Sunday, October 28, 2007

Random thoughts on social networking

Nowadays it is not enough if you know people and know to use the internet, it is also important that you are part of a social networking site. Even if you are stuck with primates in Gabon, a social networking site is touted to be more handy than a mosquito repellent. Thankfully the apes haven’t started sending invites as yet.

I frankly find the term social networking working on a very thin sliver of my friend list. Basically if you are serious about networking from a career enhancing perspective, then you would like to do on a largely private basis and not on a social basis. And if you are socializing, then you would rather try to bind with a different set of people on a face to face basis in a pub or café.

Somehow most social networking sites forget a basic operational detail. If I really need something from Mr.X or Ms.Y, I am most likely to have an email address from a business card exchange in a meeting or better still a phone number. Now would I write a mail, or write some graffiti on his digital wall on Facebook? Beats me!

Random colleagues who never talk to me in office show supreme valour in sending Superpokes and other applications that would waste atleast half an hour of my precious online time. Hello how about picking up the office phone and saying lets meet at the coffee machine?

Similarly the whole social network phenomenon makes every man on the road feel that his daily schedule is being tracked like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. So you will find the Rapchik Rakesh leaving messages like ‘Today in Kandivali’ and ‘‘Now in the loo’ and so on.

‘Which snap should I put on my social networking site’ has become such a burning issue that counseling services have emerged that can predict the growth of your network to the kind of album you share. Apparently ‘Que Sera Sera’ does not hold in the digital world.

Now social networking also leads to the over analysis of common interests. Gals and guys seeking dates are now able to detail screening level compatibility issues like ‘hey our movie interest match 87.29% and our music tastes match 78.92%...whoppeee!

The other fear is the digital patrol which now friends and colleagues have at their disposal. Don’t be surprised if you are confronted with messages ‘hey whats cooking between you and Ms. Great giggle’. Every move you make, comment you make, the digital patrol will be watching you.

Strangely even the so-called investment in Facebook by Microsoft can be described as a Superpoke and nothing else! 1.6% for $240 mn, phew, what were they thinking lets throw some pocket change at this stuff and see it if it sticks huh!


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