OK, I admit, I'm one of the people that Beth talked about in her post...you know, the ones who aren't sure how social networking is really going to have a place in my life, especially since I have friends IRL. But, the more I dink around with some of the parts, the more I can see how relevant they really are to my life.
I have a friend who lives in Connecticut. We don't talk on the phone very much, but do share pictures of what our families are up to via Kodak EasyShare (could do the same with Flickr, now that I have an account set up). She also sends YouTube videos every so often, which is way cool. It's a quick and easy way to stay in touch, and works for us. E-mail is another way that I communicate with some of my other friends, even though I do see them during the week-I keep really different hours from them, but e-mail is a way to touch base with them. Again, it works for what we need. Other than those, I really can't say that I use many of the other tools...but, the more I learn about them, the more I am embracing some of them. I don't know too many people who use Twitter (I'm still trying to figure out an efficient way to find people on it, myself).
I've known about many of these various social applications for a few years, and one of my hugest regrets is not figuring out how to use them sooner, before my parents both died. Some of these, like Flickr and YouTube, would have been excellent ways for my parents to get to 'know' their granddaughter better. They were in Oregon, and we are here, so obviously it wasn't like I could take the kid for a visit just whenever. I sent pictures whenever I could, but it's not the same. Ironically enough, when I figured out the Yahoo! Games thing, and how a private room could be set up, my mom and the kid would play Go Fish together online...and be able to chat while they played. It was surreal for me to watch, because I remember that when I would go to my own grandparents' houses during the summer, we would play Go Fish and other games while sitting at the same table, in the same room.
I admit to having mixed feelings about social networking. On the one hand, it is a really good way to bridge physical distances. On the other, it's one more thing I feel like I have to 'keep up with'. But, like I've said, I'm at least willing to give them a whirl.