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Mar 19, 2013

Oogly Googley: social media fatigue and other related rants



I am so tired of social media, I can't begin to tell you.

Wait: is a blog considered social media?  I don't even know.

The last few days I've been reading panicked accounts of the imminent demise of Google Reader.  I'm not even sure what Google Reader IS, though I think it has something to do with the Google Friend Connect box on the right side of this blog.

Is that what they're doing away with?  So when you clicked that box, my updates appeared in your Google Reader?  Is that the same as an RSS feed?



I use my blog roll to follow other blogs, which is easy if you have a blog.  If you don't I guess you use Google Reader.  Or used Google Reader, or one of those other countless ways one follows blogs.  (Another way is simply to save a blog in your bookmarks, but then you aren't alerted to updates.)

Then there's Facebook -- I always update my blog on Facebook, though I've completely neglected my personal Facebook page.  I appreciate Facebook because it allows me to communicate with followers who don't use Google Reader, or just prefer getting blog updates on FB.  And it allows readers to contact me directly (Most of the time I respond right away.).

Apart from the blog, I find Facebook annoying.  It was fun when I first joined and was able to reconnect with half my elementary school class.  Now, nearly four years later, I don't recognize many of the people I've friended.  I liked how, in years gone by, someone you once knew could become part of your past -- a memory.  Now you never lose contact with them.



Then there's Twitter.  I think you need a smart phone to do that and my phone is not smart and I never really mastered texting.  I long for the days when you picked up the phone (which was wired to your wall) and said, "Operator, give me Kingsbridge-9-6205."  Maybe I'm just old, but I am tired of all the changes: the constant software updates and hardware updates and social media updates.  It's not that I can't figure them out, I'm just not interested in investing the time only to have them change later on.

I do enjoy Pinterest however.   

I recently added a little bar under my blog posts that allows readers to like it on Facebook, tweet it, pin it, everything but iron it.  I think it looks cluttered but one must keep up!

So should I worry about Google Reader with regard to this blog?  I assume that if people want to come here they'll find a way, right?

There is too much to keep track of.

Thoughts?



60 comments:

  1. Well, I do not use FB, Twitter or whatever... Just go to your blog from my favorite list of websites, and that's all. I have a pinterest account which I almost never update. And I feel so good without any social network! It doesn't prevent me from reading your blog!

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  2. I realized today that my WordPress blog roll hasn't been consistently updating the non-wordpress blogs I like to read (including yours). I've spent a good portion of today trying to figure out an alternative. I feel very non-tech savvy :\
    My blog is too small to need a facebook, I think, but I do pin some of my posts to my personal pintrest- I'm not sure why since I don't really enjoy being on pintrest and always come away feeling inadequate instead of inspired.
    I wouldnt worry about how google reader impacts MPB. You're the world's most popular men's sewing blog, after all. Your readers will find a way :)

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  3. I'm one of the howling zillions that has used Google Reader to get automatic updates on your blog and a host of others. (it's simply an rss aggregator, popular because it's an easy way of keeping track of a lot of blogs.) Not to worry, we rss junkies will find an alternative way to continue getting our fix. :-)

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    1. Me too. As soon as I heard, I checked into alternates, and have enjoyed Feedly. It's a bit more complicated than Reader, but more feature-filled as well.

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  4. You might not have to worry about Google Reader, but for me, it is how I keep up with my favorite sewing blogs. Yours is one of them. Google reader is just another Feed Reader. I'm looking into Feedly so I can keep up with the sewing trends and news. This is another hurdle to jump over. When Google Reader stops, there may be a few less people looking at blogs, but soon those should repopulate. Continue doing your thing and the readers will continue to flock to your posts.

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    1. I use Google Reader for blogs as well. Maybe I should celebrate. Blogs are such a time suck.

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  5. I go back and forth...not using FB much these days. I do check in though. It is all a bit too much I have to agree. Even Pintrest is becoming overwhelming to me, because I want to cook, sew, knit and can everything I see on there. oy....

