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Social Networking: Something Wicked This Way Comes?


Meteo Xavier
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To cop out an introduction, social networking is really starting to bother me nowadays. It has been for a while but it wasn't until today that those ominous feelings and molasses malaise have built to a point where I could form it into words suitable for a large post.

I think its either the advent of Twitter, the fact that my Mom is on Facebook, or something much darker that has yet to emerge, but I'm seeing the overall shift in basic inter-human communication to rely more heavily on these networks as troubling. Forget the overcommercialisation, spam, porn and virus shit, I'm starting to see the Myspace/Facebook "addiction" enter into the human condition and rewrite the rules of communication, among other major functions of human networking.

Is anyone else seeing this?

I don't do social networking anymore. I have a Myspace music page that is half-personal but thats it. I had to get rid of my personal Myspace and Facebook accounts for several reasons: A. It was eating up a lot of personal time and getting nowhere. B. I was hacked last Christmas. Manually. C. There was nothing remotely social about it (which I'll get to soon). D. Every major problem I've had in the last few years was as a result of social networking.

That was back in September when I pretty much killed J. L. online, but there's a great irony that comes from knowing that a self-inflicted gunshot means you actually get to dodge bullets later.

Since then, I've avoided all the recent newstories of company managers looking for you online, probing your account for information, firing you for personal conversations, turning information over to police and then having the nerve to friend request you. Would you like a copy of my house key, too? And I don't even want to bring up how fake it is to set up a business account for, lets say Bar-B-Que Restaurant, like a personal account and add friends and hope it increases business. Nobody gives a shit, yet many professional advertising places will drain a client of money to build these accounts that are supposed to save money on advertising.

http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/9/22-of-employers-check-your-facebook-profile-when-they-re-looking-to-hire-you-that-s-it-. Its 22% right now. It will be 38% before 2011 (my estimate). I will hopefully dodge these bullets in the future.

Part two comes across as I come my only Myspace page looking for ideas where else to take it. I see 66 friends (down from over 100) on my friends page. Not one talks to me. Not one cares that I am there. I'm ok with this, but why am I still there? What the hell does it mean to be a friend on someone's friend page if I only exist as a number?

I'm autistic - almost to the point where I need a helmet but evidently not enough to excuse my inability to communicate. Its hard enough to get what people are saying in real life, its fucking impossible on these networks. You are probably not autistic, but you know what I'm talking about. You sent them a message. Last Week. They have been online and they have even read it, why are you still waiting for an answer? Oh, they didn't have time? You're online 5 times a day and you don't have time?

Its one thing to act differently online than in real life, but communication is still the same. It follows the same rules of relaying information and messages to people. If you ask a question, are you not entitled to an answer? What if you asked me to my face and I just walked by? This is not communication. This is not what social networking is for.... is it? Online, you are not entitled to shit. You do not get to see facial reactions, you do not get to see context, your only communication with someone electronically rests on a text message they are not entitled to acknowledge, must less respond. As we rely more and more on these sites, the way in which communication flows on there will substitute the decorum of communication we should be using and typical of our race, we won't see it coming until the damage is done.

Am I just not good at social networking, or is anyone else seeing a disturbing trend arising? Absolutely nothing good has come out of social networking for me, and now that more and more of the whole world is getting into it... Oh man, I'm not liking where this is going.

I want to open the floor to possible interest and debate now.

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I agree with a lot of this, I don't really like where it's all going, but I don't see it as all bad either, I agree that they are way too impersonal nowadays though. Nothing is real. If they could somehow create an uber social hub (so there's not some new site to sign up to every 2 weeks) I think SOME problems might be solved, but it might just make things worse.

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I knew social networking was a bad thing from the start of this whole Myspace mess, though I had it in there for vastly different reasons.

I first came from an Internet generation where you couldn't do anything without knowledge of HTML. If you wanted an online presence, you needed to host your own website and go from there. Back then, the 'net was very interesting because only people with the knowledge to do so could create content. What content was there, was bound to be good. After all, the webmaster there would have had to exert a lot of effort just to update a page.

