May 6, 2012

Social Media Channels

As I was updating my revamped Yahoo! Profile.  It is also a long overdue post that I need just to let it out and well, to break off this ice.  I would completely understand if you don't understand anything with this post.  Thus, you've been warned.  These thoughts on social media, particularly on social networks are based on my own meandering experience.


Remember the days of Myspace and Friendster?  They used to be fun.  Checking your Myspace or Friendster profile was fun.  It was not compulsory for you to check on those sites every minute.  There was no wall of your friend's activities back then, still it was fun.  There was such a thrill when a friend posted a testimonial - especially if they were just spontaneous about it.  Another thing I noticed is that people actually connected on those days despite the limitations given on those days.  That I believe is the infancy of social media.


Now, I believe social media has come to its puberty stage - spouting all kinds features, tantrums, awesomeness, depression and whatnot.  Now, you have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, FoursquareYouTube, So.cl and Tumblr.  With Facebook acquiring Gowalla, Instgram and now recently Glancee it is going to be a mess!  We have Facebook within Facebook itself, groups, chats, pages, lists, circles, spaces, check-ins - a whole lot of mess!  Don't even get me started about Instagram!  The madness of what we share these days from fingernails to corn chips!  And we're just scratching the surface here and these are just some of the popular networking sites that you and I are into right now.  Right now, I have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, Feedly and Gmail tab pinned on Chrome so that they would automatically load once I start Chrome up.  I guess, you have a similar situation as I do.  Others have Hootsuite and other social media clients programmed on start up.  And oh, try MetroTwit if you're on Windows.  It's amazingly awesome!

Everyday it has become a routine and must-do to check on every single one of these social networking sites to somehow catch up to what is everybody is doing for the past 6 hours you have been asleep.  Personally, I go over Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr and scroll up and down, click on links, read, comment, like, circle, hangout, reblog, retweet, share, email, troll and all the things possible of what social media has offered us today.



Sharing of information seems to be the primary drive of social media.  Statuses, photos, locations and recommendations have never been easier to share than before.  Facebook's frictionless sharing also have taken sharing a notch higher - which is also a bit scary if you ask me.  With the growth of the cloud and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, sharing has never been this mobile than ever before.


To be able to communicate with immediate family and friends with a couple of touch is amazing and you can actually do it basically anywhere.  Why?  Because almost everybody nowadays are always online, watching and waiting for a new notification to pop up.  We now have groups inside Facebook, we can hangout through Google+ and have video parties on So.cl.



One of the most apparent side effects of social media is narcissism.  Everything we post is all about us.  Where we've been, what we're doing, what we're eating and where we're at.  It seems that with this so much flexibility and liberty on a social networking site that we tend to forget - manners.  We like to broadcast ourselves on just about everything.


Ever get the feeling when you haven't get to go online for most of the day and you come home at night and you could not wait to boot up your laptop and just run through all the things you supposedly missed.  Gossips, tweets that need to be retweeted, "first" comments, statuses, news - when all of these things could actually wait or possibly not even a necessity.  But paranoia is another side effect of social media fever and some of us just can't get enough.


Probably one of the greatest illusions of social media is that we are more connected than ever.  Wrong, at least in my own meandering experience.  Sure, the ability and the availability to be connected is always there but that is not the issue.  The issue is, are we using these available functions?  Sad to say, knowing that we have these set of tools for communication within our reach and with a touch of finger - we tend to brush it off every, single, day.


I think social media will mature by and by.  Personally, I wish it would be fun again.  Path seems promising.  I love the UI, I love also love the simplicity of its concept.

 I wish there was a similar platform on the web where I don't have to worry about catching up, where I would not feel inclined to share every little detail of my life and to say everything that I want to say.  All in all, I wish for a cleaner and a simpler web.

Image by Ameena Falchetto

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