After some deliberation, I've decided to open a Google+ account. Not, I may say, for 'social networking'. I simply wanted to set up another type of connection with people on the Internet, having already firmly rejected Facebook and Twitter. It will function as a link to my blog and my photo stream. It won't be a substitute for proper contact with people through emails and physical meetups.
The style and presentation of Google+ seems on first acquaintance a bit more to my taste than that of its more popular competitors - more orientated towards 'serious' special-interest and business groups, less open to misuse or the accidental leakage of information, and certainly easier to set up and control. Some say however that Google+ has a dark side, and is none other than The Matrix in real life, so that it will by stealth take us all over. I see what they mean; but I don't expect to build my life around it and render myself vulnerable to manipulation, nor in any way become dependent on it. I'm hoping that Google+ will, through its links, simply reinforce my existing Internet presence on Blogger and Flickr.
I will give it a fair trial. If it proves redundant or a nuisance, it will be closed down, or at least reduced to an empty shell. I read somewhere that if you get rid of Google+ completely, there is the danger of losing your Gmail account along with it, and I don't want to do that!
Guess what. Yes, I've deleted my Google+ profile already! Nothing had happened, nobody will be affected. And I don't think, reading the notes on consequences, that deleting Google+ will impact on my Gmail account (but fingers crossed).
This is now a familiar pattern of behaviour with me. I open a social networking account, then very quickly change my mind. I've done it with Facebook (twice), LinkedIn, Twitter, Ask.fm, and now Google+. Interactive social networking is, for me, unappealing and I don't know why I occasionally experiment with it. I need to tell myself firmly that setting up a networking account merely gives the host website valuable personal information, adds complication to my online life, and creates a potential portal for criminal exploitation. I should stick exclusively to the much more controllable environment of blogging.