As soon as a brand name turns out to be famous, we assume it’s there to stay. So for years now, we’ve been Googling to show we are well-informed, Tweeting to remain through what’s occurring around us, and Facebooking for exhibitionism and voyeurism.
Nevertheless, with Facebook bringing new policies, and Google trying to surmount yet another aspect of our lives with Google+, there seems to be a sense of discomfort among netizens. The question rises, ‘How much do these networks know about us, and how will they use that knowledge?‘ is at last becoming significant.
So why should we get worried now? It is a known fact that Google has been privy to the content of supposedly private emails ever since they began to display targeted advertisements on our sidebars.
The adverse effects of Facebook become a topic of debate every time a post has a drastic effect. Earlier, the site was held responsible for ramifications ranging from divorce to denial of medical benefits.
The Facebook debate intensified when it was discovered that Facebook was using cookies to keep track of sites a user visits even after s/he logs out of the network. A huge number of Facebook friends began to post on each other’s walls, cautioning that the network was going to start charging money for its use, except one spammed all of one’s friends with the notice. Others began to sending notes on the dangers of Timeline – such as, that people will be able to see you’ve ‘unfriended’ them. Just in case they didn’t get the hint, now they can rub their faces in it!
It was also assumed that the amount of information and connections one has on Facebook will keep one ‘locked in’ for decades made everyone disgusting at the idea.
Do we recall that Mark Zuckerberg and his buddies didn’t bang on our doors with guns and forced us to sign up. Neither did they make us update their friends with every bit of detail of their lives. Also, they haven’t deprived anybody from the freedom of deleting posts, or even deactivating their accounts.
There appears to be a long-lasting fear that Facebook will expose undisclosed stalkers by allowing stalkees discover the people who are checking out their profiles. Every once in a while, one finds a wall post linking to a page that will allow one to “see who’s viewing [one’s] profile!”. Never mind the fact that a user can block people from finding him or her, and filter what people see even if they do find him or her.
Also, users appear annoyed by Facebook’s decision to prioritize updates from people they interact with the most. Why does Facebook get to decide whom we want to see updates from? Thus people would like to be updated on the lives of people they don’t remain in touch with?
As soon as Google made an effort to seize Facebook’s grip on social networking by launching its e Google+, Facebook reacted by replicating its one attractive feature – circles to determine the visibility of each post.
A great deal has been made of Twitter‘s role in coordinating relief efforts after bomb blasts and natural disasters. Many of us are grateful to Orkut, and later Facebook, for enabling us to get in touch with long-lost school friends. Blogs and websites have done for intelligent people what shopping malls and reality shows did for beautiful ones – authors and journalists have got unprecedented publicity through their web forums, and cartoonists, humorists, and even artists have been discovered.