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I pretty much had ignored MySpace/Facebook/etc. until just recently. A friend I talk to on chat had a Facebook page and urged me to join. I did and reconnected with my cousin Debbie as well as some friends from school, so that was kinda nice. I hear about people being "addicted" to it and think it's odd, since I only check mine every couple of days. I have heard people talking about Twitter and Ellen DeGeneres has been "twittering" about it, but it sounds silly to me. I sure don't want my phone ringing every time someone has a Twitter.


I have a Facebook page that I use to stay in touch with friends around the country and I just recently joined Twitter at the continuous urging of my friend. I like them both, for different reasons, but I only sign on a couple of times a week.


I'm 26 and have been using social networking sites since I was in college, and Friendster was first getting going. I use Twitter and Facebook now.

I probably log on to Facebook daily, but mostly for word games -- Lexulous, which is like Scrabble, and Scramble, which is like Boggle. I like Facebook for being peripherally aware of people who are acquaintances rather than friends -- e.g. finding out someone I knew in college went to library school. (I ended up writing to him and asking him what he thought of the program he was in, if he'd recommend it, etc.) It also feels like a lower-key way to keep in contact with acquaintances than email -- like, I go on 20-mile walks with a group of people every few weeks. There is a group on Facebook organized by the same guy who organizes the walks, and a lot of people who go on the walks join the Facebook group. I then ended up becoming Facebook friends with people from the group, and one of them had a pot-luck last week and invited people via Facebook.

There *are* book-related things on Facebook -- like there is a GoodReads application, which lets you share things from via Facebook, and there are others, too -- WeRead, Shelfari Books, Visual Bookshelf. But I don't use them -- I'd rather talk about books on blogs and also on GoodReads itself -- feels more like a dedicated conversation that way.

Re: Twitter -- I read it every few days and post less frequently. Writing-wise I like it as an exercise in concision (she said, in a very long comment). Reading-wise, I only follow about 16 people and try to have it be people I'm actually interested in/who post interesting thoughts/observations/links. I personally tend to write on Twitter when I see something funny or charming or beautiful that I want to share but not with anyone specifically -- like if I'm on the train staring out the window as we crawl along past construction on the tracks, and one of the workers tips his hat to me. I'm not interested in Twitter as a way to keep up with organizations, though there are lots and lots of book publishers on Twitter -- a lot of that feels too marketing/PR-ish to me.


I have a Facebook page which I love for keeping up with friends and family. I have to twitter for work and I HATE it. HATE it. I think it's contributing to the decline of the English language. But then again, people said that about email when I was in college, sooo....from a professional standpoint, if you have a long time ahead of you in your career, then I would recommend getting on the horn. Social networking sites aren't going anywhere and it is useful to at least know how to use them, even if you don't like them.

Kristen M.

My Facebook life is almost entirely separate from my book blogging life. I am on the BookBlogs Ning group for books social networking but mostly just use that as a way to get ARCs. I use Facebook for friends and family and acquaintances since I live in a different state from almost everyone. I'm on LinkedIn for business contacts but really don't actively do anything on there.

I am anti-Twitter ... I just don't see the point of spending time reading other people's trivial thoughts or posting my own. Life is too short ...

Sam Houston

I've been using facebook for a few months and have had a few pleasant surprises as a result. A couple of old friends with whom I lost contact years ago found me via my facebook account and I've really enjoyed catching up with them.

I also use it as a way to stay in touch with a few authors and publishers and to help me stay in touch with my music interests.

Facebook takes only as much time as you want to give it but it is a bit addictive because, before you know it, you are part of several networks. It's fun to keep up with what's going on in each of them.

I've even re-contacted with some friends of mine from my days living in Europe, something that would have never happened otherwise.

It's fun, it's informative, and it's free - can't beat that. :-)


Danielle, I echo your sentiments about wanting to take a step back at times. I refuse to belong to Facebook despite being pestered by co-workers to do so. They want to play Scrabble with me through this network. Boring! I love listening to podcasts while I'm out with the dog so I do stay in touch with the technological world that way. I heard last week that teens consider email 'old-fashioned' and it's all about texting and Twitter now. I'm like you in that I don't own a cell phone, shock and horror! My 19 year-old daughter is seriously considering giving up Facebook as it takes up too much of her time and frankly, she feels that much of what she sees and reads is nonsense. Very thought provoking question Danielle!


