Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Losing out on serendipity

My sister is a social media dinosaur of sorts. She never had an orkut, won't get a facebook, and doesn't know what twitter is. She reads blogs though, thank god for that.

When I tried to convince her to get a facebook - show her how much fun it was reconnecting with old school friends, finding out what they're upto, visiting a place and getting dope on it before going there..her response was "some things should just be left to chance - randomly bumping into a school friend will be so much more fun than "facebook" ".

Here's Damon Darlin making a similar point in the NYT. It's ironic that he talks about the development of algorithms to "recreate serendipity" !

Just like most personal blogging is losing its charm for me now, and updating inane updates on facebook has stopped being funny about right when it started, I think I've made a head start into avoiding personal twitters- the only ones that I keep track of are ones a handful of people whose opinions i'm curious about and link interesting things, and those of organizations and groups that I am a part of, that help me keep track of their events, publications, etc. That stuff is handy and helps me keep abreast of a variety of things on a single platform. Even then, it can be a lot, and I have learned to just not be compelled to click on each and every link that someone else posts.

Most have gone through or are still going through the phase of welcoming this information deluge with open arms, taking in all of it, wanting more, and finding it hard to say no. Eventually everyone gets saturated at some point, learns to distill all this content, pare it down using whatever parameters they choose, and strike a balance of sorts. Perhaps people like my sister are doing well to stay away from deluge now, and wait until the hype dies down so that- for eg. "mindless tweets" only occupy 4% of twitter, the system attains some kind of equilibrium, appropriate apps are worked out that help one access this information overload in more manageable ways.

3 comments:

Nu said...

Hmmmmm.....

Prasoon said...

AM sick of all things yes. Orkut went away about 2 years ago when Facebook had come and then I twittered too. Now, its all dying. Facebook I still keep alive just to keep track of a few and just feel sane in this otherwise lonely world where no one believes in meeting personally or something coz frankly, everyone says they have many things otherwise to do. INternet first showed us the ease of communication and then took away all the old school ways of being in touch. Its painful. Am happy to know about your sis - she'll be happier for sure with that decision.

Pri said...

whatever you twitter hater! it is vital that everyone know what i ate for breakfast this morning. i even added a picture so they didn't have to use their imagination.