With this, there was a good sense of identity to things as well. "Oh! That's [person]'s website. Cool place." "Oh! That's [other guy]'s website! He's not very interesting, but yeah." "Oh! That's [...]'s website! The damned bloke should update more!"

Then came the many innovations out there that made the 'net more accessible to the ignorant people. This was good at first, but the ramifications on 'net culture became more visible with time.

One was the loss of identity. People where then classified as a number on a grand MySQL database and not by the content they create or by the presence they exert. All that was left to do was drama, drama, drama. Call me old-fashioned, but I simply didn't like this at all.

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I agree with a lot of this, I don't really like where it's all going, but I don't see it as all bad either, I agree that they are way too impersonal nowadays though. Nothing is real. If they could somehow create an uber social hub (so there's not some new site to sign up to every 2 weeks) I think SOME problems might be solved, but it might just make things worse.

Definitely. Its the structure thats the issue. If that gets bigger, so do the problems.

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You shouldn't be tweaking over people who don't respect you enough to respond to a message. I don't really see what your problem is. The issues you brought up exist with e-mail, too.

Sites can be built with drag-and-drop sitebuilders.

The only annoying thing is that there are six different social networking sites, just like there are three different big IM clients.

Oh well. I have AIM and MSN both open. I'll check Cryspace and Facebook every so often. But it's not a big problem to open up a couple of extra tabs.

It's just the new form of killing time and ease-of communication. You can find a lot of old faces on these websites. The older generation are in awe of how far communication has evolved.

Lastly, don't blame these websites because you don't have the self-control to limit the time you spend on them. Sign in, respond to a few comments, and leave.

But if you're on here, you probably play video games. You aren't really that concerned with wasting time.

I also dislike all of the whining about how impersonal internet communication is. Send them a message to meet up at a Café.

But if you cut all ties with social networking sites, you'll either feel cut-off, or you'll forget about a lot of the people you used to know.

This board is the same shit. You sign in, check for new posts, respond to a few, and log off. Nobody complains about how impersonal this forum is.

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I've largely felt the same way, although it was the declination of Facebook that did it for me: First it was a convenient way for students to stay connected. Then the general populous was let in, along with third party applications (in fact, applications in general) and it became the next MySpace. I've long since eliminated my Facebook account, and yes I know it's not really deleted, but I've gotten rid of it to the best of my ability. I never unleashed the lols on my account or anything, but the associations I had kept had degenerated into super-pokes and lolcats. I've found other ways to maintain contact with my old friends.

Web 2.lookAtMe is here in full force, and it's not going away any time soon.

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You shouldn't be tweaking over people who don't respect you enough to respond to a message. I don't really see what your problem is. The issues you brought up exist with e-mail, too.

Sites can be built with drag-and-drop sitebuilders.

I find it hard to argue your point core, however there is a difference between simple Email and Social Networking. And I know there was stuff like this with profile and AOL Hometown and such, I think its the "convenience" of bring all that together that gives people the lax to take it for granted and abuse it. Does that make sense? I'm not sure. :P

As for MY problem, it was far more complicated than messaging people who didn't respect me, but I won't get into that here.

It's just the new form of killing time and ease-of communication. You can find a lot of old faces on these websites. The older generation are in awe of how far communication has evolved.

I miss the days when the older generation used to bitch about how far things have gone. :(

I just think its the weight (inertia?) of that combination of trend, necessity, accessibility and all those hundreds of millions of people creating a huge heavy wave thats going to crash soon and cause some problems. Too much too soon.

And killing time? That doesn't begin to describe it. What people used to do as far as connectivity goes: check email, check personal profiles, write/read, check out music, blog, etc, etc. With Myspace you could effectively be doing that double. Then you sign on a Facebook page and do it there too. Then Livejournal. Then you check Twitter. Then you open an account for something else to check out all the shit on that.

Next thing you know, what you used to do in roughly 45 minutes took close to 4 hours and you don't even know its happening. And this is happeningly mostly towards college age when people are busy enough trying to get school and life in order. You don't even see it happen because its so convenient and easy to get into. Easy to abuse.