Read this entry about too much overload and my reply:


Yes, blogging counts as online social networking!

I'm on Facebook but am not too keen on it, partly because of privacy concerns (both identity thieves and Facebook itself make me nervous), and partly because hardly anyone I know is on it. Also it takes upkeep. If you're not on it frequently it's not much use.

Twitter I find to be quite fun. They key is not to "follow" a bazillion people and organizations, and don't sweat about missing a few tweets. It's a really good way to get information out, though. That seems to be what made Earth Hour so big this year. The good thing about Twitter is that it's so easy. The learning curve takes about 5 minutes, unlike things like Facebook and blogging, so more people can participate. There's no profile, about three options, and that's it. Simple. And although it sounds inane from the outside, it is kind of fun to hear the offhand comments and get off-topic links from people who normally communicate in a more formal way.

Your library would probably get more bang for your buck on Twitter. Presumably you have a website so it would be redundant to put your info on Facebook too. Better to just send messages with links out with Twitter. It's so fast, you can get plugins that work in your browser so you never actually have to go to the Twitter website. And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to follow everyone who follows you, so you don't have to be inundated with tweets if you don't want them.

Yes, it's another stream of information coming at you. I think it's just a question of knowing how to control the streams to a level that is manageable and useful and fun. We really do have a lot of control online, it's just a question of learning how to manage our options.


I only recently joined Twitter, so I haven't quite made up my mind about it yet. You do tend to learn random bits of information, like the fact that Demi Moore reads about three books a week on her kindle. I couldn't care less about Demi Moore, but I rather like her taste in books!


All my friends and family have my e-mail address and cellphone number, so I manage quite nicely without Facebook. But I do feel like a dinosaur every time the subject comes up. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has ignored these networks so far.


Social networks can be very entertaining, meeting new people from all the world, making new friends, and the interactivity between groups helping each other. Add "value" to social networking If it is going to benefit for health and mind along with the ability for meeting new people and sharing I am for it.


I first joined Facebook when I was at university and it was a networking site for students only. It was quite fun then, because it felt so private and controlled. There weren't any applications, and few networks. But now I find it disconcerting. I'm constantly being friended by people I hardly know - people I went to primary school with, or who bullied me in high school, or friends of friends. I find that incredibly invasive, and voyueristic too. I feel...spied on! I very rarely use it now, except for the odd message here and there. Plus I agree with Sylvia: there are privacy concerns with Facebook. For example, if you post a photograph on the site you concede copyright and Facebook then have the right to distribute it. Scary.

I haven't used Twitter yet, although I'm curious. I think it might be useful for sharing things that are too short to be blog posts. I think if I used it I would only use it for bookish things though. Like you I feel as though I need to pull back from the net sometimes.


I'm on Twitter, but very rarely "tweet". I don't know why I bothered as I don't think I've much to contribute to it - it's not too interesting to know when I go to the library, shops etc.

I find blogging is all I need - plenty of like-minded people. And I'm way behind with reading blogs through Google Reader anyway - I can't keep up. I don't know how you manage to blog every day and I'm retired.

Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

I joined Twitter last week. I was reluctant to do so as I didn't want it to take up more of my valuable time, but I have found it very useful.

I only log in once a day, so I can have a quick look, and I have found lots of useful websites that I wouldn't otherwise have seen.

It has also been really good for promoting my blog, and I have had new people commenting on it.

I'd recommend twitter for promotional purposes, as it is a great way to update everyone quickly.


