Google+ = Confused+

Are you in the Circle?

Apparently, I am. But I’m not in the loop.

Circles are the latest social media hub — the place where you want to be. It’s replacing followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook.

And yet, Google+, the company’s newest social-networking effort, looks a lot like the latter social networking site.

You organize people into Circles and you can choose what you share with them. There’s a news feed, called a Stream, and a feature called Sparks that encourages users to plug into news that interests them. And there are things called Hangouts, a 10-person video chat that’s way cooler than anything Facebook has to offer thus far.

The best part? You don’t have to request to be friends with anyone. Or approve (or ignore) friend requests. Always the awkward part about Facebook.

A look at Google+

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Except I have no idea how this whole thing is supposed to work.

There are so many terms I need to get used to: Huddle, Spark, Hangout, Circles. I was just getting used to tweeting and DM-ing. Now I need to master the Google+ lingo while managing the same friends I’ve already organized in Twitter (in lists) and Namesake (in conversations) on a site that looks like my Facebook.

I have a headache.

I’m wondering if all this social media stuff is really making me more social — or more socially deficient. I spent more time these days managing my sites — posting pics, responding to replies and comments, browsing status updates, endorsing followers, “like”-ing photos of double rainbows — that I don’t have time to really socialize with real people in real time in real life.

Is this really what social media should be about?