I can't really pinpoint it any other way other than to say when I killed those two accounts, I suddenly had a LOT more free time which I put towards other things. Now, yes, thats not Myspace's fault, but thats how it happened...

Lastly, don't blame these websites because you don't have the self-control to limit the time you spend on them. Sign in, respond to a few comments, and leave.

But if you're on here, you probably play video games. You aren't really that concerned with wasting time.

I'm not blaming the SITES, other than to suggest they are built in such a way where its really easy to abuse all that "connectivity". I'm focusing more on the larger picture of it, the TREND. The TREND now is not interested in limiting the amount of time you spend a day on it like you should. I'm concerned because the trend (use my wave example if you must) is only to the point where bigger problems might be on the horizon still. Hence this thread.

And I really don't agree with your point on wasting time playing video games. That I play video games does not indicate I don't care about time. Too many hobbies.

I also dislike all of the whining about how impersonal internet communication is. Send them a message to meet up at a Café.

But if you cut all ties with social networking sites, you'll either feel cut-off, or you'll forget about a lot of the people you used to know.

Well why should internet communication not follow the same rules as regular communication? Why should I ignore you if you ask me a question just because its easier on the internet? Thats still rude (at least) no matter how you cut it. Why am I on your friend page if we are not friends?

Cutting off ties to social networking sites is a shitload better than having 130 friends who have no interest in you at all. It's 130 people telling you they don't even care enough about you to DELETE you, all at once. Man, I'd sell both working testes to forget those people, but I digress.

Also, I apologize if I'm not making much sense. I don't write well on larger scale projects like this.

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I have to agree that it's kind of frightening how much time people spend on social networking sites. Most classes I'm in, half the class is staring at Facebook or MySpace. That's a conservative estimate, too.

Since I may or may not have been an inspiration for your rant, I figured I might as well say that I'm guilty of both idling and being unresponsive. Sometimes, there's an issue of just having a mental block. For example, I usually have about 10 things that I have to be doing at any given time. People I need to be contacting, long emails that need to be read and responded to, and so forth. Sometimes, I don't even want to open an unread message because I know if I do I'll get sucked in and have to add another thing to my neverending pile. This is, of course, outside of normal work + school. Not really an excuse, I know, but this is why some people won't even open a new email.

That's the appeal of so much on the Internet. You can screw around for a few hours and get nothing done, and it's easy. It's harder to spend 30 minutes addressing, for lack of a better phrase, serious business... :P

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Meteo Xavier, I agree with you on this level: Friends on cryspace are misnomers. I wouldn't call even ten percent of my listed friends as authentic friends.

I won't tweak over those little semantics though. I just understand that it's more like an address book than a list of my best friends.

As far as your foresighted trend, I haven't really put much thought into it. I just kinda go along. Again, I'm hoping I won't have to end up making a Twitter account just to stay in contact... but my having to make a Facebook along with a CrySpace hasn't been too horrible. One gets used more often than the other.

The topic of rudeness on the internet is something a lot of people are taking the wrong way, in my opinion. I've had similar conversations with my dad, where he tweaks over his Yahoo Chess opponents not saying "gg" and simply leaving the table.

It's the fucking internet. It is impersonal. Callus up, mutter to yourself "what a douchebag", and move on.

The lack of a body standing in front of you really does change things. You don't have the other person's undivided attention, and you shouldn't expect it.

People often apologize to me over IM's because they've accidentally left an IM sitting for fifteen minutes without a response. I have to keep telling them it's really no problem. So many misguided people treat web-chat exactly like face-to-face communication that it creates more misguided people.

It's always the computer novices that send messages like that too.. you know the kind I mean. You're doing work, someone IM's you, and you get to multitasking between the chat and whatever else you were doing. Leave the window minimized for over 5 minutes and you get the nagging "Hello...?" messages. These people are apparently doing nothing else but sitting in front of their monitors waiting for a response. It's ridiculous.

I'm ranting.

I'm gonna post it anyway.

I guess it's kinda flattering that I have someone else's undivided attention.

