I was recently interviewed by Ms. DorleeM on her blog! If you did not see DorleeM’s article about the work that I do, please check it out here!
I have been wanting to write a positive review of Google Plus, as the service does many wonderful things such as hangouts, content sharing, and grouping of people (i.e. circles).
I stated on my Facebook and Twitter a while ago that I had to delete Google Plus, but I never explained why.
DorleeM had asked the following question that was not posted on her article and that I thought would be very useful on the Social Work Tech Blog.
Not long ago, you were one of the early adopters of google plus. However, recently, you decided to pull the plug. Could you share with us what happened?
Google Plus did something I very much disapprove of: it did not allow me to have ultimate control of who can or cannot follow me. On Twitter I can block my tweets from going out to the whole world, on Facebook I can control privacy settings, and on both I can block people from following me.
What I very much dislike about Google+ was the inability to have say on whether or not a person could “circle” me. I could choose to block the person, but anything I send out to the whole world was still seen by the person who follows me and I do not disappear from their “circles”.
This is problematic for several reasons:
- On a personal level, everyone can relate to relationships of the past that need severing.
- From a professional point of view, Google sells itself as an identity marketing tool (i.e. LinkedIn lite), but I felt uncomfortable with strangers I did not know just hooking into me.
- On the clinical front, I do not allow clients to friend me on Twitter or Facebook and by not being able to shake an individual completely off from following me is unacceptable to me and may indicate to a client with poor boundaries that we have a relationship outside of the clinical relationship.
Besides lack of controlling who can Circle you, you are required to use your real name.
One’s Google ID is tied to their use of Google services. The name I use on Gmail is the same used on Google+. It is very inconvenient for me to obtain a second Google Account just to use their social media platform.
Even if I was the average Jose, using my full name instead of a pseudonym or username is an issue for me on social media. Whether or not I am a helping professional, I do not want people to find me easily anywhere on the web (although, I am easily Googleable if you know what you are Googling).
When I saw this article on Mashable (with the headline “Eric Schmidt: If You Don’t Want To Use Your Real Name, Don’t Use Google+”, I was skeptical that the headline exaggerated the CEOs words until I saw the following summary of his words in the article (emphasis added by me):
“He replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information,” Carvin wrote in a Google+. “Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he said G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+.”
I do not want to use an identity service that does not give me the option to use a pseudonym or control who circles me. I appreciate your honesty, Mr. Schmidt.
It wasn’t all bad on the site, I mean… check this out!