The End Of Social Networking

20 Dec 2007

Urgh. Now it’s official I HATE SOCIAL NETWORKS. I’ve been relatively patient with the various networks that found their way to my PC screen. Time and again I have entered my data, favorite movies, favorite dish, restaurants, people I like and dislike. I’ve been part of social networks as soon as they started to appear and as it comes to ‘networking’ which is the entire point of social networking, I’ve done my share of participation. But recently, I have become very very disgruntled by this initiative called Spock. I never signed up for Spock and have ignored the dozens of emails of people who begged for my trust on this network. I saw no added value other than the fact that it bothered me already with dozens of requests before I even knew about it. What is the use of requesting trust and practically begging for it by sending out a blast of emails. Trust is something you need to earn, and people have to give it to you. Asking for it is like starting with a cherry and putting cake around it. Trust is the cherry, it needs to be on top.

Then very recently, somebody said: hey did you know the tags on Spock for your name are [list of all tags here, going up to 30 tags], and that just pisses me off. If I choose not to be on a network, by which law has this network the right to add me and to add tags to my name? Seriously, this is becoming a dangerous precedent. I’d like to compare it with the telemarketing lists of companies that call you to ask for your valued opinion or to offer you an extremely exceptional product. This is wrong. Very wrong.

It appears to me, Spock scraped my linked-in profile and added every word of my work history as a tag. Not only do I think linked-in needs to file a complaint about this, because Spock is leeching on their network, I also think that Spock is violating my privacy by taking data from a site I enrolled to, who specifically promised to take care of my data very well. Spock breaks this promise by nicking my data.

To me, this ties the knot for social networking. Screw it. I’ve had enough. I’m going to make everything private and send emails to every service I did not sign up for that holds my data, to kindly ask them to remove it. Other than that, I think the time calls to have an organization of some sort where you can enlist, a little bit like we have the Robinson list for emails and marketing actions. If you’re on that list, nobody is entitled to add you to their service unless they have specific approval.

Which then brings me to another thing I’m kind of bothered about. I use social networks to add people I know, with experience in a certain field, so I can contact them when I need to. Facebook is ruining this for me. Last time I logged in, I had vampire invitations, zombie invitations, snowball fight requests, pillow fight requests and so on. As much as that seems funny, it’s totally useless and a waste of time. Other than the fact that most of the applications then ask you to invite all your friends to join, which I definitely don’t want to seeing the professional nature of some relationships, I still have my serious doubts about the sense it all has to make. Is social networking really all about recruiting a zombie army? About converting people to vampires? To me it isn’t. And I’m tired of it. I will kick out any entertaining application on Facebook and strip it down to a minimum, because the day this thing turns loco, I don’t want to bomb people I respect with a load of crap.

Today, when you look around, social networking is all about entertainment. The level of seriousness and of trust has dropped to the likes of an average show in NBC or Fox. Now people make lists of best friends, and when they did that, they invite you to compete to become bestest friend. And if you’re on the bestest friends list, you can go through a selection process and become part of an entourage… Jeez. I have better things to do. If you want to connect with me, you know where to find me. If you want to add me, sure give me a reason and I will add you. If you want to send me a private message with a question, go ahead and I’ll answer. But please leave me alone with all the other sideshows and gadgets. Really.


Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Uncategorized


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  1. gigi

    December 20, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    this is very ture. im sick of social networking as well. just want to be left alone and focus on things that’s more constructive

  2. e-Mino

    December 20, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    The lack of privacy is taking disturbing proportions indeed (see my post on this here ), especially with Spock which even lists highly personal information, like one’s sexual preferences !

    You might also enjoy reading The Cult of the Amateur (reviewed here which deals with this and other related phenomena.

  3. Facebook

    December 20, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    [...]now I am just sick of it, and I was happy to read I am not the only one.[...]

  4. Social Media Takes Year End Beating

    December 20, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    [...]from CoolzOr who announces he now officially hates social networks.[...]

  5. J-dude

    December 21, 2007 at 12:15 am

    I’m with you man! And add plaxopulse to the ban-list too!

  6. Manish

    December 21, 2007 at 5:55 am

    You are so right Coolz0r . so I am not the only one who is mightily pissed off by social networks/ intrusive media…i had similar thots –
    and here –

  7. .carsten

    December 21, 2007 at 10:14 am

    It’s always the same way things go on: first there are the enthusiasts end aeverything is new and an adventure. Then there comes something like a vision of the golden future and then everything gets normal and the first people appear that use the system in other ways then intended. In Germany the social networking platform for students called “studivz” wants to sell the data of all the participants in the network. It’s allways a rise and a fall of projects.

