I just read an article (came across my Twitter feed ) in Fast Company called “Circle Fatigue: The Dark Side of Google+”
After reading it, I just had to post something as there is one sentence that I just do not follow:
“Rather than classify my contacts as I might subconsciously in real life--as family, friends, or coworkers--I've been forced to consciously determine my relationships with these people online.” (emphasis mine)Seriously?
Being active in social media ain’t easy
I am diametrically opposed to the author’s viewpoint. I actually welcome the chance to build my social graph. Its like having a do over so I can take the mistakes I made and use this experience to enrich my online experience. In real life, I have more than just friends, family, and coworkers. I do agree that building your social graph isn’t easy, but neither is real life relationships. The are complex and cannot be reduced into 3-5 general buckets. It takes effort, a great deal of effort, to maintain valuable interactions in the world of social media. The simplistic argument that maintaining “too many” circles is tiresome only resonates with people not fully engaged. You have to work at it, be genuine, and invest time, just like you would if you met someone new offline.
The Other Side of Complexity
There are two kinds of simplicity: one of this side of complexity and one on the other side of complexity. I prefer the other side as it means you have worked diligently and focused your time on getting through all the complexity that is relationships and arrived at the other side of complexity. Circles, once you start getting into it, are the other side of complexity. What the author talks about in the article is simple, just on the wrong side. So as you start working through building your circles, keep in mind that you will get to the “other side”, you will find that the benefits are quite rewarding.
As with anything, Google+ being no exception, there is a learning curve. When you first start building your circles (aka social graph) it is a little overwhelming (agree with the author on this point). But, I didn’t reach fatigue, rather, I started to really think about not only what I wanted out of my online experience, but what others I interact with may want from me!
What do you think? Do you agree with the author of the Fast Company article? Are circles giving you the opportunity to begin anew?