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  6. I follow over 200 blogs. Some active some inactive. There are reasons for keeping the inactive ones. But blogger limits how many I can follow, and there is no real way to organize it. I was panicked about the imminent loss of google reader but I went over to the oldgooglereader.com. Now I can breathe

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  7. I like getting my blog updates by e-mail or through the fan page on FB since it has the "Get Notifications" aspect. That's how I get updates from you :) If I don't get the little flag-up on the mailbox, I forget to read the new entry.
    I'm picky on who I friend on FB, all my true friends are on DeviantART, and I don't care to tweet, text, or pin. I'm in my late-20s but I don't care for the newfangled media shenanigans. If I need it for my new career then okay but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it unless the older technologies are completely extinct.

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  8. I'd been using Google Reader, but have switched to Bloglovin' it picks up MPB just fine, so you shouldn't have to worry...unless Google also decides to retire Blogger.

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  9. I hear you! I think everything is evolving....and sometimes I'm just too old and tired to keep up! When I started blogging, I was reading a lot of blogs. My blog roll got so big I finally organized it in Google Reader. But, checking that once a day became once a week became hardly ever....as I spent more time on Twitter and FB, I found content that interested me that way. I see your blog posts via Facebook. It just seems like people find content in all different ways. Facebook seems a bit tired. On the personal side, it doesn't seem like my friends and family have been on very much lately. On my business page, it is still a fantastic way to connect. I think the shared process of creating and connecting with customers is valuable. Twitter is a different monster. I love it. When I started, I felt like a Who in Whoville...finally someone responded to me and a friendship was born. Sure, I connect with a lot different groups on Twitter. I have customers, I have fellow sewists, I have big companies that I follow for info....but I have made real friends there (maybe I've even been catfished - who knows?) I don't have a smart phone - so I don't use Instagram and I use Twitter from my desktop (Tweetdeck makes it easy to organize interests). It's all very organic for me. I post when I want and go from there....I don't necessarily follow a schedule. There is nothing wrong with pulling back for a while - changing it up or stepping away. It certainly can refresh.

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  10. I've switched from Google to Feedly (easily) which I read about on another blog.

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  11. Peter, I do currently get your updates via Google Reader. I subscribe to updates (yes, that just means RSS feeds) from about 80 sites, some very active, some probably no defunct - though if a defunct blog happens to start up again, it'd just show up in my Reader feed. And it isn't only for blogs - anything with RSS feed, like news sites. I like it because I can find all my news and blog updates on one page, rather than bookmarking and scrolling through all 80 or so every day!

    Since the Google Reader announcement, I've transferred the whole shebang to Feedly - so far, so good. I liked Reader becaue I have an Android phone and use a lot of the other Google products (gmail, calendar, etc). Change is a constant!

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  12. Thanks for putting this out there, Peter. I also began to wonder if I should worry about the Reader issue...seems now that it probably won't affect me. And if it does, I wouldn't know the difference! I tired of Facebook years ago. I'm not sure why I still have an account.

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  13. I so agree with you. We're in approximately the same age group, I think. I'm almost ready to throw the computer out the window because I waste SO MUCH TIME -- but then I wouldn't be able to read your blog. :)

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  14. Do your own thing. If you don't--if you hate Twitter, for instance, but force yourself to use it--your discomfort will show and you will actually end up alienating people.

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  15. Glad I'm not the only one who didn't know what Google Reader was when I started hearing the uproar! I'm with you - social media is exhausting, but I kind of find it necessary. I recently deleted my personal Facebook account, and have never been more refreshed. BUT, I also just created a twitter account for my blog because I was missing out on all of the fun. So...I traded one vice for another I suppose. I find that connecting with other bloggers is fun, and social media is GREAT for that. On a personal level, friends and such, I'd much rather have a phone call or coffee date.

