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Social networking sites: yay or nay?

Okay, so we realise that we didn’t actually start blogging every week, we are trying! :) Sometimes however life interrupts our plans. So here is the first of hopefully more regularly frequent blog posts…

Liss:

So we all know how big social networking sites are right now. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Academia.edu, Epernicus, Bebo, foursquare, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Last.fm, Myspace, Passportstamp, Kickstarter, Imm.io, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and the various blog sites are just a few of these.

I am signed on to a number of social networking sites but my favourites are twitter, instagram and, of course, this blog. Though I don’t know if we have enough readers for the blog to be of any really social networking consequence :). Twitter is great because I can share my thoughts and read those of others I share interests with. I appreciate facebook as a means of connecting and staying connected with old friends from high school or uni, or keeping up with family and friends who I don’t, or can’t, see on a regular basis and even the family I live with. On twitter I can ‘follow’ the authors and musicians I like and keep up to date with new books or music or tours. I can follow other people in postgrad studies who are undertaking the same sort of work and who understand the pressures it comes with. I can follow those who share my interests in books and history. It’s also a social networking site most of my family has yet to sign on to, thankfully :) facebook posts and status updates are usually done with my young cousins, parents and bosses in mind!

But my favourite above all, is instagram. Instagram is all about sharing your life through photos. You can follow those whose photos you like: friends, family or celebrities or absolute strangers. It’s a fun and different way to connect with people. There are different filters, different photograph applications on the iphone/ipod/ipad you can use then upload the photos via instagram. You can add hashtags to group your photos with the millions of users, search out photos of subject matter that interests you.

So, for me, social networking sites are a yes. Of course there can be drawbacks but overall it’s fun.

Sarah:

I remember seeing a cartoon on Facebook of a student saying something along the lines ok ‘if I fail my degree I blame Facebook.’ That could be a reasonable conclusion considering that I spent a lot of time procrastinating on Facebook, and a lot of other websites, instead of doing what I needed to do (you can see our post about procrastination here) Now, I’ve been a Facebook devotee from way back. I keep in touch with family and friends overseas, reunite with old friends, even play the games occasionally…but of late something has been bothering me with Facebook. Perhaps it’s the lack of friends due to a recent cull that has left my newsfeed stagnant, perhaps I’m realizing just how redundant it is for me at this point in my life. I felt like I needed more from my social networking site. I thought of all the sites I joined then forgotten about. Google+ has very few of my friends on, and I seriously can’t remember what other ones I signed up for over the years. This left me with one option: Twitter. I have been on Twitter for a while but never really go into it until the last couple of weeks. It’s like being at a networking event, you can interact with people from all over the world, from all walks of life. Despite having never met most of those who I converse with on Twitter there is a sense of friendship and camaraderie. I just love how interactive it is. There is even a postgraduate community. The notion and importance of this community only hit home when I read this article in The Age. I’ll admit that I have spent an awful lot of time on social networking sites over the course of my PhD, and I have definitely felt a great sense of isolation at times, but I never connected the two and saw how these sites could help alleviate the isolation felt by many postgraduate students.

I’m having a great time on there and it makes a nice change: lots more interaction. So at the moment I’m loving Twitter, but I still have a soft spot for Facebook… Like Liss I think social networks are also a yes. It’s just a matter of finding the one that’s right for you.

So if you want to follow either of us, and not in a creepy way, this is where you can find us:

twitter:                        culturalcaboodl
LissiJ
sarahktrigger

instagram:                lissc
skt022

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