Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Once upon a time in the 21st century.....

.... man stopped talking or writing. Because he found out that he can tweet instead.

Tweeting was after-all a far more evolved form of communicating. Once you have tweeted, people all around the world can see it, and do random things in response (apologies, I don't yet know what all you can do on twitter). On facebook, for instance, once you had posted a status update (e.g. 'I just farted!'), your friends can 'like' it, comment on it (e.g. 'Is it one of those smelly ones?'), share the update with their friends, have a conversation around it and someone sitting in Prague who you don't know at all will see the update when they log into facebook simply because his friend's friend's friend is also your friend and this might just make his day ('OMG, Indians have smelly farts!'). See the magic yet?

Thanks to Orkut, Facebook, Twitter and now Buzz for Googlomaniacs, losers round the world can have a thriving virtual social life. E.g. I never forget my friends' birthdays, anniversaries, weddings anymore - I facebook them! He may eventually never know that I wished him because he would have 250 other 'friends' also facebooking him the same day, but I will have to live with that. I am now in the know of all my friends' minute-by-minute activities like A is at the airport tweeting around, B is getting bored in office and is hence, facebooking, C is watching Kites in a theater and has buzzed about how pathetic the movie is. The only downside is that I don't get any brownie points for supplying gossip anymore as everyone knows everything. But, ta da, I save money as I don't need to call / visit anyone at all.

Truth be told, I am somewhat scared. I am scared when I see how willingly people share their lives on a public forum. How easy it is for someone to find out anything that he wants to know about you, your appearance, your thoughts, your daily routine, your likings, your fears, your relatives, your hobbies! Websites like facebook, google and many others, in order to supposedly 'enrich' your surfing experience, track what you do on the net. So, don't be surprised if next time you notice an innocuous car ad on your google homepage if you have been doing online research on cars. You realize how far this can go?

The other day I received a facebook prompt - "Mr. A visited your album". Here, A neither commented on my album nor 'liked' any of the pics. A was not even in my friends' list. Still I know that he visited my profile and looked through my pics. Next time facebook might tell me that B likes visiting a particular porn-site or that he's been googling on schizophrenia purely based on his online activities and without his knowledge.  Scary, no?

Ok, I guess I am done. Now, let me post a link to this blog on facebook and also update my gtalk status message telling the world that my blog is updated. I also think I should finally start tweeting. How else would my friends know about my stupendously interesting life!


Kavity said...

Yeah it is a scary thing, all the well networked connections we have in the virtual world.
FB and Twitter are forums to update hyper interesting things like 'I brushed my teeth today'. However, life stories of people are still with them I feel. Not so much in the open yet, not the saner people's at least, me thinks!

Divya said...

not scared...facebook gives me 30 registrations a day ;-)

Shreya said...

Yes, I too feel that people update only what they want the world to know and there are things they keep to themselves. Although that bit about FB or Google tracking your searches and then aligning themselves to it, is scary.

Yogesh said...

@Kavity, Shreya - Agree that some of us don't share all we have on these sites, but some do!

And, somewhat eeriely, facebook today has a new prompt - "Customize how much you want to share with others" :)

Rekha said...

How could i not comment?

I think these new trends are a test for how crazy human beings can get. As far as your head is in its place, i think its all controllable.

For eg. I have seen mushy boyfriend girlfriend pics on fb...but am sure that person put it up in the first place cos he wants ppl to look at them...its like signalling right?

and correction on "innocuous google ad" , it shows ads based on the term you type on the search window and not based on who you are!!

Keep the posts coming..i enjoy them! :)

Deepa said...

Nice !

Yes, I am scared too for a different reason. What life update will I want to share with facebook "friends" ? Just that thought that 2 friends extending from "acquaintance" to "very close friend" will read the same status message about my life prevents me from posting much.

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