Friend? See you on Facebook.
Colleague? Talk with you over on LinkedIn!
Neighbor? Acquaintance? Let’s have some fun on Twitter.
Fellow traveler? I’ll follow you on FourSquare.
But I just got an email notifying me that someone I like added has me on Google+. This fills me with dread. Why? Follow me on my journey down the surrealistic rabbit hole of Google+.
First, I click the link “Add to circles” in the email so I can add my friend. It takes me to Google+, which invites me to join.
Interesting, because I already belong to Google+. (Under two Google email identities, but more on that later.)
Unfortunately, sometime in the past few days I used a third Google email address (I have several) and now Google considers me logged in as that third identity, which does not belong to Google+ and is never going to.
I now have to log out of Google and log back in — which is requires me to refer back to the original email from my friend to see which identity she has “added” me under.
Yes, I know that Google has a system that lets you switch identities without logging out and logging in — but that “switch” only works for certain Google online apps and not for others. I use several, and can never keep straight which ones let me switch — until I try switching and a few screens later find that I am still stuck in the original unswitched identity.
So I log out and log in.
Hmmm. There is now no sign of my friend’s invitation, but I do see my Google+ stream (or ripple, or whatever they call it). There are a few posts from people I’m interested in, and several posts by some guy who just can’t shut up.
By now, I’m completely derailed. I go back to the email and tell my friend how she can find me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sorry, Google+. Your failure to let me integrate multiple Google mail accounts into one Google+ identity makes visiting your system a frustrating time suck — and even the literate content my friends post there won’t make it worth the trouble.