Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The perils of social networking.

I was quite surprised to see SM make a post on online social networking today, because I was just discussing the topic yesterday with my temporary roomie, Doc. I gave my own example, a few months ago, a friend in Delhi persuaded me to register on Orkut, the Google-promoted online social networking site. I was never a big fan of Orkut, but I usually always agree to friend requests and I have found many people after years, it is a rather boring thing beyond a point.
Now, Doc is one of those people who think the internet is basically an endless stream of bittorrent feeds and occasionally useful for checking email and he doesn't quite understand how I spend my entire day without downloading at least two movies. Well, the reason for that is that if I tried doing that my ancient computer system would crash and given that currently ten people share a 128 kbps network in office, I'll end up downloading a movie a month.
Now, how do you explain 'social networking' to such a person?
I tried by explaining that it is a way for people to find friends they haven't met for some time online, but a rather logical answer to that is that if you haven't met this person in years, do you really want to find them?

Me : "But, it is fun for a bit, however, the novelty does wear off."
Doc : "Dude, your life has to be seriously boring if you use this. I'm sure people also try to use Orkut to pick up women."
Me : "I'm sure they do, but it is pretty sad if they do that." (I read this today)
Doc : "Isn't that MySpace site facing problems of sexual predators?"
Me : "Yeah, it is, but I haven't seen that on Orkut."
Doc : "But, K, that still doesn't make the entire exercise worthwhile, does it? It is still a thing people with sad lives do for spare time."
Me : "Can't disagree with that."
Doc : "I mean, look at you, at your media parties you go have a couple of Black's and them talk through your a** for the next three hours and come back with fifty visiting cards in your pocket."
Me : "Now that you mention it, there isn't no Black Label online!"
Doc : "See...."

Doc was right, what is the point of all this online networking when you're fairly adept at doing it in the real world. I remember when I had done a story on the spread of MMOG's in India, a lot of people use the online medium to make friends because they are socially inept in the real world - but it is still quite sad if you try to get yourself laid that way. That doesn't mean I will remove my profile from Orkut, but really how useful is it?
Most of the people on my Orkut list already have all my contact details and are fairly close to me, the couple of people I have tracked down were decent friends, but not people I can't live without. The other problem as RKT (another friend) mentioned, was that these social networking sites are so transparent, you don't know what to do when someone you're not exactly enamoured of adds you to his/her list of 'friends'.
Anyway, it has been quite a while since I have linked to some cool things I've been seeing online, so here goes, some of these links are clearly marked as 'Not Safe For Work' (NSFW).
Tokyoblog - a journey through Japan based on 'reader assignments' and put down in graphic form.
I wish I had something to trade for these! This guy is trying to pull off the red paper clip gag with 120 'adult' DVD's.
Some interesting B&W photo studies of nudes. (NSFW)
Japanese artist Yuko Shimizu's portfolio is a very interesting watch.
Dadanoias, a girl in Barcelona blogs about her life and interests. (NSFW) Check out her Flickr set too, but be warned, don't open it at office.
Fluffy Lychees. (NSFW)
Shiri Zinn makes the most astounding and expensive sex toys in the world using some of the most exotic substances known to humankind. And people love her work.


takemypornplease said...

Dude! You're in India! I bet there's some supercool India-typr stuff that you can't get in the US that you can trade me!- Make me an offer!

kalpesh said...

well i have to agree orkut is boring beyond a point..
its not only about meeting new people online(who can fake their profile as they want to and i have heard that this is rampant on orkut) its just so awkward to share so much information with everyone around the world..

well, i tried to do something in a different direction..i created a site where we form private groups with the people we know, with our best friends..Each group can only have a maximum of 12 people.No one else can access these groups till every existing group member agrees on that..
Try it..Reading ur blog, i m sure u will like it..

simran said...

orkut may be boring, but there are other sites where one can be with the sort of friends you've dreamed of - - i've seen members raising money to send people to school, paying for people's medical bills, buying people's houses. it's amazing.
check it out when you feel the need for something more stimulating than sex

Shivangi said...

Orkut is yet another example of how Google has the ability to turn things around! Its been there ever since... I am telling you, Google is taking over the world. Its a conspiracy!!

simran said...

google(to)earth - that's the earth taken over. but i think these guys mean well: sergey brin and larry page. don't buy into their philosophy of 'do no evil' but i'd vote for google instead of microsoft. any day.

terah745 said...

i had to use the to get here. Is everything all right?

K said...

Terah, some people have has access problems to this site, however, the problems are few are far between.
Simran, Google should be thanked for making information more easily accessible, and whateverf Amensty says and does, Google has contributed more to human rights than Amenesty ever will simply by making information more easily accessible.
takemyporn, I'll make you an offer soon enough.

simran said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Horn Please!! said...

bhai K, google is fine, but much of the information is already pre-filtered and cleaned up. For example, try researching nazi activities in Germany and you get a lot. But try researching Nazi activities of, say, Ford or Maersk, and see how much you don't get?

simran said...

the way i see it, filtering a search compromises google. but failing to offer even a fifth of their search results does so far more severely. imagine going back to something called Yahoo or would you rather the World Book Encyclopedia?

Anonymous said...

lol... one more thing orkut did.. i know who you are.. muahahahahaha :P

simran said...


K said...

Anonymous, good for you!

simran said...

ok James, this is where i exit

harry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Avnish said...

The new upcoming social networking site for Indians is

I am quite agree with Simran & Kalpesh (above) that Orkut is extremely boring site.

However, as far as my experience with HumSubka is concerned, this is the site which one cannot only use as a pass-time leasure, but also utilize its features like Music, Classified, Categorized Blogs & Groups, and the most important is Only Data Storage facility upto 1GB space. I would personally say, this is extremely a useful & fruitful site. Live chat at HumSubka makes it unique in comparison to other social nwtworking sites in India.