Sometimes, when I'm sat on my own in a darkened room, I like to imagine social networking sites as actual buildings. Allow me to explain.
Friends Reunited is like a Wild West ghost town, all banging doors and tumbleweeds, with no-one around. MySpace is similar, but it's like an old nightclub. Walls which once echoed with the sound of music and laughter now suffer from rising damp and peeling paint, and the floor is strewn with tattered and torn leaflets advertising the latest new band. Again, silence, save for one lonely person raving in the corner under a broken disco light.
Facebook and Twitter, however, are different stories. I envisage Facebook as some kind of large futuristic building, where people stand and swap photos, all under the watchful eye of Mark Zuckerberg, whose face is emblazoned on every wall on large, Nazi-like banners. In fact, I think there's probably one wall which is just a huge screen with his face on it, and he watches everyone with a smug smirk on his face. Every now and then one of your particularly annoying 'friends' will run up to you and throw a piece of paper in your face about the latest FarmVille thing, or whatever, which you angrily throw on the floor.
Twitter is not a building, more a large desert plain where a huge crowd of people stand, as far as the eye can see. No-one moves; they merely stand and yell 140 characters of information into the air, which combines into one eternal deafening sound.
And then there's Google+, or Google Plus, however you want to write it. I have very few Google+ friends, which means that - for me, at least - in comparison to Twitter and Facebook, it is a silent haven of peace, a brand spanking warehouse, painted a blinding white inside, where I stand and every now and then shout something, even if it is just 'Hello?'. But I hear nothing back, save the echo of my own voice.
And we're just scratching the surface. There's Bebo, of course, and a few other social networking sites knocking about. And now there's the new kid on the block: Pinterest.
Pinterest has something to do with pins, photos and sharing. That's all I know about it. Why? Because, after years of social networking, I'm tired. I just can't share any more. I have SNF (Social Network Fatigue). I know that if I sign up to Pinterest I'll just waste more of my time shoving photos in my friends' faces whilst yelling 'LOOK AT THIS AWESOME PIC LOL'.
I suggest that the United Nations passes some international regulation which prevents the creation of any more social networking sites, and that those which already exist are merged into one super-social network, called something like TwitFaceSpace or BePinOogle. Because I'm tired, I'm fed up with sharing, and I've forgotten what the warmth of the sun on my skin feels like. It's time to stop this incessant sharing and start going outside.
Follow Ben Wakeling on Twitter: www.twitter.com/benwakeling