The Last of the Facebook and Twitter Holdouts

Pressure to Join Can Be Hard to Resist

She also worries that it could complicate her relationship with parishioners. Teenagers, for example, see her in a role of authority and guidance at church. A friendship through Facebook, MySpace or another site, she indicated, could obscure that.

And "it's hard to say no to people who you don't want to friend," she said.

Still, she added, the temptation can be hard to resist. Koch just gave birth four months ago and said that many of the play dates in the area are organized through Facebook. Sometimes, events with other couples are arranged in the same way.

"In those instances, there's the pressure of feeling left out," she said. "And we feel we should sign up so we [can] do those things."

But the urge isn't great enough to make them give in. Especially as she and her husband hear about couples that have split because one person re-kindled an old romance online, she said they recommit to their decision to stay unconnected.

Off the Grid and Proud of It

And Koch, like many others, acknowledged that this isn't the first time she's chosen to remain off the grid.

Scott Habig, 31, who works in finance in New York, said he was the last of his friends to buy a cell phone. Now that he's one of few friends without a Facebook account, he's been subject to the same kind of pressure.

But he said, "There's some pride in not having to deal with it."

And even though people may compare being without a cell phone to being without a social network, he said he couldn't imagine "how it's even in the same league of usefulness as a cell phone."

"In no way, shape or form do I think Facebook fits the same mold," he said.

Habig, however, also admitted that if he signed on, he'd likely use it and doesn't need another procrastination tool. Plus, by piggy-backing on his wife's account, he already can keep in touch with friends and share photos of his own.

Facebook: The Constant Cocktail Party

But the holdouts aren't the only ones wrestling with the constant connectedness of a Web 2.0 world. Though it may pain the social media elite to hear it, some of the most connected among them admit that they sometimes near the verge of exhaustion.

"I have this feeling that people are hitting that breaking point. There's too many choices, too many invitations," said Dan Tynan, a technology journalist for a number of publications, including Computerworld, who also keeps his own blog, Tynan on Tech.

Recently, he said he's started to feel a little burnt out himself. So, for April 1, he decided to have a little fun with his frustration.

The 'Anti-Social Network'

Tynan opened a Twitter account for "Garbotweets" and wrote a Computerworld blog post about a new "anti-social network."

Named for the reclusive 1930s film star, he wrote that Garbo "allows users to quietly de-friend everyone in their Linked-In, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Digg, and other social networks without anyone noticing."

Future plans for the service include a national Do Not Tweet registry, which prevents people from writing anything about you on Twitter, and EnemyFeed, which serves the same purpose for other kinds of online media.

"When I go on Facebook I feel like I'm at a cocktail party with everyone I've ever met in my life," Tynan said. "But you can't stay at a cocktail party doing that forever."

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