How Many Social Networking Sites Can You Be on Before You’re Certifiably Compulsive?

Okay, as I alluded a few days ago, I’ve dusted off my heretofore inactive MySpace page; found a great layout for it that is elegant rather than flashy, set up “fan pages” for Julian of Norwich and The Cloud of Unknowing, and am now happily sending friend request to anyone with a listed interest even vaguely related to Christian mysticism. Meanwhile, I kept hearing wind of other social networking sites… FacebookVirbNing… even — egad! — Zaadz. I had already established an account with LinkedIn, and have been having way too much fun at LibraryThing, and of course, there’s my good ol’ LiveJournal account, which is pretty moribund since I migrated first to SquareSpace and on to WordPress, although I do pop back in there for a visit every now and then. At any rate, last night in a burst of giddy internet enthusiasm, I set up accounts with all of the above (except Zaadz; there I merely applied for an account, it seems they are a bit more, er, exclusive). What’s next? The Ooze? Care2? ThySpace? Orkut? Should my social networking ambition be to recieve an invitation to join A Small World? At what point is too many social networking web accounts, well, too many? A therapist friend of mine warned me when I became a Catholic that I was immersing myself into the OCD playground. Is social networking just another way for me to live my compulsive life?

I’m rationalizing it this way: currently I’m “dating around” all these different sites. Do I like the “big city” feel of MySpace, or do I want something more elite à la Zaadz or Virb? Or would I find a happy medium between those two extremes at FaceBook? Should I go for a strictly business approach, courtesy of LinkedIn? Or should I just blow off all this cyberdistraction and keep reading the mystics and writing about them here????

Stay tuned…

What Has Not Yet Been Revealed
Sanctity and Struggle, or, Why Saints Have Chaotic Inner Lives (Hint: It's Because We All Do)
In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Mysticism and the Divine Feminine: An Interview with Mirabai Starr
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Jon

    Wow, Carl! I didn’t even know there were so many SN sites. Generally, I detest them… I’m too oldskool, I guess. I hate the feel of a walled-garden (or gated community) and that’s what SN feels like to me. I prefer the unwalled, unfettered, wild and woolly world-wide Web.

    Though, I do have a very detailed profile at Zaadz, and I maintain my old Blogger profile, too. I’m recognized as a “friend” by one person at Bebo, and I think I have a profile pointing to my real site.

    I find even that level of SN a pain!