What’s the deal with these social networking sites

by Gilbert Keith

Social networking is fun. Take facebook, for instance; who doesn’t like being on Facebook? It’s a nice way to communicate with people and see what’s happening with friends. I was initially opposed to Facebook’s mini-feed idea, but I think it’s not too bad. Since you volunteer to put information on facebook, I find absolutely no reason why you need to grumble about ‘privacy’. You have more privacy issues to worry about than disclosing some silly information on Facebook. (Read the Sept. 22 2006 article in The Minnesota Daily) Also, facebook allows you to impose restrictions on who can friend you or view your wall, etc. so if you don’t want to be stalked, then restrict your profile to your friends!

Social networking can also be extremely stupid. Allow me to rant about myspace. Everybody knows how chaotic Myspace has become and how extremely easy it is for the average joe to get fucked (literally?. If you don’t know, just visit a random page on myspace, say http://www.myspace.com/alifeneverending (Note how easy it was to find this page) Ok, now the problems I have with this:

1. The page template it really really lame for my resolution. Why does myspace allow users to have their own templates which take about 2500 minutes to load properly? Why not make it such that everyone has the same background and the same colors? (some of those neon pink and neon green colors can cause ocular cancer, by the way)
2. Everybody on myspace has some dynamic content from several sites. That is so stupid because it take 2500 minutes more to load. Why not just make it text-based, so that everybody, even dial-up users will be able to access pages quickly?
3. Those templates and customizations require scripts to be executed, and some of these scripts can be dangerous to your computer. There have been several documented cases where some worm or the other was leaked through myspace’s music player which infected millions of computers.
4. Too many minor greivances to enumerate. The biggest problem I had was that the control panel menu was concealed at the top somewhere and it took me about 4 days to locate it. Sometimes, with those funky page templates, one can make the menu disappear completely!

Another problem I see with social networking is that people make profiles on sites. Granted isn’t a huge number (15, rounded to the nearest integer), but still, it’s a lot. For one to profile himself on so many different websites, he must have a tonne of friends ( : 3814279 rounded to the nearest integer. Hellz yeah, baby!). But no, people do NOT have so many friends. All they do is invite their old friends to the new website (like friendster, orkut, hi5, multiply, tagged, etc.), which is infinitely cooler than the previous one because it has new and improved photouploading tools, friend-tracking tools, blogging, etc. how new is new photo-uploading when yahoo employed a similar method 7 years ago to upload attachments to emails?

*Rant and Swear alert*

And what do people do with all these profiles? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Nothing goddamnit! why do I not make a profile at just one website I am comfortable with? No, I want to make several profiles because that makes me much cooler. More people can see me this way. And when they do see me, I can be even cooler than I previously was. And then somebody asks me out for a date, by which time I’m on top of the world. Then I go to the date and it turns out to be this old dude or woman which is really scary and I feel like I’m fucked. I get depressed and there goes everything. On the other hand, I might receive a message from a 16 year old Kristal who’s really hot and wants me to see her on a webcam. I ignore, but she is persistent in her requests. Soon, her friends want me to see them on a cam or on some website. Given the fact that I’m a teen with raging hormones, I cave in. I do something silly over the next few days and fuck up my entire life. Amen.

If you really want to be cool on the internet, make a page on a site which easily allows you to impose restrictions on who can view your profile and who can’t. Also, for your convenience, you might want to invite your friends to the “good website” and set up your own network there. You also might want to deactivate profiles that you don’t use anymore because it could potentially screw you up later on. That’s my advice.

Thank you,