In Defense of Google+

Mr. Jingles
This is Mr. Jingles. He is the G+ mascot…seriously. Here, he is happy that I viewed all of my notifications and even more happy that today is G+’s 2nd Birthday!

Facebook sucks. Twitter is too restrictive. LinkedIn is a bunch of bovine feces. It would seem that the only reason we use so many social networks is because each of them cannot be all things to all people. That being said, the only network that, for me, has the most going for it is Google+. If you have a Google account (Gmail, Youtube, Drive, etc.) I would suggest that you try it out. The interface is fresh, clean, and novel. Coming from the previously mentioned social sites, you have to take a minute to reorient your brain from a vertical perusing style to a more fluid approach. Also, this interface highlights activity from your actual meatspace friends.

I am a fan of Google+ for this exact reason; only the people I want to pay attention to are on there. Google+, be it by design or coincidence, filters out all of the crap that I usually have to sift through daily on the other social networks. But really, the best part of this relative newcomer are the Circles. Circles are unlike lists or groups because when you specify who goes where, it handles the privacy stuff for you. For example, all of my friends are, obviously, in my Friends Circle. Colleagues are in the Coworkers Circle, Family in the Family Circle, and so on. But then there is that one blog author who I really enjoy reading. Where does that person go? I’m not really their friend, but I want to stay abreast of  their current work or other updates. Usually, this is where you would resort to using Twitter, but not in Google+. There is a separate Following Circle in which you can add authors, musicians, celebrities, athletes, teams, and even companies. It is a sublime solution to a common and frustrating problem with social network sites.

However, placing your peeps in Circles is only half of the Google+ privacy and crap-sifting equation. The other half is when you post something. In the post window, it defaults to posting to all of your Circles; which usually means that photo of you chugging a Natty Light while riding a mechanical bull will now show up in your boss’s feed. But you can specify which Circles can view that post. You can post that to only your Friends or just one person. Also, for those of you who really want the attention, you can post it to the Public Circle…just be prepared for trolls to compliment you on your drinking-while-flailing-on-an-epileptic-mechanical-cow-groom skills.

On Google+’s second birthday, I urge you to give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to Facebook (who gives away your data without knowing it), Twitter (where your account will probably be hacked), and LinkedIn (right after you get your very own Bluetooth headset). As for me, I will still keep my three other accounts active. But if I don’t respond to you, that is because I am on Google+.

…though maybe, it is possible that I have drank the Google Kool-Aid. Please help.

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