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Social networking: You have to know when enough is enough

Posted on 08.21.2013

Social media is spreading like amiable gossip that has transformed into a vicious rumor. The last 10 years have shown an astonishing increase in the number and diversity of online sites used for social networking.

Advances in modern technology and a proliferation of social media have given masses of people the opportunity to share instantly virtually everything. And they have been taking advantage of that opportunity.  They have been seizing it and it would seem that popular culture has deemed it perfectly acceptable to know things you do not need to know about people you have never met.

Please understand, my complaint is not that social networking is unnecessary. For a person of my age and future profession, that would be an illogical and blatantly uninformed statement. Social networking has an extremely beneficial role in society. It does an amazing job of connecting people across the world; it allows for quick and easy sharing of ideas, photos, thoughts, videos, etc. The problem I have with the growth of social networking sites is that the creators have apparently become as poor at filtering their ideas as the users of social media.

In January of 2013, CNNMoney published an article by Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite,  entitled “7 Social Networks to Watch in 2013.”  The majority of these sites seem to me to serve little purpose beyond decreasing curiosity and ingenuity. Examining a few of the seven sites should display the troubles I have with the evolution of social networking.

Pheed: According to Holmes, “Pheed” is a site that allows people to give money in return for access to view the photos, videos and ideas from the creator.  Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton were the two celebrities Holmes mentioned that have joined the Pheed bandwagon. Subscriptions range from $1.99 to $34.99.

When would Miley Cyrus ever post anything interesting enough that I would need to pay a monthly subscription fee to view her pictures and opinions? Pheed seems to me to be a place for people to give money to people who already have plenty.

Thumb: According to the FAQ page on, this site is “a community of people waiting to give you their opinion at the tip of your fingers.  It’s the last line of defense in your battle against buying ugly clothes. It’s the critic when you can’t decide which movie to watch.”  Each post is viewed by the masses and given thumbs up or down.

Not only does it seem sad that people  cannot even get dressed without the advice of strangers, but it seems equally sad that within minutes advice is returned because  millions of people have nothing else to do with their thumbs.

Chirp: According to, “Chirp sings information from one iPhone to another.” This app will make a noise that other phones in your area with the same app will hear and collect the photo, contact or whatever the chirper chirped.  However, as the chirp privacy statement warns, “be aware that the application is explicitly designed for simple, non-addressed sharing: your content may be received by anyone using the Chirp app within audible range.”

So if you do decide to chirp your friend’s contact information to the person next to you while you are out drinking coffee, do not be surprised if the person that was sitting three tables away contacts your friend.

These sites represent just a few of my concerns for the growing epidemic of social networking. Its intentions, once healthy, now feel rather invasive to me. There should be some type of boundary, some type of strainer that prevents innovation from being synonymous with insanity. We seem to have come to the point where searching for a social networking site that edits out the ridiculous is a challenge. Perhaps if more people were exercising judgement there would be fewer problems with the proliferation of the social networking empire.


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