About a year ago I had to close down my MySpace account. Ever since, I have mainly focused on LinkedIn and my professional network. Which was all fine and dandy until it became important to re-establish my MySpace account and actually pay attention to my Facebook account.
So, wow. I mean wow. If you step out of the online social networking scene for awhile , man do you feel left in the dust. First, relearning the UI's is annoying because my brain remembers previous versions and isn't in the mood to learn new tricks. Second, it take a ridiculous amount of time to get your account set up. There is actual equity built into these things. I can't even remember how long I spent setting up my original MySpace account from years ago, but the effort invested in setting it up and maintaining it is nothing to laugh at.
For my friends in the music industry, I understand that MySpace has been one of their dream vehicles for marketing. And, I am starting to think the same goes for just us 'ordinary' folks. This is an advertising investment. And one that I can't catch up with in a single evening.
I am seriously waiting for people to start selling their profiles, similar to how virtual worlds sell 'fake' money in exchange for real money.
So it begs the question: when will our virtual selves surpass our real selves? Part of me thinks this has already happened. People's online identities seem so much more fully developed and architected than their actual identities. Maybe we are more comfortable with compiling ourselves online? Maybe we are all self-promoters deep at heart.
Too bad for us few who decided to take a break. Social networking sites are actually becoming a required part of the modern day existence. Don't have a MySpace account? Can't hack your Facebook? Well...damn fool...then you're just wack.
Validation of ourselves comes through a world that, actually, doesn't exist. Doesn't this seem a bit twisted?
As an advertiser and interactive peeps, I have to love the stuff. As a person, who likes to see and talk with people face-to-face, I'm on the outs.
So what does one do? Follow the herd. Follow the herd.