Monday, March 05, 2007

Social Networking - Revisited

About a year ago, I ranted about leaving what I call, "the sandbox", also known as Myspace. I refer to it as the sandbox because the folks who use it have a tendancy to create garish profiles with all kinds of "bling" and their online behavior is often sadly, immature. The result is the most difficult to navigate, horribly constructed webpages on the internet. I kept my profile page, occasionally added a 'friend', someone whom I actually know but I deleted everyone who posts oversized trashy graphics and pathetic 'add-me' pleas. The result? A clean, updated profile which I can live with but I spend very little time there.

Rave whoring? It seems so. What sort of social low point (or is this normal?) has my virtual worlds identity slipped to? Is this the kind of thing people do at MySpace? My Kaneva profile is here, rave me and I’ll rave you back. Add me as a friend, even if you’re Charles Manson, my virtual world identity doesn’t seem to have any bounds to whom he’ll call a “friend.” TDavid, 03.01.07

Over the weekend I ran across the linked article written by TDavid over at "Things that make you go Hmmm..." Pretty amusing stuff. He talks about the same phenom, he calls it "Rave whoring", aptly named. I find it hard to understand the edgy desperation which screams from some of the profiles and behavior I have seen over the years. I am not referring to adult only content, partially shielded from the eyes of children, I am talking about the unashamed soft porn on the above mentioned site, the illusion of anonymity just because you shield yourself with an avatar and the mind-bending use of the most vilified racial epithet of the twentieth century.

I remember when I first went online, I assume it would be open season on everything I typed and so it is. I have lived to tell about more than one flame war, a pathetic seduction attempt upon my former spouse, the handful of people I met online who turned out to be a genuinely cool and enough spam to feed a whole continent. I have thankfully learned many things I would never have had the opportunity to learn, collaborated a couple of times with some cool people and found out that I am not so different from any other random human being on the planet. Some of my thoughts are way ahead of the curve and other things I just do not understand. This seems to be one of them.

I guess I have not changed that much over the years. I am still of the mind that everything I type is open to scrutiny and that shaming my Mom with uncivilized behavior is worse than a stint in Hades even if she never reads it. I do not foresee a change for the better, I just choose to minimize my exposure to the 'sandbox'. On with the grand social networking experiment! It makes great anecdotal evidence for anthropologists.

Addendum: I was poking around, the purpose of this article was really just to test a new Greasemonkey script anyway, I digress...

...poking around and found a post by Maia, so eloquent...