I have already admitted my “problem” (aka obsession) with social media, especially via the Internet, and how I how decided to embrace the social aspect of the current trend in interaction. In the last 24 hours, I have taken two (one small, one big) steps to make myself even *more* social than I already am.
Yesterday, I finally caved to the combined strength of the many tech blogs I read and signed up for Plurk, the supposed “Twitter killer”/slightly different take on Twitter. It’s quite obvious that the site is still in the “we need more users!” phase, as you accumulate “karma” by posting more and especially by inviting your friends to join the site, and open up more page design options as your karma increases. So far, the jury is still out, but my immediate impression is, why do I need this when I have Twitter? Then again, I saw no use for Twitter eight months ago and now keep it open at all times in the coveted fourth tab of my browser (following two mail accounts and Facebook, in case you were wondering). As per usual, I am the first of my good friends to join the site, which dramatically decreases its use to me as a beneficial service. And, most likely, as with Twitter, it will become more useful as more friends join (if that happens — which, as Twitter has shown me, will most likely not happen, since I have less than 10 actual “friends” who use Twitter).
The much bigger step for me was finally purchasing a phone with all the fun internet goodies. As of this morning, I was officially able to upgrade to a new phone without paying retail prices. Being a very happy Verizon customer, I chose to stay with the company rather than switch to AT&T so I can get my hands on the new 3G iPhone. Instead, I chose to go with the current cream of the crop, the not-so-much “iPhone killer,” the LG Voyager. Now, I am well aware that this phone can still not compete with the iPhone and I will not try to convince myself otherwise, but the phone is a huge improvement over my two-year-old, toilet-soaked (gross, I know) Razr. The Voyager has a touch screen on front with a large clam shell screen (not touch) when you open it up. It also has a full QWERTY keyboard and navigates pretty easily. I tested it out last week in a Verizon store and found it rather intuitive, although many complain about Verizon’s wacky UI. After the discounts/rebates, I managed to snag the phone for just $100 — which is, surprisingly, the same price as the inferior Glyde — so I was very happy. My phone plan obviously had to be upgraded to support the mobile email/VZ Navigator/VCast, etc., but it’s not too big of an increase ($20).
Of course, the implications of me owning this type of phone are a little scary. If I’m the type of girl who loves being connected at all times, and is suddenly given the opportunity to do so, will my communication patterns change even further? Will I be a texting whore like some of my friends? Will I be checking my email at 3am, since I will now be able to do so without getting out of bed (yes, I sleep with my phone, and no, I see nothing wrong with that)? It will be interesting to see how much I get sucked into the phone, but I really think it will be more of a benefit than a detriment, especially with school beginning in the fall, and me being chained to desks and subject to the whims of my professors.
I have been wondering the same thing about Plurk: why bother? Of course, with Twitter now down all the time, I am curious to see if a mass exodus ensues.