I belong to/am a member of/participate in and contribute to a fair number of social networking sites. There are the two ning sites – BESig ning, managed and run by the exceptional Carl Dowse and the ning site for the company I work for; there’s Twitter – not my favourite; Facebook, where I have two “presences” – friends/family and work; and two blogs – this one for my work interests and another one as a marketing tool for the school I work at. Then there’s email – work, personal and gmail accounts, and the ubiquitous text machine – the phone.
Suddenly and without warning, I’m tired of it all. I love the idea, don’t get me wrong. All of the social networking I have joined up to and contributed to have made an enormous difference in my life. I have found old friends I thought I’d never see or speak to again, I have made new friends that I never would have met. I have shared ideas, music and photos, memories, laughs and tears. I’ve argued and discussed, pontificated and soap-boxed, ranted and raved, colluded, concurred, sympathised and praised. But for some reason, I have dried up. I cannot think of a thing to say: even emailing my oldest friend has become a chore. It’s all too much. It sucks up too much time; being witty and erudite and interesting and controversial and innovative and shocking and challenging and amusing and enthusiastic all the time is exhausting. And lately a lot of my posts have been misinterpreted, caused upset, got people in a huff and generally not been as well-received as they used to be. Maybe my mood is tainting what I write.
And I have noticed too that there has been a slow decrease in the number of posts from friends and colleagues. Daily updates have become weekly; spirited exchanges have become less spirited and dwindled to a few desultory comments; pages on Facebook that once changed minute by minute, don’t change for days; Twitter feeds have slowed to a trickle and bear nothing more than cursory comments or a lonely link. Comments on ning sites remain unanswered and interaction is short at best.
What’s happened? Is it just because it’s summer? Is it because we are all glued to the telly watching and waiting for the golds to materialise? Or is it more that that? Have we become indifferent to and bored with it all? Does it no longer interest us, excite us, inspire us or enthuse us? If so, what’s next?