Hiya! I have a Facebook page, which I signed up for because a friend of mine kept mentioning the site and her page and so I became curious and figured why not give it a shot. So, I am now on Facebook and I have reconnected with some friends from the past, which has been nice. I do admit that at times I find the site annoying, what with all the quizzes and applications of sending each other hugs or candy or trees. Also, I am a bit worried about privacy and identity theft, which are huge issues with Facebook - or so I have read about in the news. I guess, in the end it is nice to be able to reconnect with old friends via Facebook, but if I hadn't joined it I don't think I would have missed out on much. As for Twitter, I have no idea about it. And on a side note, I totally understand if you are reluctant about such sites, because I know I was and still am a bit. I mean I only bought a cell phone late last year because of my family's and friends' concern over safety (like if my car broke down on a lonely road I should have a cell phone to call someone). All in all, if you are curious, give it a go. Whats the harm? You might reconnect with some old friends and make some new ones. Cheers!!


I refuse to join Facebook, for the reasons Victoria mentioned. You must use your real name, and having strangers or people you do not care to interact with find you and friend you seems terribly invasive to me. It also seems to be a purely social network unlike Ravelry which has tons of knitting information, or Good Reads which has book reviews and the like. I do belong to both of these, but don't spend very much time with them.

I do have a private Twitter account. I only follow blog friends or friends in real life, not commercial sites or celebrities. Keeping the account small and private makes it manageable. I can keep up with people I care about without that "invasive" feeling. I can also use my blog name and not have to use my real name.

All of these sites together plus my blog take up a lot of time that could be spent doing other things, and so I try to limit them. Sometimes it's nice to unplug and live your life, without having to document it everywhere after the fact.


A co-worker convinced me to join Facebook a couple weeks back--I'd adamantly refused up till then. She convinced me it wasn't just for kids and had reconnected with tons of her former classmates and friends.

Few people I know are on Facebook, though, even fewer that I'd care to converse with on a regular basis, so I think it won't be a daily activity.

My daughter--recent college grad now freelancing--says she uses Facebook for work these days instead of using it for socializing.

I thought I'd opted out of Facebook sharing my photos; I need to look into that before I post any more.


I'm resisting Twitter & Facebook. I just feel like I already spend too much time at the computer and need time away from it to create, to talk to people to read! :)


I am envious of your blogging skills, so I would never consider you 'out of touch' with technology! I agree with all of the posters: I have Facebook, have reconnected with people from elementary and high school, but it is invasive; some of these people I see in grocery stores (yes, still live in my hometown) and don't say "hi" to them, so, why did they request me as a friend on FB? I don't get that. I have 191 friends on FB, and I think I actually talk/associate with 8 of them, lol. It's like a class reunion online...ongoing. I wish I had your ability to blog...I've tried, and am just not good at it (or dedicated enough..although I find I am dedicated to checking your blog daily, lol).


I have a Facebook account which I rarely log into - althought it has kept me connected with my friends around the country and the world so I guess it has been nice for that. I am not on (if that is even the right term!) Twitter and have no desire to be. I agree with you Danielle - sometimes all of these connecting tools can become a little overwhelming - I would prefer to escape with a book!


I have enough to do just keeping up with book blogger connections to worry about Twitter or Facebook. I did have a Facebook account, but hardly ever used it. I don't really get what's the point- if you want to keep in touch with your friends, just call or email. I didn't like all the complete strangers (some of them quite wacky) trying to "friend" me just to hype up their stats or something.

Claire B

I both Twitter & Facebook. The Columbus Metropolitan Library uses Twitter very nicely I think. They post about events and holiday hours and the like on their Twitter page, and I do appreciate that. I'm less impressed with their Facebook usage so far but I think everyone is in the learning stages so far.

Dorothy W.

I use both Twitter and Facebook, although Twitter is my favorite, and I post there much more often. I want to stay on Facebook, though, because my siblings are on there, and it's a good way to keep in touch with them. I agree with what Debby says about Twitter -- it's fun if you limit the number of people you follow and keep it to friends. I like Twitter because it lets me know how friends (face-to-face and blog friends) are doing and gives me a glimpse into their lives. People talk about Twitter as being inane, but it doesn't have to be.


I love being on Facebook, as I have reconnected with lots of people that I'm delighted to refind. I simply don't put any information there that I wouldn't want to be public, and as for "friending" people who aren't my friends -- well, I just don't. You don't have to respond to every friend resquest you get. I'm only friends with people I actually know!

