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Caught up in the Net

Eily Toyama gave in after friends pestered her to join Facebook. But she used her cat’s name instead of her own so she could avoid networking requests from people she didn’t really want to connect with.

Eily Toyama gave in after friends pestered her to join Facebook. But she used her cat’s name instead of her own so she could avoid networking requests from people she didn’t really want to connect with. And don’t even ask her about Twitter unless you want to get an eye roll.

“I just don’t think people need to know that much about my life,” says the 32-year-old from Chicago.

Call it online sociability fatigue. And it’s not just being felt by older folks who have lived most of their lives without the web. As social networking grows, from stream-of-consciousness Twitter to buttoned-up LinkedIn, even some of the young people who have helped drive these sites’ growth could use a break.

Mike Nourie, a student at Emerson College in Boston, says he feels a little relieved to escape social networking when he works summers at an inn where connection to the wired world is spotty.

A surprising survey finding was the presence of a group who had a median age of 29, are savvy about social networks and always carry mobile devices — and yet they feel conflicted about staying in constant contact.

 
 
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