social Media, which relies on web technologies to deliver.

In this blog post, I use the term Social Networking to describe both forms online and offline, or digital and real, so when I just say online it means online social networking, when I say offline then it means? Correct, the offline thing. </clarification>.

I’ve started to notice something interesting:

People who are very “social” online are very unsocial offline, and people who are super active socially / very sociable, don’t really pay much attention to network online. Then there are those who are balanced – who by the way you won’t notice because of that balance.

Is this real?

I mean we all know that social networking platforms were built by geeks (like myself) who are not always sociable people (unlike myself :) ), and in a way or another they’ve redefined social networking in its original form, although they are not your usual benchmark.

Also take a look at the “social media experts”, they are not a very talkative bunch now are they? No no, not the ones who keep producing theories and criticizing current practice and speak in public conferences – I am talking about the ones who actually DO the job and DEVELOP and BUILD things :)

Now lets look at it this way, if you are in room with all your friends and family and people you like, would you still need a website to announce your updates or share your unimportant day-to-day life details?

I would bet NO, but one would argue that you would still need it to meet new people, but in that case why all the privacy and secrecy and profile protection?
So give me a break. That would be a dating site and not a social networking one.

Find old mates? same curve ball: why all the privacy and secrecy and profile protection? How would I find you or you me? Give me two breaks.

One would continue arguing: but I am not in a room with my friends and family and therefore I need that website, yet again in fact, if you look closely you will see that most of your interaction is with people who are within your close proximity, not the ones who are miles away. It’s become a live ineractive habit, so those on different time zones won’t be able to catch up with you. A third break please?

You will find lots of people who blog, tweet, facebook, and all that you can name without anyone reading or interacting with them – that is totally fine. You won’t however find people who talk to themselves on the phone, coffee shop (a real one not them Amsterdam versions), mall or home. In real life, interaction needs two at least, while in digital not necessarily, people can keep shouting for attention until they get some. You see where I am going?

Anyway, what is the point of this post? Nothing really. I just think one should mentor his/her habits and make sure they strike the balance and keep it real. If you are a balanced person, you’ve probably just wasted 10 minutes of your life reading this :)

If you are an extreme in either direction, then I hope I pissed you off ;)

Sometimes it is nice to pick up the phone, go to the movies, or rendezvous at a coffee shop (especially the ones in Amsterdam). Some other times it is nice to blog or tweet or facebook without turning the habit into POLLUTION. There you go, DIGITAL POLLUTION.




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10 Comments to “How Social is Social Networking?”

  1. Mazen Abou Hatab Says:

    Here we go, a new blog post which I think will make me less popular :) How Social is Social Networking? http://tinyurl.com/3ajxzdm

  2. B Says:

    +9000 RT @meezeus: a new blog post which I think will make me less popular :) How Social is Social Networking? http://tinyurl.com/3ajxzdm

  3. Laith Younes Says:

    @MarketingHubMe @mediaMEdotcom RT @meezeus: a new blog post: How Social is Social Networking? http://tinyurl.com/3ajxzdm&quot;

  4. Oubai Says:

    This is very interesting article Mazen, and I do agree with you.

    I think also that social networks like facebook has other purpose than providing the networking which is collecting the data of all societies, and using it for many purposes.

  5. Mazen Abou Hatab Says:

    It's getting better responses than I expected. In case you missed it from yday: how social is social media? http://tinyurl.com/3ajxzdm

  6. Mazen Abou Hatab Says:

    It's getting better responses than I expected. In case you missed it from yday: how social is social networking? http://tinyurl.com/3ajxzdm

  7. Serena Says:

    @meezus great post, I agree with a lot of it to be honest. A chat required soon :-) http://bit.ly/aEdlRd

  8. Serena Says:

    @meezeus great post, I agree with a lot of it to be honest. A chat required soon :-) http://bit.ly/aEdlRd

  9. Paz Says:

    I have to disagree. As a professional DJ I deal with social types all the time like promoters, booking agents, etc who are SUPER social online and offline.

    I think the real point here is that social media with a million miles of cable behind your monitor allow unsocial types to be more social. but it doesnt make social types less social in reality.

    its merely an extension of your personality. most people who are unsocial (like myself) are equally unsocial online and have to spend time at it out of business necessity.

    there is another part of the argument. first split all the social media posts online into two groups: poigniant and total dumbass. “i dont care what you are doing at this second, HONESTLY…”

    take group one, poignant. the true intent (IMHO) of social media. speak when there is something to be said.

    second group, people who tweet their on the toilet. remove them from my logical argument as logic seemingly doesnt seem to exist for them.

    unfortunately this seems to be the majority of people in the world, so i guess i will continue to stand on my island alone.

  10. Governor Says:

    @Paz thanks for the response. I think the example in your first paragraph is about people who use social online to promote their work and business, so that is more professional use to me than anything. These guys’ job IS to be social in all channels :)

    If you are equally unsocial online and offline my friend, then you strike the balance that is required, you are being who you are basically on both which is my point exactly.

    SO I think we are in agreement ;)

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