Some things aren’t for sharing


Letts’ Law states every program evolves until it can send email. In the last year that idea seems to have expanded to every website evolves until it becomes a social network. And that’s where I tend to stop using them. The social graph may have its uses but there is a lot of my life that doesn’t need to be shared with every friend/acquaintance/high school classmate.

I did that

The websites-gone-social-network that seem useful to me are those that focus on sharing this you create rather than the things you consume. I (usually) like making my photos available for others to see. If I used did video, I’d be down for sharing that too. Or music I created. But I’m not interested it telling everyone what music I’m currently listening to, what events I’m going to or what websites I’m reading*. While those are still useful sites, the social part of them doesn’t appeal. The catch is that if everyone felt the same way as I do, those sites would loss utility.

Even those sites that are about sharing things you create aren’t exhaustive of all I do. I was slow to start using Flickr for two reasons, one being paranoia of sharing the things I see with everyone. That paranoia still lingers, though less and less. Paging through a Flickr photo album tells a story of where the user has been and when. Sometimes the world doesn’t need to know I went snowboarding a particular day or was at a rock show another. There’s a reason this site goes without fresh content for weeks.

Things to hide? Not from any individual but from the world as a whole. I feel like I’m right on the edge of two generations: one that sees everything as public knowledge and one that still values a touch of privacy. Oldens.


  1. jb 20080204

    is this same paranoia the reason you never came/come out skateboarding before 9pm?

    seriously though i understand what you are saying. props to you for not getting caught up in the social train if thats how you wanna do things.

  2. matches 20080204

    I feel kind of guilty that my flickr account has basically languished for the last couple of months, and that’s the thing that scares me the most about “social” sites. I’m not so much concerned about how I’m presented on them so much as how it looks when I just lose interest and stop updating. Virb is a great example, abandoned because it was basically useless to me. MySpace is the same. Flickr is a fantastic site but I haven’t been motivated to take or upload any photos lately, so it goes stagnant. Dead. Twitter? Well, it’s fast, at least.

    Facebook, though. I see myself using that for a long time unless some other site becomes ubiquitous. But for now, it’s practical for me, which should be the main reason for using any social tool.

  3. majafa 20080212

    this entry made me remember i have a purevolume account i haven’t checked for months…haha

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