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I do find this slightly amusing:
It found that the sites were more popular with older teenage girls who tend to use them to keep in touch with their existing friends.

By contrast, boys were much more likely to use the sites to find new friends.
I think we all know what they really mean by that.. "Find new friends" indeed..

To be honest, I still don't entirely get the whole social networking thing. You'd think that as an early adopter of LJ I might, since this was easily one of the early sites within that genre.. I think it's something about my age - when I were a lad, friends might communicate over ICQ or something, but nobody used websites to coordinate their social efforts, just as they didn't use mobile phones. Back in those days, if you might need a mobile, then you'd borrow your mum's or something.. And oddly, it wouldn't matter to her that she wouldn't have her mobile for an entire weekend - these days how many of us can say we could spend a weekend without our mobile phones?

It's funny, because there was definitely a time when I was more into the social networking aspects of the Internet.. but it still wasn't about maintaining any sort of relationship with existing friends - rather it was a means of self-promotion and attention seeking.. Having jumped on the online-test craze back when the bandwagon had all its wheels, I used to drive ridiculous amounts of traffic to my journal.. I think it was somewhere in the region of several hundred new hits per day for a while there, I certainly got more than a million hits on my website over the course of 2002.. These days, I don't think stuff like that is as easy to pull off - such tests have become casualties of user generated content, and are centralised on websites that provide interfaces for people to build their own. Not just that, but the Internet doesn't respond in the same way anyway - unless you've got a truly unique proposition (which these days is pretty hard) people just won't care enough.

But in terms of keeping up with friends, I don't tend to use the Internet.. to be honest, I don't use much - with the exception of my brother and TMA, I don't tend to keep up with anybody in any sort of regular way.. I might talk to Chris and Dan infrequently, and I keep meaning to pop back and see people just as soon as they're all in the same place at one time, but for the most part there's not that much contact.. We all live in different places, with different lives, and it's enough to know that we can get hold of each other if we want to, I guess. One of the main reasons that I keep a journal, and more to the point have kept exactly the same one for so long is that it makes it a lot easier for people to find me. There are a good few people who I've lost touch with over time, who know exactly where to find me if they fancy getting back in touch.

I think generally it's that I don't really care what other people get up to.. that's why I don't get social networking - it suggests that at some point I might give a damn. I roughly know what people are doing - Claire's doing her PhD, Jimbo is playing frisbee, David is a geek, TMA sells nucular secrets to the Russians, but at no point do I feel the need to see pictures of them doing these things, or find out much detail.. We all have our own things going on, and so long as everybody is pretty much okay, then all is fine..

Perhaps I'm just dreadfully anti-social, I don't know.. I don't necessarily think it's such a bad thing, so long as I can be sociable when I need to be (which I can)..