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Since I may or may not have been an inspiration for your rant, I figured I might as well say that I'm guilty of both idling and being unresponsive.

Well, you were, but I really wasn't going to say anything because I know for a fact you ARE fucking busy as hell and can't get to a Myspace message that easily and that its not even close to my place to bitch about it.

My "rant" (which wasn't my original intent here, but anyway) is not that people don't get an answer quickly, its that people don't get an answer quickly when the other person is online all fucking day, writing messages, clearly not being overwhelmed despite having two young children, and still, if you get a response at all, being told "Sorry, I was busy, :P"

BITCH, YOU'RE ONLINE! I CAN SEE YOU!

:P

I mean, its really not asking that much to even hear "Sorry, I'm busy doing etc. etc. but I can look at it when the kids are in bed." That sentence took ten seconds to write and makes all the difference. Its the silence that creates that tension. If you have obligations, tell us about them! We can accommodate.

Its just common sense for goodness sakes. Thats all I need to say on that part.

And for effect:

:P

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Like every new technology that comes along and changes the way people communicate, I think we only start to understand the impact well after it's already been incorporated into our lives. There are a lot of downsides to these sorts of sites, many of which you mentioned, Meteo. I think they have probably replaced some deeper, more personal communication, and posting about things can be like talking into a void, where you're unsure if anyone is reading. Total time sinks too.

But I'm always hesitant to condemn the technology rather than the way people are using it. There are some things that I think are absolutely great about social networking sites. My band got a really cool free video for our song just because we were random friends with a stranger who was looking for a song to use for a class project. We may get to play some shows in our area because of joining Facebook groups. And it's cool to see when friends' birthdays are coming up, or that I have this group of friends in the Bay Area, e.g., who I can meet up with while visiting there.

They aren't a good substitute for conversation, even compared to IM and e-mail. Even when you're using it to augment conversation with people you talk to in other mediums, it's a shallow, uninvolved sort of conversation, kind of like what you say to people in elevators. :< Fun but easy to waste your time. I've found social networking sites are much better for aggregating friend data (heh, that sounds so robotic) and other utility purposes, and I don't spend as much time on them as I used to.

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Meteo Xavier, I agree with you on this level: Friends on cryspace are misnomers. I wouldn't call even ten percent of my listed friends as authentic friends.

I won't tweak over those little semantics though. I just understand that it's more like an address book than a list of my best friends.

As far as your foresighted trend, I haven't really put much thought into it. I just kinda go along. Again, I'm hoping I won't have to end up making a Twitter account just to stay in contact... but my having to make a Facebook along with a CrySpace hasn't been too horrible. One gets used more often than the other..

And this is where being autistic over a social networking simulator (this thread) comes into play because I can't tell if you're insulting me by using my full name and referring to "Cryspace", or if you're being genuine and I just don't get it.

It's the fucking internet. It is impersonal. Callus up, mutter to yourself "what a douchebag", and move on.

Well I personally find that difficult to do, again referring to my communication incapability and the emotional confusion that follows as nothing was learned, but that reads mostly as an excuse to be a douchebag in the first place. The lack of a body doesn't mean shit, I'm not talking to the body. I'm talking to a person that has time to log-on to a connection I have with them, permission to communicate, good terms... pretty much everything I need to ask something and expect a reasonable answer.If not, I am at least entitled to know what has changed and I am expected then to comply.

Long story short, if I can still communicate, the rules of communication still apply.

People often apologize to me over IM's because they've accidentally left an IM sitting for fifteen minutes without a response. I have to keep telling them it's really no problem. So many misguided people treat web-chat exactly like face-to-face communication that it creates more misguided people.

It's always the computer novices that send messages like that too.. you know the kind I mean. You're doing work, someone IM's you, and you get to multitasking between the chat and whatever else you were doing. Leave the window minimized for over 5 minutes and you get the nagging "Hello...?" messages. These people are apparently doing nothing else but sitting in front of their monitors waiting for a response. It's ridiculous.

I'm ranting.

I'm gonna post it anyway.

I guess it's kinda flattering that I have someone else's undivided attention.

