There seem to be only two things on the online freak’s mind :- Socialize and Socialize. At least the corporate world thinks so. They are of the opinion that we, the Gen Z or whatever, just can’t get enough of Social networking websites. So, they pile them onto us as if there weren’t enough already. First you have the stalwarts, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Orkut and then you a million of others, few of which even advertise on TV hoping to garner a user base from somewhere; Ibibo and BigAdda to name a couple in the Indian market.`Now you have the ‘Buzz’ thing on Gmail, trying to coerce non-networkers into socializing if they happen to have a gmail id. Smart move by Google I must say.
When you have had enough of Social Websites, there are a million ways to actually use them. The ‘Facebook mobile’, as it is called, by Micro-something mobiles is in the market and a few others ship with the ‘F’ button (Which stands for Facebook, and not for what you may be thinking). Airtel has tied up with Twitter, of course, to facilitate tweeting by SMS (How they hope to facilitate it at Re 1. per SMS beats me). I believe there is a facility by which you can update statuses by email.
For every social networking website, you have a profile page. Understandably, each of the pages is different. Multiple identities for each person?
It’s not as if you need an identity only for these social sites. Every website you walk into greets you with a registration page before you begin to use it for any sensible purpose. A website that is as mundane as a discussion page for APIs refused to grant me access to its ‘top-secret’ forums before I painstaking register for it and confirmed my identity through email. Do we need a break or what?
It is one thing to register for a website that genuinely interests you or whose services you value greatly. But to create your identity on every website that can show itself on a Google search? Honestly, the web needs to grow up. I happen to be one of the persons who has a separate email id and a special username and password for each of these websites. At least it rids me of the burden of remembering thousands of passwords. It is a wonder why websites want such users to be registered.
I now face a peculiar problem – I wish to delete my orkut account. But I realize, there lies a stupid but steep hurdle – There is NO such option. So, if I become part of a community, there is no way I can exclude myself from it? Am I that precious? I do thank the website for my free ‘lifetime membership’ or whatever. But, somewhere, there is a problem. Either with the way the World Wide Web is fashioned or with the way website developers and owners view the public. We need respite, don’t we?