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This article was published on July 5, 2011

Google+: The new thing I’m totally afraid to use

Google+: The new thing I’m totally afraid to use
Mike Vardy
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Mike Vardy

Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Mike Vardy is a husband, father, independent writer, speaker, podcaster and "productivityist". He is also the author of the book, The Front Nine: How To Start The Year You Want Anytime You Want, published by Diversion Books. You can learn more about his other work at his website, MikeVardy.com, visit his blog at Productivityist.com, and you can follow him as @mikevardy on Twitter.

Google has delivered an all-new thing that is going to help people connect with other people on the Internet, and is even considered to be Google’s answer to Facebook. It’s called Google+, and it’s the latest new thing that has the web all a-buzz (pun completely intended). And I’m totally afraid to use it,

I was one of the early adopters of Google Wave, the late, lamented thing that Google created that was supposed to replace email. It didn’t. It just gave users one more thing to deal with other than email. It worked for me, because I was able to use it to communicate across the miles with colleagues on projects and the platform was suited for that. In fact, it was far better suited than email for that. But it didn’t catch on, because only a few of us “got it” — both in terms of having access for most if its tenure and wrapping our heads around it.

When Google dismantled Wave, it bugged me. I’d invested a considerable amount of time on it (although not nearly as much as others like Gina Trapani, who wrote a book on how to use it) and was not relishing in the idea that I’d have to realign how I was handling my communication effort across the miles. After all, humans are generally unreceptive to change, right?

So when Google announced Buzz, I was skeptical. I didn’t see what the benefit was, and filling my inbox with emails would be a drawback for someone trying to live as productively as possible. I was already spending time in Twitter, which did what I needed it to do and was doing it well: drawing people to my content. Facebook did that too, so Buzz really had no appeal for me. Still, I signed up and tried it out. And then I was done with it.

And now there’s Google+.

I’ve had the ability to be an active”plusser” for about a week now, and I haven’t done much with it. I’ve added people to my circles, given my streams an occasional glance, but I haven’t dove in like I did with Wave or plan out use cases like I did with Buzz. I’ve been tentative on all Google+ fronts because I’m afraid of what it will (and won’t lead to).

My time is precious to me, and I am afraid that Google+ could be the next Google Wave. Sure, Google has shown it’s learned from past failures in how it has rolled out Google+, but even with my thirst for knowledge and adeptness in the realm known as the web, I’m afraid it’s just another thing that won’t be used very much. That’s not to say it doesn’t warrant wide adoption, but I think that the type of users Google is hoping to reach with Google+ aren’t going to be quick to jump on board. They may not even want to get on board at all.

I can see a ton of potential with Google+, and have been really trying to motivate myself to “jump into the rabbit hole” and give it a thorough exploration. But I’m at a point where I’d rather spend that time creating compelling, quality content on the web rather than trying to ingest an indigestible amount of content on the web. And that’s what Google+ is to me right now: a new thing that will just get in my way rather than help me find my way.

Rather than dive in head first, I’m going to wade into the streams on this one, Google. That’s because I don’t know how deep the water is, and I’d rather be safe than sorry.

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