Vanessa S

Student, London School of Economics and Political Science

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Are social networks consuming your life?

Do you feel overwhelmed by the explosion of social networks? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr...

I find that as I get more engaged with social networks, then more and more of my time is taken up by reading and responding to messages. This is time that I could be spending out with friends or family, or focusing on work/study.

What if there was a service which aggregates, prioritises and filters all your social networking information, so that you see only what you want to see?

What if this service goes a step further and actually responds and networks for you? At least for messages and connections which you designate as lower-priority. Does this take away the purpose of social networking?

The idea is to let you regain control over your life by managing your online persona. Interested to hear your thoughts.

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      Apr 5 2011: Hi Isabell, thanks for responding!

      The operant conditioning argument is very interesting. But I'm not sure that I agree the solution is to just block access - I think it implies an unwillingness to engage if you do that (I did it for a time when I was living overseas with access only to slow internet) and if people interpret it that way, you would lose the value from social networking.

      But you're right when you say that you might be losing control rather than regaining it. Not sure if it makes a difference but there's some interesting applications of artificial intelligence such as:

      I envisage that it would be a software application (training an AI-enabled avatar, perhaps?) rather than a human agent/service managing your online persona for you. Of course, the technology isn't there at the moment but I think it will definitely be possible in the future.
    • Apr 6 2011: Do we really have control? Or are we given the illusion of control?