The Formspring Experiment

Standard

“Ask me anything…”

Ever since I started blogging social networking has become a sort experiment to me. Maybe it’s my inner nerd but I find it totally fascinating the type of individual behaviors and collective movements that occur on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. There’s also Formspring. I was never really interested in Formspring. The whole idea of a site where anyone can ask you literally anything, anonymously, seemed not only silly but a bad way to expose oneself. Eventually I got curious and decided to see what Formspring was all about.

In September I opened an account. The purpose was to leave the account open, promote it, then after about a month write about the type of questions I get before shutting it down. Well that’s all been done and I’ll say that the experiment did not go as I expected.

Interestingly enough the very first question asked was “Why are you so nice?” which I thought was so odd. Mainly because I don’t think of myself as nice. As a matter of fact, I don’t label myself as anything. I’m just me. What I noticed was that many people asked me my opinion on different topics. One person asked me about female fashion trends (a question totally out of my element) while another asked me if I bought into the independent woman movement. Another pattern of questions where those that made me reflect on myself. For example one question asked was “Whats the one thing about Buddhism that made you feel Buddhism was for you?” another was “Where’s home for you?” and yet another was “What is your biggest regret in life?”. These were really good questions because they really made me stop and think before I answered them.

What I really noticed was that people were extremely respectful. While perusing other people’s Formspring accounts I saw all kinds of disrespectful and outright rude questions. And those that weren’t rude were pathetically thirsty. Apparently Formspring is a great way to inquire about a person’s sexual practices or to flirt anonymously so I expected to get the same kind of treatment, or worse. Amazingly I didn’t receive any such questions and I appreciated that. It made me realize that others respect me enough not to approach me in that way, even if there is no name attached to the question.

All in all it was an interesting experiment. I contemplated keeping the account but most likely I wont. Even with all the cool questions I still find Formspring kind of pointless. Unless you’re a celebrity whose life is worth asking questions  about (like Sinnamon Love who has an awesome Formspring account by the way)   I find the whole concept kind of attention whoring. As I said earlier I’m just me. My life is totally not that special.  Furthermore the site goes against my penchant for open dialog. I’m an open book for the most part. If someone wants to know something they know how to ask me, without hiding behind Formspring.

 

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