Social Networking, Shelfari and Book Promotion...

Galleycat has an interesting post today containing a link from a writer at the New York Observer. Jesse Wigman writes about some of the nefarious practices these sites use to drum up hits. He accidentally fired off a mass e-mailing to every person he'd corresponded with over the last three years via his g-mail account.

I don't know where you guys come out on this, but let me begin by saying I still don't have a cell phone. I mention that only to illustrate my fairly stubborn attitudes concerning "progress" as the concept applies to communication. I've never wanted a cell phone because I rarely want to be contacted. I don't like to see them in the hands of distracted drivers. I hate it when jerks talk on them in front of me in line at the grocery store without even acknowledging the clerk waiting on them. I hate them in the movies. I hate them in the classroom. I think they look foolish when they're part of Joe-Businessman's "uniform." You know, the little clip-on belt holder and the ridiculous Wesley Snipes circa-Demolition Man head piece and accessory package.

They have some very positive attributes. Emergency response services have improved. They aid motorists stuck in precarious situations. They keep parents and their children in closer contact.

But text-messaging and obnoxious ring tones and the ubiquitous grainy photograph that accompanies any major breaking news story are all annoying side-effects of this "progress."

I've resisted the urge to open up a MySpace and/or Facebook page and I'm not going to sign up for Fan-U, regardless of how high I'd like to rank the Oregon Ducks in a national football poll. I think this blogging, which is really just an extension of the journalling I do in a ratty old composition book, is about the extent of how far I want to extend myself in terms of communication.

My homies know how to reach me on the land line, and I can check the voice mail when it suits me.

The fine author
J.A. Konrath swears by the power of social networking sites to impact the exposure of your writing. And I'm not saying I'll never open up a MySpace page. I also know this is my second curmudgeonly post in the last week. But take a moment to read Wigman's piece and let me know in the comments section:

Is all of this "progress" in the field of communication good for our society?

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