Why I refuse to join MySpace

September 20, 2007, 3:46 PM UTC
Fortune


thinker.jpg
I’m interested in the amount of hostility that my offhand comment about not wanting to belong to MySpace seems to have generated.

What’s fascinating to me is that some of you are more incensed by the fact that I don’t want to be on a social networking site than you are about the notion that your personal information on such sites is being used to target you for marketing purposes. A bunch of you even called me a loser for not wanting to be a social networkee.

I can imagine myself in, like, the middle ages. Not MY middle ages, mind you, but THE middle ages. And here comes a representative of King Richard who is asking all males to get on their horses, put on their armor, and go to the Jerusalem to rid the Holy Land of the infidel. It’s the Crusades! Everybody’s going! Why not you, Bing?

I don’t go to see movies everybody tells me to. I don’t know why, I just don’t. I don’t watch television programs that I simply HAVE to see. I don’t drink chai latte when I’m in LA, although I did try it just once because I was all coffeed out. It made me gag. But that’s not why I don’t drink it. I just don’t like going with the flow, particularly when the thing in question isn’t likely to improve my life one little bit, but will, in fact, just clutter it up more than it already is with social obligations, electronic stimulation and marketing in my face.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m no Luddite. I can take a computer apart and put it back together. My shelves are stuffed with software from the entire age of computing, starting with ancient artifacts like Persuasion and Harvard Graphics and ending with the coolest new toys like Final Cut Studio and Photoshop CS3. I spend more time feeding this blog than I do feeding myself. I have about six IPods of varying generations lying around and one of those new mommas on the way. I work on both PCs and Macs and am completely platform agnostic. I just don’t want to belong to a friggin’ social network, okay? Not even if, as one reader suggested, it would help market my books.

Phooey. Is that why social networks were created? To market more people more effectively? I don’t think so. In fact, I think the things exploded into life when young people called out for a digital space where their every thought, movement and taste would not be exploited by the big boomer sales machine, where they could talk to each other in a virtually mercantile-free zone. Now here come all the boomers to ruin it all. Well not me, guys. Call me square. Call my funky. But I’m out.

I’ll see you at my analog social networking venue. It’s right across the street from my office and features special pricing between 5:00 and 7:30.