Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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An alphabet soup (just a cup, not a bowl) of social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, MySpace, Google+.

I speak as a daily user of Facebook and Twitter, and as a former user of MySpace, which I do not miss. I don’t think Foursquare matches up with my social habits. As for Google+… we’ll see. I’m not encouraged by what I’ve read about it, but who knows?

Here and there, one sees articles about some sort of social networking backlash – people who have unplugged and gone back to such quaint modes of communication as telephones, written letters, and even (I suppose) face-to-face meetings. It’s all very retro and experimental – and it remains to be seen just how many people constitute this supposed backlash.

For my purposes, Facebook has been pretty darn cool. It has brought various social features into my life that I appreciate quite a lot. It has enabled me to reconnect with various groups of people from different eras of my life, from grade school and high school classmates, to many of my Detroit actor friends, to people I’ve known more recently here in Chicago who I might otherwise have trouble keeping up with. Also, as someone who A) usually has something to say, and B) delights in sharing trivia/jokes/curiosities with anyone who will listen, Facebook has given me an endless supply of metaphoric bottles into which I may stuff my notes before tossing them into the ocean of the Internet. Only these bottles are not found by lone strangers; they are propagated across every port of call in my sea of friends.

There are certainly different ways of using social media sites. One may be an active contributor or one may be more of a reactor, posting comments to other people but rarely posting anything of one’s own. One may even be a lurker, reading friends’ posts regularly but moving on without comment, leaving no footprints. Those are all fine and acceptable options.

But to be fair, it is obvious that these social media websites don’t work for everybody. They just don’t. You’d be a fool to tell someone that they actually like something they don’t like. Those non-adopters are the people I’m reaching out to today. I want to tell you all about the website I want to launch; the website that takes us away from the bustle & nonsense of Social Media and into the rewarding realm of Antisocial Media.

* * *

For our model, we’re using the most successful Social Media site, Facebook, only we’re converting it to the higher plane of Antisocial Media. Many of Facebook’s features will have direct counterparts on our site:

— The “Like” button will become the “No One Cares What You Think” button.
— There is no Friends list, but there is an Unfriends list. That is, all content is open for all to read, except for your list of people who are specifically excluded.
— When you view your list of Unfriends, each name will be followed by the word “Sucks”.
— You are free to leave comments on other people’s posts, except no one but you will see them; comments will only be visible to the person who posts them.
— Our version of FarmVille will reward bonus points for infecting your neighbor’s livestock with Mad Cow Disease and his produce with e coli bacteria. Games will normally end in famine and near-Armageddon conditions, so the hoarding of crops and supplies will generally be an optimal strategy.
— Similar to the Unfriends list, event invitations will be limited to alerting the people who are not invited.
— This site is still in the preliminary planning stages, so additional suggestions are welcome (until the site launches, at which point, true to our mission, you will all be told to bleep yourselves and will receive no credit for your ideas – oh wait… now we’re sounding exactly like Facebook…)

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