Now, see, if people knew how to lay it straight like this in the first place, this wouldn't be a problem. :)

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Like every new technology that comes along and changes the way people communicate, I think we only start to understand the impact well after it's already been incorporated into our lives. There are a lot of downsides to these sorts of sites, many of which you mentioned, Meteo. I think they have probably replaced some deeper, more personal communication, and posting about things can be like talking into a void, where you're unsure if anyone is reading. Total time sinks too.

But I'm always hesitant to condemn the technology rather than the way people are using it. There are some things that I think are absolutely great about social networking sites. My band got a really cool free video for our song just because we were random friends with a stranger who was looking for a song to use for a class project. We may get to play some shows in our area because of joining Facebook groups. And it's cool to see when friends' birthdays are coming up, or that I have this group of friends in the Bay Area, e.g., who I can meet up with while visiting there.

My concern is that this very impersonal and flawed way of communicating is quickly becoming more necessary in our personal lives and in the way in which we live. More and more every day, and I'm concerned those habits and lack of priority and etc. is going to start affecting the way people physically communicate.

Let me give you the example that planted that fear for me. The best friend I ever had completely shut off contact with me last year after the crazed man she was living with and had children with broke into her Myspace account, read my messages and, from what I understand, went on a rampage. A full-on physical, crazy-ass, rampage. He beat the shit out of her, and I guess the kids got some of that too. Someone broke something, I don't know who.

Both blamed me for it.

Granted, that is an extreme example...

Is it?

The difference between email and Ocremix and Myspace and Facebook is that email and Ocremix... you don't go in with the expectation its going to be a personal tool. You go in knowing its going to have its own rules and impersonality. Myspace and Facebook present the illusion, either through advertising or whatever, that it IS more personal and thus facilitates more personal behavior and you can flow more personally, but its still THE INTERNET and its still VERY IMPERSONAL and..... fuck, man, they just don't line up to work.

I mean, yeah, its the same problem here and email present, but its more exponential for the reasons I described above. The virtual world affects the real world. The IMPERSONAL is affected the PERSONAL.

And more people are relying more and more on the virtual, impersonal world thinking its not. This could overtake. This could be a problem down the road, thats all I'm saying.

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I don't know anything about Autism, but I wasn't insulting you. I think cryspace is a clever name. I sure didn't come up with it.

I used your full name so Zircon didn't think I was talking to him. He snuck a post in before I was finished.

I think you saying "if it's communication, rules of communication apply" is a very basic way of viewing the situation, compared to my paragraphs of analysis.

You also shouldn't be so quick to think people are lying to you. You may see someone online, and think they're twiddling their thumbs.

They may have left the window open, and are doing other things. There may be server lag, where when the user closes Firefox, cryspace displays their status as online for the next three hours.

With any of your online meanderings, you need to go in with the same idea as you have with OCR. You don't have the expectation of a personal encounter. You even called it an illusion yourself. You're a smart person, and you see it the same way I do.

Just control your emotions over it. Your head is already in the right place.

And this is where being autistic over a social networking simulator (this thread) comes into play because I can't tell if you're insulting me by using my full name and referring to "Cryspace", or if you're being genuine and I just don't get it.

This right here deserves a hefty amount of respect. I'm glad you asked, and on top of that, are aware that the misunderstanding might have been a result of Autism, rather than getting upset at me immediately.

That's very honorable, and I say this in the most sincere way possible.

Digression +1

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Yeah, I totally get what you're saying, meteo, and I'm seriously considering getting rid of my facebook account too and relying solely (I have no idea if that's how it's spelled) on email. I'm slightly autistic too (I was severely autistic when I was younger, but I still struggle with communication, loud noises, sudden changes in routine, etc.)and I agree with you on almost everything. It's extremely frustrating when people NEVER check their messages for a couple weeks. By then, it's usually too late.

I joined facebook simply because my friends refused to check their email and only used facebook. But even then, they take forever to reply. But even aside from that, I think the dependence on things like facebook are overwhelming. One friend of mine invited me to her wedding via facebook.

HER WEDDING.

