The way we socialize has considerably changed over a very short period of time. You no more need to e-mail the photos of the last night party to multiple people, or chat for long on the phone. Simply log on to flickr or Facebook and your job is done.
A lot of apps on these websites itself, tell if you are addicted to them. But there’s a simpler formula I believe. If the rate of your logging in to these accounts exceeds the rate at which you receive scraps,comments or notifications, you just might be a target of SNW addiction!
The basic idea behind the social networking websites, was to connect old friends and make new ones. But like every business, these websites need money to keep them running. Where does this money come from? Ads that you see and applications that you use. These applications are also designed to keep you coming for more.
But the more important question is that what is the future of SNWs ? With increasing service providers it has got difficult to manage multiple profiles for the users. You have to separately log in for Orkut, Twitter, Facebook or Blogger. At the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit 07, attended by the CEO’s of various SNWs, the common idea presented was to have a single platform where users could manage multiple profiles. That’s the technical aspect though. But to keep it popular among the people we definitely need better and fresh ideas on how we use these websites.
Something yet to get popular among the masses is Second Life. A virtual world where you can socialize, connect with new people, and buy property with some virtual money. You need to download the customized application and you are ready to go. Design your avatar, fly around the city (yes your avatar can really fly), chat with people, go on a date or shop, in brief live your second life. What scares me is that excessive engagement with the second life could adversely affect our real life, which is obviously our first priority!
So is it the need to connect with friends or narcissism that keeps us addicted to these websites? Do you have any new ideas that could make online social networking more cooler? Share your opinions and thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be a pleasure hearing from you.