Monday, October 29, 2007

"Appropriate " use of Facebook and similar sites

In a recent talk, Danah Boyd said that she doesn't use these social networking sites the way teenagers do, nor should she. Now the first point is inarguable, but the second struck me as rather odd. I don't see that there is any "should" about it. I mean, call me immature, but while yes, I am studying Facebook and will write about that, I'm also having quite a lot of fun with it.

I spend time sending my friends "drinks," "throwing sheep" at them, plus messaging, sending links, videos, etc. Not to mention playing that goofy vampire/zombie/werewolf/slayer game. In fact, if it weren't for my enjoyment of this new channel for social play, I don't think I'd bother with it at all, though a number of professional and activist groups now have a presence there. That would feel too much like work, and I work all the time anyway.

I'm also trying to explore Second Life, but I find that I'm not very interested in exploring because while the world itself is interesting, since no one I know is there, I'd rather spend my time in virtual locales where I can talk to my friends. Does that make me immature? Is that an inappropriate attitude for a scholar? Well, I don't think so and given who else is on Facebook and using just as playfully as I, I'm pretty confident in my position.

We'll see what happens when I stand up and say this in front of a bunch of other scholars at SLSA this week...

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