What is this?? Does she seriously think I'm gonna come to her wedding because of a little online blurb? and if not, then why invite people to it?

before I got facebook I almost missed out on my own grad because they were all(Including the teachers) using it to decide dates, places, etc., and I've missed many meetups simply because people didn't bother to mention it in real life.

This dependance is scary, and it will only get worse. I'd get rid of my facebook account tonight if it weren't for that fact that I have many friends where this is the only--and I mean the ONLY--way to get in touch with them.

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I can agree with a lot of it. All things in moderation--generally a good rule to live by, whether it's the internet, games, food, or any hobby/habit. The technology opens up a lot of doors, but there's risks/pitfalls to it as well. Really, it just boils down to self-management I suppose. I'm personally not that huge on jumping around from social network to social network. I'll even go so far to say I'm slightly annoyed that I have to run back and forth between myspace, facebook, and twitter. And those are only three of SEVERAL such sites. However, I use them because there's good things that come from each--I just make a point to not sit down and spend too much time in front of any because for the most part, I don't accomplish ANYTHING, and I always end up looking back on all the time I wasted and thinking about how much of a chump I am for sitting and wasting so much time when I could be working on music or spending time outside or something.

There have been a few good points made in this thread, but overall if you know what your boundaries for online social management are and you follow them, then good for you bro. That's something that lots and lots and lots of people cannot say.

oh no guys the internet is ruining my life bawww

And this contributes what exactly?

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I'm only going to go over bits and pieces of it, because I want to stay on track and not turn this into my personal sob story.

I don't know anything about Autism, but I wasn't insulting you. I think cryspace is a clever name. I sure didn't come up with it.

I used your full name so Zircon didn't think I was talking to him. He snuck a post in before I was finished.

Ok, cool. :)

You also shouldn't be so quick to think people are lying to you. You may see someone online, and think they're twiddling their thumbs.

They may have left the window open, and are doing other things. There may be server lag, where when the user closes Firefox, cryspace displays their status as online for the next three hours.

Myspace is never going to win "server of the year", but errors forbidding communication entirely are very rare. Its still a problem that doesn't facilitate an easy solution baring reminding users to be polite to each other....

"Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every (American's) God given right." - Ghostbusters 2.

With any of your online meanderings, you need to go in with the same idea as you have with OCR. You don't have the expectation of a personal encounter. You even called it an illusion yourself. You're a smart person, and you see it the same way I do.

To be fair, I didn't learn this until after I went arsonic and burnt every bridge there was across the island and THEN deleted the pages.

Man, that was fun though.

I clearly need to study this from a non-personal perspective where the special element in the problem, me, is not a contributing factor.

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My concern is that this very impersonal and flawed way of communicating is quickly becoming more necessary in our personal lives and in the way in which we live. More and more every day, and I'm concerned those habits and lack of priority and etc. is going to start affecting the way people physically communicate.

Let me give you the example that planted that fear for me. The best friend I ever had completely shut off contact with me last year after the crazed man she was living with and had children with broke into her Myspace account, read my messages and, from what I understand, went on a rampage. A full-on physical, crazy-ass, rampage. He beat the shit out of her, and I guess the kids got some of that too. Someone broke something, I don't know who.

Both blamed me for it.

Granted, that is an extreme example...

Is it?

The difference between email and Ocremix and Myspace and Facebook is that email and Ocremix... you don't go in with the expectation its going to be a personal tool. You go in knowing its going to have its own rules and impersonality. Myspace and Facebook present the illusion, either through advertising or whatever, that it IS more personal and thus facilitates more personal behavior and you can flow more personally, but its still THE INTERNET and its still VERY IMPERSONAL and..... fuck, man, they just don't line up to work.

I mean, yeah, its the same problem here and email present, but its more exponential for the reasons I described above. The virtual world affects the real world. The IMPERSONAL is affected the PERSONAL.

And more people are relying more and more on the virtual, impersonal world thinking its not. This could overtake. This could be a problem down the road, thats all I'm saying.

