I'm not troubled or disturbed by social media as a concept. I think the whole thing provides us wonderful tools for reaching out to others. If you just want to connect with other people, great. If you're marketing, even better.
The thing that bothers me is that I think we (collectively) might end up with more platforms than we can handle standing on.
Let's be real, there hasn't been a social networking site yet that has given us the ultimate product that answers all of our needs. They rise, look pretty, draw a crowd and then fade into obscurity when the next one comes along. All these users must be moving around for something. We're looking for the next better thing, I figure.
After the great MySpace migration to Facebook, MySpace (who?) was left a virtual ghost town, suffering the effect it had inflicted on its more primitive predecessor. After Facebook got settled in, though, something different happened. When Twitter came on the scene, it was different from Facebook. It was so different, it was slow to catch on with people. Once it did catch on, users realized the two were different enough that they could coexist.
OK, so Facebook and Twitter have been complementing each other and both are used for social networking and marketing. Great. Many contacts have been made and many friends have been contacted and contacts made on each platform have been duplicated on the other.
Now, Google+ has entered the picture. The most common type of message I've read regarding Google+ thus far has been asking what the purpose of Google+ is. Admittedly, I have yet to look at it myself. I've been busy. I have noticed a few people on Twitter indicating that they were exploring it and then reporting back some of their findings. Some of those people have extended invitations amongst Twitter followers.
I have to wonder, though, how useful it would be for me to spend time connecting with a smaller number of people on yet another network whose population has been culled from a network I'm already active on. Fifty of us go off to another place to chat amongst ourselves and then go back to the first place to repeat ourselves to our original, larger network? There must be a better use of our time.
And leave it to Microsoft to think they have the answer to that. Microsoft folk have announced their intent to also leap into the social network arena. This is insane. How many platforms can one person stand on?
How long before individuals collapse under an overload from the self-induced media onslaught. Unless these different platforms are going to talk with each other on some common ground while offering different features and interfaces for their users, like cell phone companies or ISPs, then I may have to look into hiring a staff to keep up with the social networks and then I can just talk with them.