I joined Google+ last week as an experiment. Not as a substitute for FB, which I avoid like the plague, but as a possibly sensible alternative. Should have known better. I’m on the verge of killing my account. It’s the usual crap of learning that someone has picked you to be a “friend” or a circle member, accepting, and finding that despite the particular circle they’ve added you to (NaNoWriMo), most of what comes through is yada yada about nothing at all. Add to that, getting that yada from people who’ve added you and you haven’t added them. So you delete them. Easy enough, but eventually, that’s going to turn into a royal pain. I prefer sites where people have to ask your permission to friend you, and if you refuse, you don’t ever hear from them again.
What it comes down to, is that I have a fairly limited range of interests that I spend my time on or want to hear about from other people. On large, unspecialized, come one, come all, social networking sites, you can waste a lot of time fending off people who want to be your friend for their own reasons, which really have nothing to do with you as an individual. Supposedly, participation on these sites are absolutely necessary if you’re going to get anywhere as a writer. To that, I say B! S!
Among the reasons for not participating: Any personal information you give out will be used in ways that you have no control over. Terms for usage change constantly, and you can find yourself sh-t out of luck if you’ve inadvertently violated one of those conditions and lose your account. Despite the opportunities to defriend, block, ignore, set up exclusive circles, etc., you have very little real control over who contacts. Last, they’re colossal timesucks for people who just have to keep up with every little detail of their ongoing lives, and the cost/benefit ratio is not worth it.