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  16. I have turned my Facebook newsfeed into my reader. There are people that I don't want to unfriend, but I certainly don't want their constant updates, so they are hidden from my feed. I use it now to get updates from media outlets and bloggers that I follow, like you. This way I can use FB as a news and interest source instead of hearing about someone's breakfast (although sometimes I am guilty of mentioning my cooking accomplishments!).

    I haven't been interested in Twitter, or even Pinterest, even though I need to have some online presence for my industry (media), so I'm a bit torn. My goal is to get involved a bit more just to have more clout, but underneath it all, I'm just a "pick up the phone and talk to me" kind of gal.

    Previous posters are right--your followers will find you in any way they are comfortable.

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  17. Oh I hear you too. Tired, tired. tired. I got tired long before Facebook and Twitter. No smart phone, hardly a cell phone, for that matter, I hate all phones. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. But I guess I'm sort of proud that I've never friended or been friended or tweeted. I guess I'm a technological hermit, lost in anolog space, (I'm waiting for the return of the knob to change the chanel). I would love to live in a world where there would never be another software update, or yet another operating system. Is Cheetah out yet? Will it run on my MacIIe with it's gigantic 40 megabite hard drive. I'm counting on you, Peter, to make sense of what the world has become.

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    1. OMG, how I long for the return on the knob! LOL

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  18. I'm right there with you. I've got accounts on all those because they seemed necessary, but you need an entire day just to keep up with social media (so forget about actually sewing or interacting with people in real life then!).

    There's such a pressure to keep up or get left behind "You'll lose readers if you don't do....", but honestly I miss the days when people just subscribed to blogs via email or just looked them up because they liked reading them.

    I might see my numbers growing, but the number of comments has definitely gone down, so it doesn't feel worth the trade off. I miss people interacting instead of just anonymously pinning. What's the point of thousands seeing & liking what you've done but you still feel like you're talking to yourself out there?

    And as a reader I get sick of some blogs that are constantly posting on all of them. It's just overwhelming. The little old lady in me is shaking my fist at social media & wanting it off my lawn. I've decided to just have fun blogging & not worry about social media's latest dramas anymore.

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    1. You´re so right Cheryl. I couldn´t agree more. It just takes over your life, if you´re not careful. I closed my facebook and LinkedIn accounts long time ago. It was such a release. . .
      I miss interacting too though. . .

      Nice post Peter ;o)

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  19. RSS readers are great if you want to follow lots of blogs. One click and you can read everyone's latest posts.

    I use Google Reader for work purposes, so I'm a bit peeved they've decided to kill it off. Will be using Feedly from now on for 'work related blogs'.

    For personal interests I use Bloglovin', and that's where I read Male Patten Boldness. It's great for creative blogs as they display a BIG photo from your blog.

    If I didn't use some kind of RSS reader, I doubt if I would read as many blog posts.

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  20. Peter, I could not have said it in a better way. Ironically, it made me discover Bloglovin. I must say that it comes in handy for blog reading.

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  21. My current go to in instagram only bc I'm too lazy to carry my not very good anyways camera with me.

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  22. Wow. my sentiments exactly! I'm going back to following blogs just by listing them on my blogroll!! I also only update my blog FB page....my phone ain't smart either....ah well. At least I got on pinterest (and added a button on my blog)...I feel very proud of that :-)

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  23. I love the freedom and privacy that comes from not being on social media (do have twitter account;don't know how to use it). I can check in on blogs when I want - I know who I like to follow, how often they post and when I want to catch up. In the meantime I don't feel crowded, and I feel like I can breathe and get on and get stuff done.

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  24. I read this post and realized I adore you. I could not agree more on this topic. Ten years ago when I bought my condo I decided to get two (2!) fancy wireless phones - so there would be no more dashing to get the call before it went to voicemail. They lasted each a single year. Even though I bought replacement batteries they never worked the same way again. Eventually, I got fed up and went to Best Buy and bought what ACTUALLY worked - an ATT princess phone. The kind you used to rent from the phone company. There was a single phone wire and no power/battery or other unnecessary cords. Now I can twirl and swing the cord while talking on the land line. The simpler the device is - the better.

