I truly appreciate the efforts of the author here in defining role of social media in life of engineers. Recently i came to k now about a new social media website which is dedicated to engineers only. I think you all must have a look in it because it can be another step in improving interaction among engineers. URL: http://helloengineers.com/
One thing is for sure. "Different strokes for different folks" is not just a saying that rhymes, it's a saying that people should remember when they think about criticizing someone.
If someone wants to use those sites for their work...GREAT!
If they don't even want to use the sites to connect socially...GREAT!
Do whatever makes you happy and don't worry what others think.
If you want to make it a hobby to visit social sites that's OK or you can pick up a new hobby like woodworking. Check out http://expertwoodworkingplans.com
I've been thinking a bit here about why I personally don't use "social networking sites".
Actually I'm on LinkedIn, but increasingly I think of leaving.
One concern _always_ for me is that they all appear to be a means to generate yet more junk mail and I have far too much of that already.
I certainly use YouTube, but only as a reference. I even considered signing up to send responses, comments, "thank-you"s to people for stuff they've posted, but of course they want my email address. OK, I'm out of here!
But if I take a wider view of what is social networking and include fora and mailing lists, actually I'm on quite a few. The big difference here, I think, is that fora are usually aimed at a relatively narrow field of interest.
I think that it's that very broad-field aspect of "social media" that, to me at least, makes them borderline valueless as something in which to be directly involved.
I guess one of the aspects of engineering life that we all have to manage, is that we're almost always working with large amounts of complex data, and distractions & intrusions just make our tasks more difficult. As a consequence, we can get pretty adept at avoiding them.