Social Networking: The Internet’s Cancer

I was a late comer to social networking on the internet, at least in its current form. My cousins and friends bugged me a lot to get a facebook or myspace, but I just didn’t see the value in having one or the other.

Finally, after a couple years, I decided to get a facebook. Back then, it was still restricted to only college students with valid college e-mail addresses. It was an interesting concept, and brought me back to the early days of AOL, when everyone was getting their first screen name and chatting just for the sake of using it. Since I could only keep in touch with my friends and family in college, and had other means of communicating with them, I didn’t really see the point in facebook, except to play scrabble with them.

Since then, facebook has opened to the rest of the world, and changed in a multitude of ways, for better or worse. Now that I can add everyone I know with an account, I do find myself using it more often. Friends and family that I have moved away from and had lost contact with are now in contact again, and it is nice to know they’re doing well. I am not what most people would consider a facebooker, however, as I don’t join the many different fan groups, or post daily status updates.

I like facebook for what it can be, but hate it for what its become. At first, it was okay. People could only access it on their computers, and only updated once a day. Now, they can access it on their phones, and post updates whenever and where ever they are. This has led to a flood of pointless updates and the facebook community descending into a twister of worthless information.

What’s worse is twitter. I don’t use twitter, nor have I ever used twitter. When I heard about twitter, I couldn’t believe it even existed. It sounded like a facebook for attention whores. A social networking site that specifically caters to people that want attention from “followers” and post what they’re doing, or going to do, like an announcement on a megaphone. Now that this site has been linked to facebook, no one is safe from this garbage.

Having said that, despite its problems, I think that social networking is here to stay. People love it, for many reasons, and use it like an addiction. On the business side, I’m sure these sites are selling information they track about us, just like the credit card companies do, and using it to be profitable.

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