To Google + Or Not To Google +?

Okay – bear with me with this one, as it’s certainly dismissible as ‘Well, nice to have problems of only this magnitude, sheesh…’.

But do you feel the same? Is it possibly just ‘a female thing’, as posed by Phil Plait in a quote that follows this?

Social networking is useful for getting in touch with other secular and skeptic people. I can’t tell on G+ whether all the people adding me are those kinds of people. Some people I know are definitely secular/skeptical, but I don’t know them well enough to just post any old thing that they can read. For some people, I have NO idea who they are and I’m always getting that irritating red +1! in the corner of my email. Which I can’t turn off. I’ve tried.

I know there’s such things as Circles on Google +, where you can sort people into how much they see of what you post – but I’ve already spent years messing with Facebook, separating into categories the ‘real friends’ and the ‘people I know pretty well and don’t mind them seeing silly pictures‘ and the ‘family‘ and the ‘folks I will see at events but don’t really hang out with‘ and I (possibly) even have a page for my ‘business‘ where I’d rather have the general public only see the more  formal side of me… rather than my occasional angst-ridden ranting or a photo where I’m hugging an Alien dressed like Alice from Resident Evil.

I now have over 250 people who have added me and I can’t be bothered going through them all. For some, it’s in the thousands and I’m fairly certain they feel likewise.

Yes, there’s Google Hangouts, but I don’t think people are THAT interested in what I have to say that they’ll give up some time to do that – and I already have no time to schedule in Virtually Drinking Skeptically events, let alone a Skype chat with my best friend who lives in another timezone. Oh look, Felicia Day appeared in a Hangout! For all of a second, bah.

Speaking of which, my best friend not only doesn’t WANT to join G+ but has ensured that their Google keeps their paws off their private information (including their identity) and yet they still get their email address flagged on my side bar with ‘Ask Them To Join!’ and I feel bad about that.

Besides – what with Twitter accounts, a blog, Facebook, this podcast, that thing and the other… why the hell would all these people want to know everything I have to think on yet ANOTHER social networking branch?? Is there NOTHING that good on television anymore?!?

Phil ‘Bad Astronomer’ Plait wrote the following on Google +:

I’ve noticed something interesting, and I’m not sure what to make of it: more men are adding me to their circles here on Google+ than women. And not by a little; it’s by a factor of maybe 4 to 1.

When new people add me on Google+, I get a little notification. I can then see the last 10 people who added me. I’ve noticed that it’s rare that there are more than 2 or 3 women in that list, and it’s usually 1 or none. Why would that be?

… Is it a geek thing, not a science thing? … A good comparison would be to check these ratios on Twitter and Facebook as well, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I want to know this out of sheer curiosity; if there’s some deeper effect here it would be interesting to know what it is. Also, I would think that this would just be a good thing to know. Are women being excluded due to other factors that can be mediated?

[Photo is of Marian Call of]


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