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  25. I am like Violette and use my bookmark bar to list the blogs I follow . . . but I so agree about all these permutations on time consumption. Tweeting, fb'ing, tumbling, it's all time not spent sewing, holding a book, taking a walk, or enjoying something to eat with company.

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  26. I honestly don't even know what I use to keep track of my blogs. I thought it was a reader attached somehowe to blogger - now I'm worried I'll loose all my blogs! Eep. I have tumblr fatigue lately - if you follow a lot of people with the same interests you get information reverb because everybody is reblogging the same pictures.

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  27. I have never had any clue what Google Reader or Bloglovin' or any of those things are. I figured since I didn't know it probably meant that I wasn't using it and didn't need to worry. I use my blog roll to keep track of everything as well. Any more complicated than that and I just don't know if it's worth it. I use facebook (rather minimally and really just to keep in touch with out of town family and friends), but I do not understand Twitter at all. I actually found myself wondering why there was a # at the beginning of some bathroom graffiti on campus the other day and after almost a minute realized it was a Twitter hashtag. I've only had texting for a couple of years, and will not pay for internet access on my telephone (it's only a moderately clever one, not a smart one) and really miss the days when people had to make notes for themselves and look things up in a dictionary or other source when they got home.

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  28. Peter, stick with sewing and writing interesting articles about sewing. These two are probably only time you have, FB/twitter will take away quality time. I know nothing about Google Reader. I do love that pic of Marilyn.

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  29. I love your secretary - I'm just guessing who the typing dog is.

    I too hate all this stuff we have. I don't tweet or text or pin. I don't know how to use my smart phone.

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  30. I use Google Reader, and its a pain in the $&@ to have to find something else but I will, because I love the blogs I follow.

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  31. I read your blog for the content. Free, fascinating, friendly and funny. The fact that my newest sewing machine is over fifty years old and that zigzag pattern cams, to me, are the cutting edge of modernity means that I would probably read your words even if they were typed on a wax cylinder, gestetnered and airmailed quarterly. Please just keep sewing and writing.
    Hugs
    G

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  32. Read it and weep:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/19/us/disposal-of-older-monitors-leaves-a-hazardous-trail.html

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  33. I'm not sure what Google Reader was either. If you don't know, you can't miss it, right? I just deleted my Twitter account. You can tweet using your computer, but it all seemed rather pointless. I never used it. Last night my boyfriend and I discussed the pros and cons of deleting the old Facebook account. I don't think I'll completely get rid of it, but I'm going to drop it to under 25 friends, keeping only my closest and dearest actual friends because I like that we can easily share photos. I've also considered ditching the cell phone, I did it for the four months when I lived in Quebec and I got along just fine. However, I need some sort of phone and since landlines are much more expensive nowadays I'd love to just sort of convert it into a home phone by using a dock, and then just not bring it anywhere with me.
    I also refuse to have television. A tv, hidden away for watching the occasional movie is fine, but I'm not paying for someone to distract me with junk entertainment!

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    1. I almost never carry a cell phone with me unless I am meeting someone and the plans haven't been ironed out. When I leave the house I do not want to be reachable!

      No TV's here either; I watch movies on my computer. I do own a dozen sewing machines however. ;)

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  34. I'm so confused by it all. Sigh.

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  35. Oh, really you have to keep up.. I don't. I like being at university with the young people and tell them I don't do Facebook, I don't twitter, I don't pin or like or google read... I do what I want and if I miss out I'll probably never know anyway! Ring me if you want me but make it on the land line as I don't really like talking on the mobile and I rush that conversation. When I had to get a new phone one I looked at was reviewed as "the dumbest smart phone" and immediately thought "that's the one for me!". I just use it as a phone and text - I don't want a phone that's smarter than me!

