Is social slowing your content experience?

I started reading TechCrunch 4 years ago and they provided an essential lifeline to what was happening in Silicon Valley while I was on the east coast.  It seemed the site and specifically Mike Arrington always could find a great story and break news that others could not.

TechCrunch, which in September was acquired by AOL, has always embraced new technology to better the reading experience.  In April when Facebook announced their social plugins at their F8 developer conference, TechCrunch added a bunch of different social plugins to the main page.

The two most prominent social plugins are the Like button which appears on each article on the homepage and the Like Box which is on the right rail of the homepage.  The issue is that for me on my Mac on all browsers TechCrunch loads quickly but the page becomes locked as it tries to load the Like Box.  I am unable to scroll or click on any of the page elements.

This got me thinking, are we slowing down the web with all of the social integrations we are placing on these sites?

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