Social Media and Me: A personal view

I remember one of the few conversations I had overseas was phone call during Christmas Day. There were others, while I was in Singapore and in London the telephone was the most valuable communication tool I had with my nephew. The value of those calls: Those conversations are priceless. One can just imagine what it felt like reading a mail that came from across the sea before the telegraph was invented.

When computers and Internet access began to became cheap and the middle and lower class slowly began to use it, there has been a geometric increase on sites what we now call social media sites. A number began to embrace it and why not it made things simpler. Or did it?

I met a friend of mine recently and the talk went to social media or at least it was when I asked him what he was using now. All i got was a blank stare. And told me since Multiply and Friendster he had not open anything else , because a new one might come along and he would have to start over again. Cereal Syndrome at work?

Then I also recalled many years friends of mine got into fight because one compared the other to tropical forest porcine – a Wart Hog. I guess words gathere more sting when they are written down and seem to perpetuate across time. One of the Cicero lost his life and his hands were nailed to the doors of the Senate was the Philippicae – which were speeches criticizing and insulting Marc Anthony. As the world changes it remains constant.

I like Social Media Sites. Here are the ones I use

FACEBOOK

At present the Social Network Site. Within Facebook you can chat, send messages, share films and pictures. It is one of way of connection to friends and loved ones. I go there to find whats has been happening. Share the latest embarrassing photos from high school or the office party. It a nice digital place to be. It has its downside , like the tagging of you in photos and video where no matter how hard you like you are simply not there; endless like requests; friendship requests from people you dont know or pages that-say-like-me and of course people selling items or people – politicians and personas.

Then again Facebook has come up with measures to filter out spam and other annoying things done in Facebook. Of course one can just hide the person from one’s time line and never hear from him, her or them again.

TWITTER

In twitter you are there to broadcast. To listen; To react. To talk, It is micro blogging your thought and opinion. Newspaper, TV Shows are there. If you dont have TV twitter is actually a good place to start monitoring the news. Monitoring stars and celebrities. Monitoring tweeter pundits. Monitoring debates. Monitoring actions. And keeping tabs on friends. It would be quite easy to drown in the sea twits as they come in every milli second. Of course twitter provides certain tools to manage this sea of twits. The # is practical for those projecta and issues – a presidential debate, scandals or disaster monitoring and relief. What I find most effective though on a day per day basis is to keep a list. The list options allows you to group twits – like news, friends, celebrities, opinion makers and interesting jerks. The list can be made pubic or private of course – it is up to you.

It is good broadcast system. So good that rumors and news often get announced and ripple across the sea of twitters. Like the Old Chinese saying, “A rumor goes in one ear and out many mouths”.

FOURSQUARE

The geo-tagging social media site allows you check in a place and possibly leave a comment or shout out. These comments and shout outs are useful when checking the places out on the mobile. But for all this things the only reason I go back to to Four Square is to check up on what is happening with my friends.

FourSquare has almost nothing annoying. Well, except for my friend who announced where he was at the moment – from Train Station A to Z.

PLURK

Is like and unlike twitter. It is similar to twitter that it is a micro-blogging site. But it is differnt in terms of layout. Twitter is vertically viewed while Plurk is horizontally and vertically viewed. This allows post or in this case a plurk to have a life of its own – leading to conversations more than 200 posts long. And one can do this for Private Plurks as well, Imagine a Direct Message in twitter that can be viewed more than one person and have an unlimited number of replies.

And perhaps because of this plurk is more intimate talk that you see less celebrities and soapbox talkers.

And maybe, fortunately, because of this one sees less spamming in plurk. Although spamming and bloviate plurker are and can easily castrated with a mute bottom and banished with the block.

TO SUM IT ALL AND SOMETHING ELSE

So there are the social media sites aside from blogging and instant chat that I like to use. These sites are quiet useful and very addictive. Why? My guess is that the social interaction, whether it is chatting, debating, gossiping or just shooting the wind fuels the drive towards these site. it is an intimacy reserved for kin, kindred spirits, beloved, friends and even adversaries. Social Media Sites are fueled by humans. It is a form intimacy that is earned and entrusted. In a sense this set of relationships form a digital community where people thrive. And it seems all the dynamics and theories of social interaction from kinship to communication and even science can be applied. In a sense it becomes a unique culture – a melting pot to which members bring in something to contribute knowingly or otherwise.

And for an outsider wishing to come in a miscalculation or misunderstanding will have a negative effect.

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