Do you suffer from social networking fatigue?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 21, 2013

One of the best uses of our powerful smartphones is to stay connected. Whether that’s to rekindle past relationships, stay up-to-date on what’s happening with family in other States or countries, or to meet new people, using applications to stay connected has never been easier, or so prevalent. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, along with a slew of others, are all meant to make that ever-connected life easier. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that some people have a favorite, while disliking others.

But it’s not just about the apps, or services, that are meant to be social networking right out of the box, so to speak. There’s no doubt that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are all about that networking aspect, about staying social, but they’ve got other features that make them more compelling to just about everyone else, too. Even the people who aren’t necessarily all about sharing their social life in the digital arena. Features like photo storage, for instance. I know plenty of people who now just use Facebook for a way to have easy photo albums, which are capable of being shared when they want, if they want, at a later date.

Being social in the digital world isn’t new. Not by a longshot. But it’s certainly becoming more and more of a standard feature. Services like Flickr, for example, are making sure that you can not only upload and store photos in the cloud, but you can share them, too. Socialize with your photos. Pictures speak a thousand words, right? So we shouldn’t be surprised by this evolution to make it possible to share our photos, even in apps and/or services that are all about storage.

Phone manufacturers even make sure that sharing is front and center to the way you use your device. Services are built into our phones now. iOS 6 has Twitter and Facebook connectivity as part of the core iOS’s features. Android, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8 offer the same thing, with a few other networks thrown in there for good measure in some cases. In today’s world, it’s not hard to find a social network, or avoid its reach. Now, you’d have to try pretty hard not to find some piece of software not feeling the touch of a social network.

Today, in fact, saw a new report about changes coming to Apple’s expected iOS 7. Those changes? More social networking embedded within the mobile operating system. While Facebook and Twitter are not going anywhere, Apple is now reportedly getting ready to add Vimeo and Flickr integration. That’s not a surprise, considering the two services are part of Apple’s Mac OS X. But, it just goes to show the point: social networking is a rage that refuses to die.

But is there a point where we are using too many social networks? YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Path, Twitter, Twitter #music, Facebook, Google+, and any other one you can name. How many social networking applications do you have installed on your phone or tablet? Do you find yourself checking one service over another, more often than not? Do you use one service for one purpose, and another for a different purpose altogether?

I can admit that I use some social networking applications for specific purposes. I use Twitter as a professional and personal outlet, while my Facebook is very limited in its reach. I keep family and close friends there, and I use it primarily to share photos. I . . . I keep telling myself that I’m going to use Google+ more, but I just don’t. And while I love Path, they keep making some crucial mistakes in dealing with contact lists, and . . . Well, no one in my personal life used it, and everyone I was following on that particular service I was already following on Twitter.

I tried Twitter #music, but I didn’t stick with it. And I don’t share photos on Flickr. I don’t use YouTube except to watch videos, and the same goes for Vimeo. I have access to a lot of different social networking services every single day, and on some days I use all of them, while on other days I just use Twitter. Or Facebook. I’ve definitely felt the touch of social networking fatigue, and this is the result.

So have you felt the fatigue of social networking? Do you prefer one app or service over another? Have you given up on social networking from a mobile device altogether? Let me know.