|Photograph courtesy Flickr: Gwennypics|
I suspect that when Tennessee Williams coined this phrase, he wasn't thinking about the World Wide Web. After all, Williams died in 1983.
Just the same, I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from his words, whether we place them in the context of the real or virtual world.
Let's take a closer look...
Social networking... t'week'ed for me!
By definition, social networking is "an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities"(Wikipedia).
Immediately, I would happen to guess that most people associate the massive social network, Facebook, when they hear the words "social network". After all, doesn't everyone have a Facebook account?! Currently over 500 million Facebook accounts exist, in 70 languages. (http://www.connectsafely.org/pdfs/fbparents.pdf). Even the Queen of England launched a British Monarchy Facebook account on November 8th! Now, who requires further proof that social networking is huge! (By the way, there is also a Royal Channel YouTube channel.)
As for me, I have had my own Facebook page (Yvonne Denomy) for sometime. I will admit that I was slow to start. Like many of my web explorations, my Facebook account sat virtually unused. Remnants of my inactivity still haunt my profile (no hobbies, education, work etc. listed). I never noticed this before... I think I'll add some info there. But truthfully, it has only been this year when I started to use my Facebook page more. My reluctance wasn't about safety or privacy, but more feeling that Facebook was a place for teens. Interstingly, according to Richardson... the fastest growing population joining Facebook is the over-55 crowd (p.132)! Perhaps due to the course requirements (and feeling kind of young being much, much younger than 55... wait is my age on my Facebook profile?)... or maybe the fact that I am home full time again, I have been participating in social networking a lot more than in the past. I would say that I am even enjoying the participation. Proof: I have started to update my status every week or so... or when something happens. I even posted a video from my last week's blog for feedback. On a personal level, I don't worry about my exposure on this site. I feel I have enough sense to monitor what I put on there... and I have privacy settings that limit my account to 'friends only'.