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Thursday, March 11, 2010 

Social networking refuseniks.

I suspect, although I might be wrong, that I'm one of the few regular bloggers (not to mention also of a certain age) that hasn't also embraced the wonders of Facebook and/or Twitter. There are a few reasons behind this, especially the way that I'm not comfortable with revealing who I actually am, both in terms of my name and in posting photographs, which I loathe taking of myself in any event. I also dislike the whole erosion of privacy which comes with both, regardless of whether you hide behind a false identity or not; nor do I understand why other people would care what I'm doing at any precise moment. For those that have plenty of friends, or even just online friends, and are completely at ease with the past, I'm sure they're great and a wonderful way to keep in touch, I just don't think they'd add anything to the already pristine brilliance of my existence.

Are there then any other social networking refuseniks out there that do pretty much everything else on the net, including blogging, and yet don't get involved with these sites? I'd be genuinely interested to know, or even if you're just a refusenik that doesn't blog, with your reasons why, or just an acknowledgement. And no, I don't want persuading of just how fabulous Facebook and Twitter are. I'm not alone, right?

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I'm one. I don't use Facebook for much the same reasons that my land-line number is ex-directory; I don't feel at all comfortable with the ease that exes, people from school/college/university days, former work colleagues and the boring bloke you once met at a convention can track anyone down with relative ease. As for Twitter, I've never quite understood how it works; 140 characters is nowhere near enough for those of us that don't understand textspeak, and hacking Twitter is even easier than Facebook, as I once found one morning after waking up to see that my account had been hacked into by an industrial spammer hawking diet pills.

Three or four years ago, social networking bloggers (which I was in a small way) used to denounce 'walled garden' sites and look forward to how they'd inevitably be swept away by blogging and the wide-open Web. Then along came Facebook and proved us all wrong. But I've never joined, simply because I object to having to join - it seems cultish and weird. And the mandatory level of personal information sharing seems to be set far too high, judging from some of the people Facebook has automatically recognised as matches for me - I know six of the people in the last mail I got from Fb, and I'm married to one of them (she joined to keep an eye on our son). All the stuff about it being a front company for the CIA, too - clearly a bit overblown, but enough to make the alarm bells ping a bit louder.

As for Twitter, why? I don't get it at all. My wife joined it out of curiosity, discovered that all you get is a string of one-line messages and dropped it immediately - but in the time it took her to do that (without posting anything of her own) she'd acquired two followers! All very odd.

I am also a regular blogger, since 2002, who does not dabble in Facebook or Twitter.

My reasons for Facebook refusal have already been outlined here by others, I am very public online anyway and feel no need to spend even more time committing to putting even more personal data out there.

Twitter just seems utterly pointless.

Although one thing I will add is that I do feel tempted to secure my identity on both of these formats, just incase someone does it for me and then mis-uses them, does anyone else share that fear?

I run a satirical/political blog and that's my main interest. I joined Facebook which is a hideous invention but allows me to download photos of my grandchildren in Oz, and my friends in Spain. Other than that, its good for reading inane and adolescent so-called jokes from the younger members of your family, each of whom need to be accompanied by the word Lol just so you know its a joke! It's pathetic.

I joined Twitter as I imagined it might be good to drum up readership of the blog, and all I got as so-called "Followers" were a couple of prozzies. It's spawn of the Devip -- don't touch it.

Joined Friends Reunited out of curiosity for a year. Was contacted by my old girl friend from school, who was lovely to look at when we were both 13, but who now looks... well, I've deteriorated too.

I just hoped all this social networking stuff and mobile phone texting qwill prove to be a fashion, and die out.

Maybe with the next World War.

Not exactly a blogger, more an online version of the bloke shouting obscenities at passing traffic who everyone studiously ignores.
Don't even understand the point of twitter; assume that facebook is "LOOK AT ME!" directed at people who can't see "ME" in the flesh.
I heard that one person in three in the UK is on facebook. Can it be true? Is a compulsory national database really necessary when we have a voluntary one in embryo?

Jemmy, your description of yourself is pretty scary, I'm sure you're not as weird as all that.

I wish you guys would stop bitching and join in already - you'd all be eminently followable Twittererers!

See, if I had young relatives or family I'm sure it'd be great for that, but when my extended family is relatively small and all on the whole much older than me that rules out even that as a use. Everyone who needs to know who I actually am already knows, and I can easily contact my friends via text without revealing who they are or what I'm saying to them to the entire world. I know I have these odd breakdowns where I just have to let the world of political blogging know just how emo I am, but they're rare. All I'd do on Twitter is what I already do here, and at a length at which I can properly express myself. Still, good to know I'm not the only one who feels the same way.

I used to be a Facebook refusenik but holding together a circle of friends with colleagues is far more difficult without it - Being a refusenik puts one Outside the Tribe as it were.

Twitter I really enjoy - But only quality tweeting, as a link centre for articles or haiku-like observations. It's a place to note insights and events that have no other space.

That being said, I'm still a phone-use refusenik. I scarcely use my mobile, if at all.

I've always been "outside the tribe" in any case, both by choice and otherwise, so no great hardship there. I was a phone refusenik too for a long time too, but at least that has its emergency uses, although considering I almost never take it with me anyway there's not even that.

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