If I’m honest, I have to admit that I’m a bit of a tech junkie. The advent of social media has only fed the fire of my passion for things geeky, and I’ve been an avid user of Twitter for quite a while, managing my multiple personalities and dabbling in various other networks as well.
Though I’ve had brief flirtations with Pinterest and Facebook, I kept coming back to Twitter as my favorite. I loved the feeling that it was an ongoing conversation, like walking into a big lunchroom. There wasn’t the commitment I felt on Facebook, and it has always seemed easier to ignore it if needed, to put it down and come back when I could.
And then I discovered Google +, for the second time.
I had tried it out the first time around, when it first came out. I +1’d things and tried to figure out what it all meant. But something about it wasn’t interesting enough–there didn’t seem to be engagement, and everything else seemed to be more worth my limited time.
I blame/credit Ashley Collins who invited me to be part of the fun one night when I was messing around, trying to figure out if it was worth keeping up with. He invited me to be part of one of a circles he had, dubbed the “Shenanigans,” which is 100% Catholic and 200% hilarious.
It’s been a few months, and I’ve been delighted to dabble in a number of other groups on Google +: Lisa Hendey started a Moms on G + community, and I’m also enjoying the Catholic New Media & Tech community and St. Francis de Sales Community for Writers.
Naturally, I’m a member of more communities than I can really keep up with: Roman Catholics, League of Super Geeks, Fasting Fridays, Book Club (Catholic Edition), and Theology of the Body, to name a few. And there are many more out there!
Here are the three reasons I find myself coming back to Google + and posting there more frequently:
1. It makes sense to me.
There’s a sort of seamless addition of comments to my inbox, and they all go to the same thread (so I don’t have 100 new emails if and when a conversation gets rolling). There’s also a sense of fun in the interactions so far–I haven’t gotten the snark or nastiness that has me often tiptoeing around on certain other networks.
I also like how the circles work…they’re fairly easy to manage and share. And given the high “geek factor” of the folks I’ve come in contact with on G+, when I have a question, they can answer it.
2. Come and go, it’s okay.
In this way, it’s very Twitter-esque. I can post from my phone (or I will be able to, once I figure out a bug from having had another account and combining the two) or I can wait and interact when I’m back at my computer or iPad.
There’s also the option to have a Hangout–while I’m admittedly new at this, I like being able to see people and have meetings this way.
3. I like the people I’m interacting with on Google +.
They make me laugh. They point me to important links (how else would I have learned about Google Reader’s ending?). They are Catholic geeks to the max (I learned about the white smoke from Google + before I heard the screams start on the Vatican’s live feed).
It’s possible to really hone in on certain circles or to step back and view everything.
And (I hesitate to say this, but it rings true with my experience)…there seems to be less “stupidity” on G +. Maybe it’s that it’s not as popular yet. I’m not sure. And I am sure that there is stupidity. The culture of the network, though, is less self-promotional and more conversational. Though I do share my own writing and projects there, it’s more in the nature of speaking with friends and knowing they’ll call me out if I go into Marketing Mode.
I think that’s the key to any of the social networks: finding a group of like-minded people who share your core values. I’ve found great people on other networks, don’t get me wrong. The difference on Google +, I think, is the way we are able to connect. It’s more than 140 characters and it’s also missing some of the hurdles I’ve experienced with the conversations on Facebook.
Do you use Google +?
Why (or why not)? What do you love (or hate)?
Copyright 2013 Sarah Reinhard