Social but less Networked.

I'm feeling somewhat detached from internet social networking. I have a number of accounts with a varied list of social networking initiatives including services such as Instagram, Path and LinkedIn; I'm just not using them. It's not as though there's no value to be derived from them, it's more that I've simply ceased to appreciate whatever was appealing about them in the beginning. This isn't a complaint or a rant, just an observation of my own recent behaviour. I have a notoriously short attention span which I'll admit to, but that doesn't wholly explain my lack of interest. I still want to share photos and tell friends about what's going on, but I find that I'd rather do that by the slightly more conventional methods of e-mail or SMS/MMS message. I don't feel that there's a significant benefit to using an online service specifically for these goals beyond the slightly collaborative nature of whatever method that app/site uses to feed updates. The more this appeal fades, the more features such as retro photo filters feel like lazy gimmicks (which they may in fact be of course according to your perspective).

I can't help but wonder if the success of social networks is due in large part to the entertainment factor alone and once this entertainment factor wanes you're left with something that feels more like a duty than something you're choosing to participate in to your own benefit (whatever that may be); or indeed something that you simply neglect. So I'm a little withdrawn of late by internet norms and I'm sure that my general sense of misanthropy is just as responsible as my fading interest in social networking apps. I think my blogging frequency is a testament to my slight internet evasion recently and while I'm still making use of twitter, but even that has seen a slump in activity.

This period has coincided with a return of my lethargy towards computer gaming, which as I've blogged about previously has been a pretty major part of my social (and unsocial) life since I was old enough to grasp a NES controller. The two trends might be related in part but not in entirety. I've also been very communicative by other methods. My iPhone's text inbox and my e-mail account have rarely been so active but that is a much more personal and targeted method of communication. I don't know if this is a long term thing, but it's a trend that's gradually been growing in momentum since I abandoned tumblr a couple of months ago.