Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The proud Billion [286/365]

About 159 days after the world's largest Social networking website went public, we heard that FB hit a billion.
Well, Mr Zuckerberg, we hit that number a few years ago.

So what does this really mean for us? Does it really mean he has a billion people hooked onto FB?
Mark stayed clear of saying who and went FB hit the number perhaps because he knows it couldn't really be a billion yet. For those who read/watched his interview online, he came off as a person who rambled on.

That said, no one can deny how much FB is part of our society today. It feeds off our basic and primal need for intimacy and voyeurism. I know dozens of people who create fake accounts to stalk their ex'es. Having a facebook account is just as necessary as having an email address but when I read a recent newspaper article about how an increasing number of teens are becoming depressed just because their peers have more number of friends, or have more 'Likes' for the posts they put, I wondered aloud- How much is facebook doing to protect its younger members? An overwhelming majority say individuals under the age of 18 mustn't be allowed to use FB. But a look at the number of pre-teens and teens that are online and posting pictures and content will tell you another story.



But then FB may not have a billion yet, and this could be just a massive PR exercise. Let's face it, Mark is a ruthless businessman. For a company that likes to measure everything in billions, it sure has lost a lot of its sheen when its stock has lost over 40% since going public. The company is now facing angry stockholders and disappointed employees. He himself has lost billions and while the company tries to shift focus away from its failures, the real question will be- 

Can facebook really transform our lives beyond being just a distraction in our daily lives?


Friday, July 29, 2011

And you have the right to remain silent..

At high school, I've had to write hindi essays on 'Corruption'. Of course, learned by rote, I hardly knew what it was and didn't really understand a word of what I learned or wrote later. Living abroad you hardly experience corruption as blatantly as you do in India.

A decade and a half later, having to experience corruption in close quarters, I have just one question reverberating in my mind : How would you beat Corruption?

The time worn question here is, when did our nation go into a tailspin into destruction?
Like all things nostalgic, I'd like to believe that politicians were noble back then.

Like a child who started with small white lies and petty crimes, our politicians have graduated to trillion dollar grand theft and nepotism on a scale that is beyond belief.
And to make matters uncomfortable, they seem to have woken up the warden. Us.

While we can all make a lot of noise, the buck stops when we are expected to act.
I've had unfortunate friends who tire of all the noise online.
While most of us are indeed keyboard activists and nothing more, we remember to forget that the greatest changes in human history happened when people started revolting. It could have been graffiti on the wall, a march or even a bold move. It was always the power of One.

While many of us rue about being just a drop in the ocean, we forget that many drops make the ocean.

Question of the Day:
Should we be ranting against the corrupt on social networks? I think we must. That is the least we can do. Definitely not enough, because unless you talk, you won't act. So as long as people are going to be complacent and silent about corruption, we are doomed to be silent spectators in the world's largest debacle.

We are looking at a really bleak future where their children (that's right, the corrupt are breeding like much yeast too) rules this country. A nation where we've allowed corruption to breed, into a generation that will be even more awesomely wicked than ones that we have now.

Anna will definitely win. He may not live to see the fruits of his selfless crusade, but we will win because of him. Like the fruits of freedom that we enjoy because our soldiers died for us, we will live with our heads held high. It will take time. Many will pick up the cause. Few will remain.

More than 60 years ago, when Gandhiji announced the Quit India movement, not many even thought we would last. But last we did. We emerged victorious as battle worn veterans, our history continues to inspire.
Are you doing your bit today, tomorrow and the day after? It could be noise to someone else but unless you make it, we are forever doomed to remain silent.

And my response to all those who think this is noise...
'I'm sorry that you were dropped on your head when you were born. Quit India. Go live in Somalia'


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Bragging Rites

Don't you hate it when you hear your relatives/neighbors gloat and brag about things they have at home? Well, I do.

Absolutely hate it.

Hence I have a policy when it comes to socialising with the beggars of glory. My policy is 'Don't socialise'


And as if bragging to your neighbors were not enough, we now have jackasses doing it online too.
"Oh, I loooooooooooove my new bike". "Best thing I've ever done in my entire life".
Alright, we get it. 

We know that you've been wasting your two decades plus of wasteful living in doing things less than the 'best thing in your life'. But must we be the unfortunate recipients of all this BS?!
I mean, I don't have anything against social networking, but please do us all a favor and quit the self glorifying tirade.

Yes, we can choose to not read it. But having to read your hourly statuses of how wonderful those screws and nuts go together is not really my idea of a News Flash. No thank you.
I finally blocked a bunch of people and by the way things look, I might have to block a few more too.

So here goes...
My sincere apologies to all those who didn't make it on my wall.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Life without Laugh


We Christians are a joyless lot!

Preoccupied with maintaining our dignity in the eyes of people who we might never ever see again.
A very good friend of mine is so obsessed with complying with Christianity that he hates Social networking, Rock/Rap music and anything that he thinks is 'un'Christian.

There is a typical Indian superstition where you are supposed to believe that if we laugh excessively, then we will weep in agony very soon.
This is an odd attitude, because being joined to God, who gave us such wonderful emotions as Joy and laughter, we in some way imagine that by being joyful, we are being devious.

Outwardly a firm believer, many of us are hollow inside. Namesakes.
Its okay to have fun!