Sorry for what happened to you and your friend, though it sounds like that could have happened with any kind of communication except IRL or the phone. Anyway, I don't think we're disagreeing except that I see the technology reflecting the attitudes of people, not vice versa. If we choose to replace communication with some illusion of communication, the problem is with us. These sites don't just become popular on their own, and even if sites market themselves as personal, people stick with them and continue to use them. They exist because we wanted them to. If this really is a bad road we're taking ourselves down (like I said, there are things about the sites I like), I trust we'll eventually figure out which parts aren't helping us and steer ourselves right. It sounds like some people on this thread already realize the sites aren't all they're cracked up to be.

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There have been a few good points made in this thread, but overall if you know what your boundaries for online social management are and you follow them, then good for you bro. That's something that lots and lots and lots of people cannot say.

Well, its like Alexander Graham Bell trying to build the telephone, its constant experimenting with wires (connections) of varying quality and success and hoping you learn something from it. I tried virtually every angle from the experimental point of view and every lead went cold. I didn't learn shit. You have to figure out what happens and the other person isn't talking.

And yeah, its like you say, thats the issue. Many, many people do not know what their or your boundaries are for online management. Myspace and Facebook is inching its way forward to being completely beside the points. The communicating factor is diminishing, while the whole rest of the world is getting and looking for you (employers, thieves, police, relatives... everyone you don't want looking for you).

Its going to turn on us. And its going to take a big crash before it resets itself right.

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while the whole rest of the world is getting and looking for you (employers, thieves, police, relatives... everyone you don't want looking for you).

Its going to turn on us. And its going to take a big crash before it resets itself right.

Well, I'm not sure I agree entirely with that last part--that seems a bit over the top for my own personal tastes. I can say that there's plenty of bad that can come from too much addiction to online stuff and not enough planting in the "real world", but your wording makes it sound like it's a robot that's going to turn around and shoot us with lasers when we're not paying attention.

As far as people looking up information about you, well, that's a double-edged sword. Obviously there's bad things that can come from it, sure. Identity theft is a pretty good example. Also, these perverts who sit and trick 14 year old girls to come hang out with them--both are pretty not-good results of the online service that instigated them.

HOWEVER, is it really bad for employers to want to see what you're like publically to the rest of the world when you're not "clocked in"? A buddy of mine is a police officer. He tells me a story of a guy that had applied to the department. Seemed pretty straight-forward in the interview, told them "I've just alwasy wanted to be in law-enforcement. I admire the people who do it, and I think I'm a responsible individual who can handle it." They concluded the interview and after he left they checked his myspace account. Not only was it laden with all sorts of obseneties, he had tons of pictures of him wearing vampire outfits and other pictures of him covered in "blood" posing with guns in all sorts of maniacal positions. He had also surgically implanted small fangs and had pictures of those (guess they missed those in the interview). The caption to one of the pictures said "Most of this blood ain't mine, hahahahaha."

I'm personally really happy that this guy got screened that way, because I'm not entirely sure I'd trust someone like that with authority like deadly force.

Online information is a double-edged sword. In many cases, people are just as much to blame themselves for some of the misfortune that befalls them. Yes, I acknowledge that peopld have a right to live how they wish (within legal limits), but if you're going to post things that overstep the boundaries of common sense and common decency then you deserve whatever comes to you that pertains to such. If the 14 year old girl posted pictures of her tits on myspace and it attracted Jed the 46 year old sleezeball, that's partially her fault. If the guy who wants to be a cop has pictures of his self-mutilation and psychotic gun poses online, he's a moron.

I guess I'm getting a bit off topic--I'm sure this will inevitably derail the discussion to something like "but that's invasion of privacy! They have no right! What I do on my own time is my own business!" And I have my own beliefs about that too, which I might be happy to discuss if it comes to that.

But anyway, I'm going to wrap up for now, because in the spirit of the original message of this thread, I'm spending too much time in it, and not getting anything truly productive done.

:tomatoface:

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[quote name=big giant circles;534799

I guess I'm getting a bit off topic--I'm sure this will inevitably derail the discussion to something like "but that's invasion of privacy! They have no right! What I do on my own time is my own business!" And I have my own beliefs about that too' date=' which I might be happy to discuss if it comes to that.

