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Who actually uses a social networking site? (apart from here)

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posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 05:27 AM
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I know there are other facebook threads but I wanted to ask this question afresh..

The web is generational, progressive. We have truly hit web 2.0. Nowadays we acquire our social-technological skills through the internet, less face-to-face and much more face-to-screen. At school I talked and wrote letters. At Uni and the following years spent traveling, it was email. More recently it is mobile phone, email, text, i.m., forums and v.o.i.p.

Most, if not all of my friends today remain proficient at email, IM and mobile phone use. Those old friends that aren't have turned into acquaintances and some have slipped right out of sight. That rings true for some family too.

It is not uncommon for today’s 13-year-old to be communicating through gaming channels, blog comments, text messages, photo messages, mobile phones, v.o.i.p, twitter and a host of others I have yet to discover. Some of these social trends are adopted almost instantly and, virus-like cross age groups and social networks. Those involved now learn newer and easier ways of getting through to their lattice of digitally minded acquaintances.

This is old news to most of you people and those I communicate with, as many in my social-technological circles are old hands at all these methods and are ready to grab hold of any new techno-fad that hits their screens.

At the moment I have found myself sucked into the virtual world of facebook. Kind of a myspace for the more discerning web networker. I finally found myself giving in to the incessant barrage of facebook requests from friends that could quite easily email me, and partly though a feeling of inadequacy when people say.. Oh you don't have a Facebook account?"


Well now I do and if I thought Googles data mining activities were overt, nothing could have prepared me for Facebook. I guess all this has been a roundabout way of trying to say Facebook owns YOU. Perhaps not in physical form but as far as your virtual online life goes (and lord knows that is the largest portion of our waking lives now-a-days) Facebook owns the data, use patterns, preferences, communications and adoption trends of the entire next web generation. What’s more, the data acquired through all of your innocent online ramblings is incredibly clean, trustworthy, and as collated as any marketer could dream of.

But it's not just all marketing, there's something much more sinister in Facebook's digital files. Facebook owns the data of the first generation to live their entire lives online, a generation that will spend their lives studying and trying to get to grips with the world and its intricacies. Do I, already in my thirties, feel a generation chasm opening up between me and all those to follow?

This is all different to Google’s data collection techniques. If google takes its time behind the scenes sorting through your Google mail, blogs and web searches to profile you, Facebook is straight in there, offering you convenient little white boxes for you to fill in all of your little secrets, your hearts desires and any other personal info you may whisper a friend.

If a man in a dark suit arrived at your door unannounced asking for your name, D.O.B, marital status, name of partner, political view, religious persuasion, address, phone number, details of your friends, lists of the kind of books you read and films you watch, poems you have written, a few diary entries and - to top it all - wanted a selection of photos with descriptions of all those in the pictures, would you busy yourself providing a shoe box with all this handy information in so he could take it away?

No? I wouldn't ether. I’d at least ask him who he was and what he wanted it for. If his answer was something about being a multinational corporation worth billions, and that he wanted to help you make friends and keep those that are your friends informed of what you are up to, would that make you any more likely to hand over your life details to him?

Have you read the small print?




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