Every family, big and small. Every human, rich and poor. Every creature, young and old expresses joy and happiness in different ways.

But why do Christians always have a 'constipated look' on their faces when it comes to having fun?!
Laughter is a gift of God and His goodness that will carry us through the dark bylanes of life.

Part of the joy that comes to you when you are reborn in Christ is that you learn to rejoice in the Lord.
You learn to wake up with praise on your lips and smile in your eyes.

No matter how bad the past was, you can always be comforted that your future is in your hands. Do you want to be seen as a person who lives in past and waste all the wonderful joy that God wants you to enjoy!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Socializing the Net

Social media should improve your life, not become your life!
Patrick Driessen
Of all the different roles that the Internet played, Social Networking gripped popular imagination in a vice.
A term that has entered the lexicon of many boardroom debates and pantry gossips, social networking is an equalizer. It enabled people who were shy in real life, become virtual extroverts.
Tracing its evolution, the earliest entrant; Orkut used to be my kind of networking, because it was simple, no fuss and very uncluttered. Privacy and rampant misuse was a major concern, but it has cleaned itself up pretty nice.
Its much younger cousin Facebook, was in comparison much more cluttered and confusing. It took a very long time for me to get it round my head.

But I soon realized that like in any thing else, Facebook picked up from where Orkut left.
They had improved security, privacy levels that could be customized and the newer avatar of the site is a lot less cluttered than its predecessor. 
Orkut sparked the fire, but FB (as Facebook is popularly known) fanned it into a phenomena. 

Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and the such have only cashed into a concept that makes you believe that social networking is as essential as the air you breathe.
I could testify on how profoundly Social Networking has changed my life, but what is more disconcerting is how people are spending more time socializing online than before.
Scrapping, twittering and tagging has become acceptable ways of showing recognition amongst the young and not so young. 
Why don't we just visit our friends or, take the moment to visit people who are less fortunate more often?
Social nuances and etiquette can never be substituted for that 'gift' you give online.

Fights go online too!
I've seen people change their relationship status from 'committed' to 'single' to prove a point and maybe wash the proverbial dirty laundry in full view of your 'buddies'.
Technology has certainly made a lot of lives easier and world is only a wall post, scrap or a tweet away, but where does that leave the good ol' days of letter writing.

Social Networking thrives on our collective love of watching other people live their lives. 
We love Voyeurism. We love to know what is happening, and unconsciously we are constantly vying for more attention. 
We want our 15 posts of fame and we are ready to do anything for it.
But is all this Networking really helping us?
Personally, I believe it does not foster ties with the same warmth and cordiality as when we meet a person face to face. I would prefer talking with a person sans the avatar.
Social Networking has its dark underbelly too, where employers are increasingly turning to popular sites likes Facebook while screening prospective employees. 
Insignificant requests and inundating news feeds end up eating up quality time that could have otherwise helped solidify personal contacts.

Unabated use of technology leads to it's misuse and unless we learn to restrain ourselves and understand that Social Networking is just an aid and not the purpose to live we will continue to see our friends addicted to farming melons, tweeting sweet nothings and scraping their love out.
When the Television was invented, it was said, it will kill the Radio star. I don't think it did. 
Over time, I think it just made the Radio more creative.


Sure, Social Networking has come a long way from the baby steps it took and does allow ties that are weak to strengthen over time besides enabling hitherto hidden opportunities to come our way, however unless we exercise discretion and practice common sense in using this wonderful tool of modern interaction, the day is not too far when we choose Social Networking instead of social living.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Buzz Off, Google




With a freshly brewed cuppa Coffee, I plunge into my morning ritual of checking my gmail.Logging in, I am welcomed by the gentle persuasion to join Buzz. Being trigger happy, I clicked on 'Yes..'. It took me exactly 5 seconds to realise that I stepped on cyber shit.

Now, I respect Google and think Google is the place I eventually want to be working with, but they goofed up on this one.
How can they let other people view my lists?
Thankfully, a wiser me chose not in enable Buzz in another email address that I use.

Knowing how swift Google acts on situations like this, I am sure by the time you read this, Buzz is already in the good books of its Users. But the larger question here is, Privacy.

I don't use a smartphone or a PDA because I made a conscious decision to not be addicted to the internet. I try and keep confidential data off physical hard drives since I travel a lot.
But that is not the same for my email.
I have tons of data, most of which are very confidential. I keep scanned copies of my documents so that I have a online copy if the actual document is stolen or destroyed. Bank Statements, Passwords, Account Recovery documents and my Writing. I do my bit to keep my passwords hacker proof, but what if the thief already has a copy of the key?
Come to think of it, I am more dependent on my email than I am on my wallet. 
The thought is apocalyptic.

Buzz unintentionally showed me what would happen if the onus of confidentiality falls in the hands of the wrong programmers.
I don't think i have had as much resistance towards any new technology (that Google has produced) as I have against Buzz.

I hate to see people sharing 'sweet nothings' with the world at large. "Oh I am peeing now..." and "Gosh, whats going to happen to my pimple?"
I hate to see people gloat and gush about the most mundane things in life. "Oh I ran a marathon... and I am feeling awesome". Goodbye Haiti.

The Google Buzz is as sweet or annoying as the buzzing sound of the bee. I rather swat it and worry about extinction later.

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