How can something be considered an issue of privacy when the entire point was to put it online for everyone to see?

I don't see how anyone would be able to use that argument successfully.

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HOWEVER, is it really bad for employers to want to see what you're like publically to the rest of the world when you're not "clocked in"? A buddy of mine is a police officer. He tells me a story of a guy that had applied to the department. Seemed pretty straight-forward in the interview, told them "I've just alwasy wanted to be in law-enforcement. I admire the people who do it, and I think I'm a responsible individual who can handle it." They concluded the interview and after he left they checked his myspace account. Not only was it laden with all sorts of obseneties, he had tons of pictures of him wearing vampire outfits and other pictures of him covered in "blood" posing with guns in all sorts of maniacal positions. He had also surgically implanted small fangs and had pictures of those (guess they missed those in the interview). The caption to one of the pictures said "Most of this blood ain't mine, hahahahaha."

I'm personally really happy that this guy got screened that way, because I'm not entirely sure I'd trust someone like that with authority like deadly force.

Well, deadly force is one thing, but like I'm someone who easily falls into the category of people who outwardly appear like one of those people who dreams of climbing a clock tower and going Columbine on everyone's asses. I have martial arts equipment, a long list of enemies, history of bizarre behavior from childhood, live alone, virgin, flights of fancy, an addiction to the greatest anime of all time, Ichigo Mashimaro.

By basic employer standards and psychology (if that term even applies to what they do in the interview process), I'm a card-carrying psycho, pedophile, rapist or at least budding. It doesn't matter I'm a Church Council Secretary, Crucifer, physically healthy young man who's saved 3 lives thus far despite low intelligence with an excellent working record and no criminal record whatsoever, as long as those pictures and information exists without context somewhere with my name attached to it, I'm fucked. I might really need that job to help take care of my ailing Dad but I can't get it because my three-year-old Myspace page shows me in a thong at a friends' party.

Besides the fact that it completely throws out the inability to ask age, sexual preference, religion, etc. in an interview if they can easily find that shit online, which is probably illegal, its just plain wrong. Its saying you don't ever get to be yourself, whoever you are, outside of your apartment which is 400 sq. ft. and without proper insulation.

Yeah, its a total double-edged sword. We occasionally catch some real potential psychos, but people like me get caught up in that shit all the time because of something trivial like that.

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How can something be considered an issue of privacy when the entire point was to put it online for everyone to see?

I don't see how anyone would be able to use that argument successfully.

Because its not always up for EVERYONE to see. If this were the case, anything you type online becomes public domain. I'm not typing this for ALL to see, just those on Ocremix who are interested to read this topic.

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Because its not always up for EVERYONE to see. If this were the case, anything you type online becomes public domain. I'm not typing this for ALL to see, just those on Ocremix who are interested to read this topic.

Off-topic: Everything we type online does not enter the public domain (though in some ways, I think I wouldn't mind - BACK ON THIS MAIN OFF-TOPIC!).. I'm pretty sure copyright law keeps you the owner of your own writings, and Facebook/Myspace also have specific rules governing the ownership of what you write/upload/post onto their websites.

However, anybody can log on Myspace/Facebook/etc and access your information per your privacy rules - if you let non-friends/friends-of-friends/people in your network see your info, then they have the right (I imagine) to see that info.

On topic:

I wasted 20 minutes reading this thread. By choice. I could have done my workout instead. Or studied for some lab quiz tomorrow... or press on some piano keys or something else. I chose to do this, whether by addiction or not... oh well.

But yeah. You can't govern non-face-to-face communication with the same rules as you do for face-to-face (or, to an extent, over-the-phone and over-webcam) conversations. It's enticing to think so. And it's enticing to think that Myspace and Facebook are highly personal media for communication. They are... to an extent. It helps if you frequently (physically) see the people you are communicating with over social networking sites.

Really though, I think the marvel of texting, Facebooking etc is the inherent lack of personal communication. It saves me so much smalltalk! If I wanted that, I would see people in person.

Random rants i think. sorry. :(

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