Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In (sight) site into Social Networking

-By Swetha Amit
The recent trend of socializing has extended even up to the virtual world.

Catching up with long lost friends, sharing one's interests, passions, photo albums and expressing themselves innovatively has become an ‘in thing’ with sites like hi5,orkut and face book. From sending emails to scrapping, technology has certainly progressed in terms of connecting the globe.

It seems exhilarating for most people to merely check out profiles randomly in order to determine either a common ground with others or discover the uniqueness and diversity amongst the human clan in several areas. Joining various communities; networking for a specific purpose or to enlarge the circumference of their social circle has swarmed millions to these sites like bees to honey. What starts out as mere curiosity initially, ultimately results in an addictive behavior for many over a period of time.

An insight into this increasing phenomenon gives one a depth of understanding the factors leading to this compulsive attribute of people.

The ‘easy to keep in touch’ factor forms the prime focus of this virtual behavior. The ever growing career opportunities tend to push individuals to different corners of the world thereby creating a physical distance. The problem of being hard pressed for time to send long mails has certainly been overcome with these websites which involves only a click and a quick scrap to keep tab on their friend’s lives. Communicating through this medium has popularized itself over the years and distance no longer remains a hurdle to maintain that closeness and familiarity.

Often one tends to find themselves in locations where they are deprived of the right company and crowd to get together with. This propels the boredom constituent to come into play. The lack of being able to break away from their monotonous routines throughout the day/week causes frustration, listlessness and ultimately gives rise to the loneliness aspect gradually. Seeking a novel and refreshing change from their occupational oscillations, one tends to log on to such sites with hope of finding a companion or two to cheer them up. A perk to their enthusiasm levels is what drives such beings into the arms of this welcoming web networks. The hope of finding a familiar/interested face to beat away the boredom blues is a common indulgence to find emotional solace in these friendly home pages.

Social reticence is another aspect which draws zillions to this webbed world. Such individuals suffer from shyness of communicating on a face to face medium. Lack of confidence due to a complex feeling regarding their appearance or fluency in the spoken language can cause them to withdraw into a shell drawing parallels to that of a crab entering into theirs on seeing strangers by the seashore. Not having to feel conscious of a hair out of place or being under constant gaze of the third party puts them more at ease as they initiate communication through these sites. Comfort levels are attained along with gradual increase in self reliance through such virtual networks.

Taking the above factors into consideration such community networks have indeed proved as a boon to ensure long lasting relationships and provide happiness and contentment in varying forms and degrees to several people pertaining to their exclusivity. It has promoted the convenience of finding people belonging to a certain locale/university/community in order to contact or attain relevant information from. This is especially for students pursuing higher education abroad/outside their home town. And for others who are striving to find the right contacts during a career shift. Some have also reported of having found new pals and their significant others through these websites.

However off late a pertinent question about the safety of these sites is on the rise.

Impersonating and mistaken identities are increasing with the number of users registering at a rapid pace. Instead of utilizing such facilities in a proper manner, there are a set of beings who choose to indulge in creating false profiles of a certain person and adding their friends which thereby leads to a misunderstanding and rising levels of perplexity and confusion. Copying other people’s photos and pasting it on their profiles without the consent and knowledge of the concerned person is indeed shameful and causes alarming reactions unnecessarily. Not to mention, the existence of porn creates uneasiness as well.

Such imprudent acts need to be kept a check on by the concerned authorities. It is high time such detrimental behavior is dealt with in a grim manner as it could cause unwarranted harm to genuinely existing users. A strict verification needs to be implemented on new registrations and such reckless hackers need to be dealt with severely. Security measures like enabling only limited profile views such as the ones on the friends list on their albums and scrapbooks can increase the safety factor to a large extent. Preventing false profile creations can minimize the misunderstandings amongst many. Such steps undertaken by these sites would help in retaining their brand equity and continuity in serving their purpose. It shouldn’t become an ironical stance of causing disputes when the actual aim is to bind innumerable individuals.

In other words one certainly does not want a social networking site to turn into an antisocial nerve-breaking one, do they?
Written for www.msn.co.in

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ma'am,
can you express your views on the need of LIFE COACHING, COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY for self actualisation.

regards from,

Bhagwan Kargaonkar
MA (Psy), MS (psychotherapy)
MIRPM (Personnel Management)
Director, INSTITUTE FOR LIFE COACHING & COUNSELLING

ph office 07923292505
email id ilcc_lifecare@yahoo.com

11:31 PM  

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