I was reading Joe Recomendes' site on social networking today, and he has a post discussing all these people that are giving up their Facebook sites because it is having an effect on their other relationships. I can definitely relate to the amount of time I don't mean to spend on these sites, but I definitely don't let it get out of hand. Plus, I found it addictive in the beginning and then later was glad Facebook told me when something happened so I could just go when I received an e-mail.
But on to the point! This post also reminded me of a statistic I read a long time ago about how a large majority of blogs that have been created are no longer active. And I think we can all agree that maintaining one can be a very daunting task. In fact, some people have made it their career, such as the woman I mentioned before at www.dooce.com. If it can be a career, you know it must be time consuming.
More recently, a friend of mine who was one of the original bloggers recently shut his site down and just started blogging on MySpace. It was easier and consolidated the sites he needed to maintain. I was disappointed, but understood the decision.
Many of my friends poke fun at me for being on Facebook and MySpace, because they have the old reputation of being a site where you send goofy messages to people you were in school with. I send my share fair of goofy messages, but I have also found it a very useful place to get in touch with people I once knew who are now great resources to me - many of whom are in influential positions for networking.
I would suggest that everyone give social networking sites a shot. It's just like television, or a good hobby - it only takes up as much time as you allow. Specifically Facebook, which I find more people abroad use, and which can also be set up to alert you when interesting things occur, so you're not always dying of curiosity!