Social media is an oft over-congested realm with a variety of platforms and endless streams of nonsense. And yet, the arguably most relevant web company in the world can’t seem to make their signature networking experience pop. Google is a gargantuan that has cornered the market on email, collaborative digital storage, and video streaming. How many circles are you in?
When I am directed to my Google+ home page it feels as though an accident has occurred. “I didn’t mean to find myself here. I am lonely.” If Facebook is Grand Central Station, Google+ is a bus stop in Whitefish, Montana.
Looking through my stream is like being in a small room in which two other people are talking out loud to themselves. The only things coming through my feed are recommended posts, advertisements, and the adventures of a former classmate named Jordan who is currently journeying through Central and South America on his bike. (Take that, MasterCard promo boasting a stock photo of India.)
Furthermore, when I slip away to the forsaken social media site, I am always prompted to finish filling out my profile. For whom, Google? For whom? You already know where I live, Jordan doesn’t care, and I’m sure as hell not telling MasterCard. The fact that I haven’t submitted information on when and where I went to school isn’t what’s keeping this social media experience from being a meaningful one.
Google+ lacks the indy vibe of Reddit, the sharpness of Twitter, and the user base of Facebook. It lacks a “thing” altogether.
This ghost town does come with a silver lining however: my grandma, high school teachers, and church acquaintances from my youth are not present. That should read as practical, not cynical. On Google+ I can say or post whatever I want because I have no reputation to maintain. There are no political debates. No quizzes. No dog photos. No one is disappointed in me because no one is listening. After all, that’s the point of social media, right? To hear your own thoughts bouncing off of unused servers?
Please, stay on Facebook. Tweet to your heart’s content. Leave me be on Google+. I’m enjoying the echo.