Perhaps I should have titled this article, The Avalanche of Social Networking and Instant Messaging Services. Still, the current title is not exactly out of line.
Like most people in my social class, I have a Facebook profile that is quite active. Facebook has been immensely useful in catching up with old friends, as well as loved ones who had been scattered to the winds for years.
Recently, I was able to re-connect with scores of my old classmates from back in the day at Federal Government College Odogbolu. Facebook is indeed a powerful platform for catching up and interacting.
However, I noticed that rather than send an email a number of people (consciously or unconsciously) have resorted to using Facebook messages (and even chat) as a standard means of communication. The result is that now, when I am looking for certain information, I have to search both Facebook and my email box in order to find it. Some are here and some are there.
That may be trivial if you deal with small amounts of information, but when you are constantly bombarded with loads of information, messages and requests like I am, it simply becomes a burden.
It may be different with others, but I also find Facebook chat intrusive. When I log into Facebook, I am looking to see what’s new with my contacts – and then that chat menu pops up, breaking my flow. Aaargh!
So, many weeks ago, I simply turned off Facebook chat. And I generally do not bother with Facebook messages anymore. My website and email addresses are public on my Facebook profile, so anyone who has anything serious to pass across to me can use email. That way, my messages are all accessible and archivable in one place. I also no longer send anyone a Facebook message unless in rare cases that they do not have their contact info public. And when I do, I ask for a response via email or phone.
It is worse on mobile. Usually, when I go mobile, it is because I have something specific in mind to do at the time. I don’t bother with Facebook apps and plugins that enable chat. I find no use for them.
There are so many social networking and instant messaging services available that it is just crazy. As a rule, I have stayed with yahoo for chatting, Facebook for social networking, and Twitter for professional updates. How many IDs and logins does one have to do to stay in touch?
Do you use Facebook messages? Do you use Facebook chat (both on PC and on mobile)? How many social networking accounts do you have? How many instant messaging services do you use?