Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thing Twenty

Social networks

I've known about MySpace and Facebook for quite a while, but was never really interested or paid much attention until now. I was familiar with the term social networking, but I didn't really see the big deal about it and MySpace. I had the preconception that they were a breeding ground for stalkers, children and the guys that get caught on Chris Hanson's "Dateline - To Catch a Predator". And most of that's partially true, at least to an extent. Parents definitely should have some measure of control over these social networking sites, for exactly those kinds of reasons. You don't want personal information about your kids available to some of these people out there. But that's enough of the bad stuff. I decided (against my own misconceptions) to start an account, and decided to use Facebook, which seems to skews at least a little bit older then MySpace tweens.

It was pretty straight forward setting up an account with facebook. Starting up afterwards was a little intimidating. I had never used a tool like this in the past, so it was a new experience completely, but with the help of a fellow 23 things blogger I was able to conquer it, for the most part. Added some friends, sent a some messages, I added some applications, got a flower from a friend. There's a lot more to it then I imagined at first. I started playing this game on there called 4 in a row, which is just connect four and it's really addicting. One thing I noticed when I first started using Facebook is just how much time you can waste, without even realizing it. You're able to set up privacy settings to keep stalkers and unwanted guests from viewing your profile and such. I joined a bunch of groups, there was a local one called "Free Hugs" that I seriously contemplated joining, but I decided against it in the end. One of my groups is called "Babies of 1983" for people born in the year 1983. It goes on to list a bunch of things we have in common, such as being able to rap the entire theme to "Fresh Prince of Belair" - Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down...

It is a good point to note that even though Facebook/MySpace would seem to have little use for libraries as it stands now, being knowledgeable on what our younger patrons are accessing on a regular basis, should be at least on our radar.