Thursday, June 07, 2007

So, how many friends you got?

The rise of social networks makes it possible for us to have friends and contacts in all parts of the world. We may never have met those faces in real world, but we have seen their photos on Flickr, browsed their bookmarks on, commented on their blogs, and sent them a twitter or two.

In office, you might come across people boasting about having 50 friends on Orkut. Interacting with this new friend circle which puts a heavy premium on constant interaction, takes up much of the modern worker’s time but the joys of having made a connection is perhaps reason enough to defy office rules.

Victor Keegan says that collection friends is the new philately – your friends are stamps bearing insignias of their environment, their country, their upbringing – creating a throbbing, raucous presence in your contact book.

Many of my friends have spoken about the joy in finding new people as browsed friends of their friends, about getting to the page of one’s favorite school teacher, the sadness of reaching a page of a school principal who has just died of cancer.

There are downsides to it too – most important of which is spammers sending ‘friend request’ emails, in-your face intrusive advertisements on Myspace.

However, people who have fallen in love with social networking seem to be willing to put up with these irritants just so that they are able to find out what the latest buzz, what a world greater than their own is talking about – we never had these freedoms before.

We are frogs who just got out of the well.

P.S. I have 3 friends on Orkut and I have never bothered to find and get in touch with lost friends from school days. I use Gtalk on a need-to-use basis. I long held this belief that social networking is a time waster, useful only to marketers and rabid self-promoters including politicians. Hell, I even wrote about it before here.

I am a frog who is happy to stay in the well.

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At 1:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire that you put both pro and Con arguments for Social Networking on this blog.


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