You can also easily control the privacy so that only specific people can have access to your page -- you can set it so that no one can even see it unless you've friended them.

I find it really useful for networking and keeping in touch with friends, and checking in once a day or so is really sufficient if that's all you're there for.

These services are as useful, or not, as we make them!!!


For someone who has worked in a library for as long as I have I should be more up on technology. I don't carry a cell phone because sometimes I just don't want people knowing where I am all the time. I really don't see the point in Twitter. I love books blogs though. I don't know how to do one, but I would not have heard of the some of the best books I've read in the last couple of years if not for book blogs.

Carl V.

I like to keep up with technology to a degree, but social sites like Myspace and now Facebook and Twitter are just not something I have ever been interested in. I completely understand that they have their place and for your work purposes they can be highly useful, but for me they would be just one more distraction from doing things I would rather be doing, like reading, and I just don't want to bother.


Many thanks all to the great comments. It's really interesting to hear other people's experiences (good and bad). I'm not sure yet whether I'll try them or not, but I do plan on checking them out a bit more closely (if I can)!

Sam--I also don't want a cellphone. I can see where they can be handy and would be very good in emergencies, but I guess I don't people to always have access to me either (certainly in my job, it's not at all necessary).
Carl--I'm wondering, too, if I would just be distracted as well. I probably already spend too much time online that I could be using to read or work on my needlework--or spend doing something else entirely. They seem to be very popular and I've heard a lot of talk about them recently, so I want to at least check them out.

Thanks again everyone--your comments were great! (And anyone else is still free to leave your thoughts here on the topic!).

Amy @ My Friend Amy

I adore Twitter. It has really made the whole book world, authors, publishers, publicists, booksellers, librarians, bloggers, readers, teachers etc. feel much more tight knit. We are a very chatty bunch on there.

I use facebook for my real life friends.


I have a Facebook account that I use to stay connected with people I have known over the years, but mostly I use i to play games and things like that, so I tend to go in phases. Sometimes I use it all the time, and other times, I don't log in for weeks. I do use the Visual Bookshelf application within Facebook though.

I haven't joined Twitter because I have more than enough things to spend time on the computer with. Every now and again I think about caving into Twitter but I know what I am like and it will end up being a total time suck.

I am on Library Thing, although I haven't updated that for months, and also Book Blogs at Ning which I neglect a lot as well!

Goodness only knows how it is possible to fit everything in, including blogging!


I use Facebook... I didn't until I reconnected with a friend in the US who uses it. She urged me to do so and I now log in every couple of days. It's fun, that's all - I don't think I could get addicted.


I've been on Twitter for several months and love it. I check it once or twice a day most of the time but sometiems I go a couple of days without checking it. I don't follow that many people and most of them all book-related.

I joined Facebook about a month ago because my sister kept bugging me to do it. I don't much like it and it is disturbing how fast former high school friends you haven't talked to since graduation find you. There is also the privacy issues that Sylvia and a few others mentioned. I hardly ever log on, but I set up Twitter so my original tweets (but not reply tweets) get sent to Facebook so it makes it easier to not have to keep up with making posts in so many different places.


I don't use them, and I don't want to. I spend enough time doing electronic stuff as it much is too much?

I'm hoping Twitter is a passing thing, since it seems awfully dumb. Can't people stand to be alone with their thoughts anymore?


Thanks again for the input everyone! I wonder if I want to go on Facebook and be found---LOL. It could be good or bad....:)

Chartroose--I sort of wonder the same thing too when it comes to people being alone with their thoughts! Between cellphones and iPods, I think people really like noise these days. I really like silence sometimes!


I wanted to add that I don't think you have to use your real name on Facebook, although if you are looking to connect with old friends it is best to use it. A friend of mine who is very concerned about his privacy put the name of his favorite OTR character for his name instead and his picture is actually that of his pet! There are also Facebook pages for fictional characters--"Richard Castle," the mystery writer from CBS-TV's CASTLE has "his own" Facebook page. You can put as much or as little info in it as you want and can adjust how much you want to show.

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