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  36. Me too Peter! Social media and technology, such a tangled web. I use to enjoy Facebook, but it's starting to feel like another "task" on my daily to do list. I didn't even start with Twitter and Pinterest. I have a Linked In account and for the life of me, whenever I add someone, can't figure out what we're all linked to. It really all can be draining, but seductive at the same time - I spend over an hour each day reading sewing blogs and sites. I'm grateful fir them (especially yours) and would miss them terribly if they were suddenly gone. What's a baby boomer to do?
    Cynthia

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  37. Totally agree!!!

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  38. I "Petered" out on FB a while ago. Like how I did that? =)

    I don't Twitter (or tweet or whatever it is), Instagram, or do anything else except write a blog about sewing. Everything else is too much noise and I've got enough going on. I have a FB account, but I don't have any posts, pictures, or information. The last time I logged on, I got a "welcome back" message and the whole interface was different. Meh.

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  39. I'm the same--it's not that I can't learn, I can't be bothered. A lot of this stuff just seems like a huge time suck to me, and my free time is limited as it is.

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  40. I agree too - I am blogging only to give me the motivation to get on and do some sewing - but I am finding it is a time drain, and I actively put in strategies to limit the amount of time I spend with social media, and also define what my goals are - which is not to spend hours being sucked into the newest techno craze. I just like keeping in touch with other sewers, and restrict myself to that. I haven't yet bothered with facebook - you could spend hours a day posting and reposting here there and everywhere. I like to remember that the agenda that google/facebook/bloglovin etc has is to get us all wired up for their project needs, and not maybe ours.

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  41. I have no clue what a feeder reader is. I still have a land phone, a cell phone which doesn't do anything fancy, I don't blog or tweet. I only read a few blogs. I like Pinterest. I have a Facebook account because my family upload pictures that I like to look at.

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  42. I'm really pleased that people your age feel the way I do. I don't find it too hard on my finger to click on MPB (or one of the dozen other sewing blogs that I like) in my 'most visited' list to see what young Peter L is up to!

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  43. My blog is my only social media outlet (if we think that that's what a blog is). I have no FB, no Twit, no Linkedin, and never have: I work a little more than full time and just can't face spreading myself any thinner timewise. I follow other blogs on my blog roll, but not many of them; just fab ones, like this one. I have a smart phone, but it's pretty much wasted on me, though I do text friends a fair bit. I don't want to sound like a proud Luddite, and all of these social media outlets have their uses, but the mad rush to keep up with everything is exhausting, and actually it's easy to have a simpler life: just don't get involved with things you don't like and that don't help you out in some way. Banish the unnecessary evil!

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  44. Great discussion! Social media sites are fun, but I'm worried about the effect they may have on our brains. Twitter, for example: I used to not understand the point of twitter until I got a desk job and now I have it minimized on my desktop at work and I get so distracted, checking for new tweets every few minutes. There are some twitter feeds that are really amusing, but there's also so much garbage. Facebook is equally distracting and with smart phones you see people who check their phones every few seconds. These constant little interruptions can't be good for us. And then we have to obsess about how many followers we have and you see some bloggers relentlessly promoting themselves via instagram, twitter, & facebook. Stop the insanity!

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  45. I cannot get into social media, and I hate that it's a sign of my age. When I was a sort of coolness to not being into popular stuff but now it just means I'm too old to get it. I tried Twitter. It was fun for a while but I got bored with it. I tried Facebook. Nobody there ever talks it's just a bunch of people "sharing" silly captioned pictures.

    I like blogs. I have never used a "reader". I like my links page. I can go to whichever blogs I'm in the mood for and if they haven't updated, well, it only takes a minute to find that out and I can move on to the next one.

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    1. arrrrgghhhh.... That second sentence was supposed to say "When I was younger a sort of coolness to not being into popular stuff but now it just means I'm too old to get it."

