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2/7/2008
08:00 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
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Socially Challenged

You'd think I might have taken the hint the year someone gave me Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior for Christmas. But in the real world or online, I can't seem to get that whole social graces things right. Which is why I'm such a zero with social networks.

You'd think I might have taken the hint the year someone gave me Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior for Christmas. But in the real world or online, I can't seem to get that whole social graces things right. Which is why I'm such a zero with social networks.But this storage blogger makes quite a fuss about reaching the 1,000-contacts threshold on LinkedIn. In fairness, Walden Technology's John McArthur does point to this article, with tips about how to turn Facebook into a marketing tool.

I'd like to say I've successfully resisted the temptation to put up pages on MySpace and Facebook. But in truth, there's never been any temptation. Even with the two social networks I have joined, I'd have to say my presence there is pretty lame. You want me to be your friend? Uhh, sure. So, am I supposed to invite you back now? You're not going to want to stay the weekend are you?

Miss Manners never addressed this sort of interaction.

Is acquiring friends the point of the exercise? Exchanging online comments? Are we really that starved for community or contact? Why not call a friend, or go to lunch? You know, someone you haven't seen in a while, and would like to actually spend time with. Honestly, I didn't expect to sound this retro quite this early in my life.

I've been accused of reverse-snobbery, elitism, and worse. Happily, it's soothing to know there's a place for that sort of thing in social networks as well. In fact, there are at least five such sites that would never have someone like me as a member.

Which is a shame, because there might be a community to work on manners with.

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