Wednesday, 22 January 2014

I like you more, dear, but my time belongs to another

This is probably the closest briefing of my response to the founder of one of the many social networking services that I am registered with by have no time to use. In a personal message today Malte Zeeck asked for my honest feedback on the reasons for my "absence" from

In a smart marketing move, Zeeck listed how he and his team has tried to make InterNations more attractive and useful to its expatriate members around the world: expanded reach in 190 different nations in more than 300 Local Communities; thousands joining InterNations' private community week-by-week; interesting, high caliber people; top-quality information; and lively forum discussions. And he did not miss to remind me the one thing that I truly like most about InterNations: its offline side. "Our Ambassadors regularly organize offline events in many cities around the world as our members love to meet face-to-face and get to know each other better at InterNations get-togethers, first-class parties, wine tastings, lectures, etc..," Zeeck wrote. Now, how cool does that sound, and how much sweeter a concept than Mark Zuckerberg's cyber-world dreams?

Yes, I like it more. And yet, indeed, I do not use it at all. Meaning: not a single status update for years, no reply to numerous inquiries by interestingly sounding/ looking men/women, not a single visit to face-to-face InterNations get-togethers. Nothing. All of a sudden Zeeck's question intrigued me more than the usual marketing inquiry. Why, indeed, did I not use the network, whose concept and ideas in principle suit me better?
There was a short answer: Facebook. But I gave Zeeck a longer one, in which I self-analysed my own e-networking behaviour. Here it is, for the sake of science, business and curiosity:

Thanks for inquiring and sorry about not being able to use a social networking service that appears superior in concept and approach to 'mass consumption' services as Facebook and Twitter. In fact I truly appreciate your effort to step up offline communication with the ambassadors and so on - it is much more human and natural this way. Well done!

Yet, I am not using it actively indeed. And the reason is that I have no time and capacity left for it. I deal with social and political campaigning, journalism, expert contributions and media research on both national and international level and this leaves me with just enough time to spend with my kids and family. Frankly, I have practically turned Facebook into my primary environment for both personal and professional communication. Mind you, I am no big fan of Facebook, ideologically and conceptually. But with over 1500 real contacts there, Skype and good old email, I am fully equipped with information channels. No, I am grossly overloaded! I do not use TV and radio for years now - it all comes via Facebook.

Information overload and time pressure prevents me from using all other social networks where I have profiles, apart from LinkedIn.  What might help your analysis perhaps: even without doing anything, I appear active on two of them: Twitter and Google+, both of which parasitise my hyperactivity in Facebook. Twitter has some level of integration with Facebook, so my status updates appear as twits as well; and Google+ almost automatically republishes my posts in Blogger.

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