  8. newbie2adWorld

    December 22, 2007 at 4:52 am

    I agree with the majority of your statements regarding privacy, we are losing it. Privacy is hard to find these days which is wrong. However, with Facebook, that started as a way for college students to connect and was never taken seriously like Linkin. One must take into consideration the goal of the social site -is it for fun or business? I don’t think one can have both. In the end we should be able to control our online personas and opt in if we want our info out there.

  9. Tom De Bruyne

    December 22, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Mielz0r, friend!
    Great rant.
    To look at it from a slightly different angle: I think Facebook is the most interesting tool in the world to differentiate the sociopaths from the genuine people in my network. And god there are quite some sociopaths around.

    As a result of your app I started a facebook group called “graveyard of the utterly boring Facebook apps”

    Looking forward to seeing you all on it ;-)

  10. Pinny Cohen

    December 25, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    It seems like we need to move away from “being on every network” and over to using the network we want, with the same info appearing across the board of social networks.

  11. Small Business Marketing

    December 30, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Do you get permission to add your ‘friends’ to your ‘personal’ networks on Facebook? Isn’t this a contradiction in terms?

  12. Le cancer des réseaux sociaux — SHOOB

    December 31, 2007 at 11:13 am

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  13. norman

    January 3, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    I think lots of things are useless. To call a social network useless because of features you dont have to use is strange. You have social networks only to remember people with special abilitites that you may need in the future? Hm, my social networks are made of friends, humans, rockers, jockers, businessman, women….

  14. Computer aus. Augen auf. | Werbeblogger - Weblog über Marketing, Werbung und PR » Blog Archiv » Computer aus. Augen auf.

    January 3, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    [...] aber noch lange keinen praktischen Nutzen für den Verbraucher. Eher irritiert wenden sich durchaus Anwender wieder ab, denn der irrelevante soziale Informationsmüll, den die Seitenbetreiber funktionell auch noch [...]

  15. Coolz0r

    January 4, 2008 at 12:50 am

    @ Small Business Marketing:

    “Do you get permission to add your ‘friends’ to your ‘personal’ networks on Facebook? Isn’t this a contradiction in terms?”

    Yes. You send an invite to connect which they can decline or accept. BUT ! That does not give you the right to send a load of crap their way. One ‘yes’ to connect does not equal a ‘yes’ from their part for every entertaining bit you want to be part of and share (like zombie army, quizzes, vampire bites and what not). At least to me it doesn’t.

  16. Serge

    January 5, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Finally: the end of social networks as we know them is drawing near. Couldn’t agree more with you, Miel, or with Tom DB and his graveyard initiative for that matter. “A medium that becomes a mass medium turns to shit at some point” – I wonder if there’s a new law in there somewhere? :-) Fortunately, even “shitty” media, like tv, produce gems too from time to time. So there might be hope still. :-) As long as we can get rid of all the crap and clutter apps…

  17. Tom Raftery

    January 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Broadly agree with you on this Miel and this reads very much like the kind of rant post I have often written ;-)

    Having said that, never say never! You just don’t know what is coming around the next corner which may change your mind.

  18. The Big Picture » Blog Archive » Het internet als sociale verplichting

    January 15, 2008 at 10:33 am

    [...] Ook internaut Miel Van Opstal, beter bekend als Coolz0r, had vorige maand al een serieuze oprisping van socialnetworking [...]

  19. Social Media Takes Year End Beating « Setyocentre’s Weblog

    January 22, 2008 at 3:58 am

    [...] interesting pieces about the back lash of social networking. The first story comes from CoolzOr who announces he now officially hates social networks. What caused him to arrive at this state of mind. A growing [...]

  20. SocialCrack

    January 27, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more about some of your complaints. I actually just posted a blog entry about the end of social at But I don’t think the rest of cyberspace is intelligent enough to realize what a waste of time most of their online activities are. Here’s to the eventual awakening of cyberspace :)

  21. Social Crack Blogs

    January 27, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    The End of Social??…

    So I found this article on the Telegraph’s website titled, “The Shine Comes Off Social Networking.” Read it here. It’s an interesting read that suggests that social fatigue is beginning to set in on some of the more popular so…