How Friendster and Blog is unwiring social networks

Friendster keeps getting creepier. The free Internet service, which links personal profiles together into its own online social web, started out by allowing you to ‘bookmark’ strangers in order to let them know that somebody was checking them out. Now they’ve introduced a feature where you can track anyone who has been looking at your fabulous profile. More than ever, the allure of Friendster is that you can now be a creepy stalker without actually being a creepy stalker.

The irony of it all...

After all, who hasn’t spent an evening at home (or an afternoon at work) searching for past loves and crushes? Or looking longingly at the friends in your network that you haven’t seen for a long time? Or looking at the ones you’ve already met lately? Or that you’ve met but were too nyanyuk to remember? Or changing mails and chats for a few weeks and then got in a very tight schedule about things and stuff and decided not to talk to them anymore? Or never meet this starngers in friendsters but always wanted to and a few months passed by and now you want to see if how they’re doing?

Though I’ve dallied a little, I’ve never really been a Friendster person. Updating profiles, leaving testimonials, enduring the consistent pressure to be a clever poyo guy - it’s just too much to keep up with. My stalking has been limited to ‘blogging’ and ‘googling’ only: itupun sebab terpaksa. I liken the phenomenon of myself craving for information whenever I walk in the internet door. I need affirmation of my existence. Such is Google, such is Blogger, such is Friendster.

When Friendster first came around, all of my early-adopter friends leapt at it and had a blast. As time went on, more people became connected and it created a strange network wherein you could find people you might have otherwise lost contact with entirely, maybe you wanted to add them as your ‘friend’ or maybe you just wanted to know they were out there. But as Friendster gradually evolves into uselessness, I find myself at odds with the whole thing. It has reached a saturation point where I’ve now come back into contact with old, old, old friends, some of whom I’d prefer not to be friends with anymore as well as others that I thought had faded away. Even though I’ve now lapsed into a Friendster coma, people keep tracking people down on it. For better or worse, the service has steadily begun to instill its hooks into the Internet.

And now, with the addition of a blog feature to Friendster, I can read about the ins-and-outs of people’s lives who would never in a million years start a blog if they thought that they’d have to compete with the invincible SultanMuzaffar and the likes of him ( Trivia Sandman: SultanMuzaffar ialah seorang award-winning blogger dan antara blogger terhandal di mainstream Malaysia ). On Friendster however, one needn’t worry about this level of competition; the floodgates have opened. I know people who actually make money from their blogs, but they don’t really seem to enjoy having one. When people first began writing about their lives for all of us ‘internauts’ to see, it was out of armchair-techie joy. “That’s all it takes? Why, I could do that!” And it was fun. And it was voyeuristic. And then, once all the cliques and competition began to form, it just didn’t seem to be so enjoyable anymore.

As anyone can tell you, blogs have changed. I had dinner with my friend a few weeks ago and, somewhere into my second round of teh o’ ais limau, she leaned over and whispered to me, "What’s a blog?". I scraped around for an answer and came up with: a blog is a personal website with writing devoted to your life, your hobbies, or whatever it is people in the current pop-culture society are doing. This wasn’t entirely helpful for her. However, she was amazed to learn that some people can make money from blogging and, as a point of fact, thought that was cool.

I’m not going to argue against writers being paid for their writing, and I’m not defending Friendster or Blogger. It’s just what i think now and today. I think it’s growing in ways that are detrimental to itself and to us. But as it grows, it pulls in people you might not have expected. And maybe someday, my mom will want to be my Friendster. I love my mom but come’on, let me stalk that girl or guy in high school who used to give me good memories and excellent advice about life. I wanted to see if they have an excellent life now. And please, let the Internet be fun again.


p/s: Terilham setelah membaca artikel online ini sebenarnya... dan ini juga bukanlah satu attempt untuk mempromosi apa-apa atau sesiapa adanya.


areyoung berkata…
Ini. Aku beri apa yang kau nak.