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  46. I'm pretty much tech-impaired. I don't have a smart phone and I usually only text to my husband when I need him to pick up something from the store on the way home. I text in complete sentences, too. I don't use a feed reader, just my blogroll to keep track of new posts. And I don't tweet - mostly because I don't have a smart phone but also because I just don't see the point. My neighbor swears I would be hooked on it but I just don't have the time to check one more info source.

    As for FB, I use it to keep track of family stuff because we're spread out all over the country - like knowing that my brother's best friend was really ill and in the hospital, or seeing photos of my niece. And it's helped me get back in touch with relatives in Canada and Europe, so that's always good. I like blogs but I don't always have time to read them every day. I do appreciate those bloggers who post their blog updates to FB, since it will remind me to visit the blog later on if I don't have time right at that moment. And Pinterest? I like it because I can pin things that my kids like and then my mom knows what to get them for birthdays or Christmas gifts. This fall I pinned a hat from a website and it was a Christmas gift from her, so it works nicely that way.

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  47. I'm entirely with you - then again, we're from the same generation. I have you in my Favourites and I check in every day; it's a rare day when you don't have a new post. With bloggers I like who don't post as often, I have an email warning me if and when they do. Otherwise I just check in every now and then.

    I can't be doing with the false sense of urgency that social media creates, nor can I abide the logorrhea that is Facebook, Twitter, etc. I want to be in control of the information that gets to me.

    I have a Facebook account I never use. I don't Tweet. My mobile is a dinosaur of the tech age, there only for emergencies. And if that makes me an antiquated anti-social git, then so be it.

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  48. I stare at the computer screen all day at my job in between constant interruptions. I can't imagine why I would want to add tweets to that. I also don't want to look at the pc when I get home. I do, but it really needs to be limited or it is a big time suck.

    Somehow I doubt that when I get to the end of my life, I'll wish I'd read more twitter feeds or shared more LOLcat pictures.

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  49. I've been sewing bored for a while. Yes my blog helps me keep track on what I've done and others enjoy what I sew.
    Twitter seems more immediate and keeps me in touch with the sewers I enjoy online. I'm getting better at knowing what time it is all over the world.
    FB is for family and close friends across the globe.
    So my iPhone links me to it all.

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  50. [SIGH]. Reader is a godsend to the otherwise unknown personal blog. 'Cause you have far greater readership (of lurkers who never call, never write...) than you would think, and it's largely thanks to RSS.

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  51. Peeps on facebook recommended feedly so I switched and am getting used to it. Change is hard, I know, but it also keeps us young, doesn't it?

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  52. I've never used any of those feed readers...now I feel like I've missed out on something. I have FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram...and you guessed it Pinterest account. Sadly my Facebook does not see me that often...I used it mostly to wish people who live far away Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas...now Twitter...is like adiction...it should have come with a warning.
    OUH and I have a tumblr blog or two for my ESB - Extra Secret Behaviour...stuff I only share with myself and I and few million faceless names LOL

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  53. I read blogs from Google Reader, and I'm quite upset that it's gone. I read a lot of blogs, and don't really have the time to check them all for updates - plus I like that I can get news etc all in one place. I switched the Feedly, which I like ok, but I was so peeved at Google that I deleted my (mostly unused) Google + account and told them why. I'm a heavy Facebook user, but not for news/blogs. I find that for my generation, if you don't have a Facebook you simply don't get invited to things. And I rather enjoy it to be honest - I like to know what's going on. Don't get twitter or instagram though - one source is plenty for me!

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  54. I think people who want to find you, will find you. Case in point: me. I just type the URL and am here. I don't even have your blog in my blogroll! Still reading you. Maybe more often that some of the blogs I do have in my blogroll. So there.

    And I totally agree with you on that need for constant change so many people seem to feel. Soooo unnecessary. So time consuming, too.
    And I'm 25. I dread to think what it will be like when I'm older!

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