As if ego was not enough to cause enough chaos in the world…..
Times are changing. Twenty years back I did want to write. I wanted to express myself. Options were limited. You could just dream of writing a book or publish an article in magazine.
Anyway internet and computers came along and things changed. You could write something which could be theoretically be ready by millions ( remember theoretically ). You did not need much to get started. Just a computer and an internet connection which lot of us got as part of our office work. This was freedom. I could write about anything I thought was important. My efforts in this direction did not go too far – http://geocities.com/NapaValley/2314/. Just a simple page with some Java Applet ( I am still surprised that it works even now. This was compiled using a JDK in 1996 ) and a few recepies. Blogging sites came along and made the job of making a personal site such an easy affair and aided in the growth of personal web ( opposed to corporate web ). Currently web is all about how it relates to people more than anything else and people also have embraced the medium with both hands.
But what are the innate human needs all these technologies fulfill
This is one big deal which humans have been struggling with for ages. Everyone knows that we have to vanish from the face of earth someday but we still have the desire of immortality.We see our web presence as something which live beyond us. At some point people used to look as kids from a similar perspective. May be they still do.
Who doesn’t want to feel like a celebrity even if it is a fake one. We have grown up figuring out when a particular actor sneezed or an actress had an affair. Now time to get some piece of the cake by publishing to your followers that you are waiting for an auto and you got a tatoo in not so mentionable body parts. The real celebrities get attention to anything they do and the fake ones keep clicking on refresh buttons on their browsers to see if somebody responded to the status update they did. ( I have been even thinking of building a company which manages social updates for you and get paid on a per response mode)
Man is a social animal is an overused saying but the fact is that he/she is. We love to connect up and who do not love to do that also want to be perceived as they do. Some of these technologies have made being social so easy. No trip to Archies to figure out a greeting card. You just need to send a virtual drink on FB. These technologies have helped social people to become more social and non-social ( not anti social ) folks to fake it.
Internet presence has become an integral part of our identity. It is like a fashionable cloth somebody might wear or a car person might use to convey what he wants to be perceived as by external entities. Now people use social media as a similar vehicle of self expression. Social media has also evolved to focus on more of public conversations then private conversations to facilitate this.
Years ago you were what you read or what you eat, but nowdays you are what you tweet.
PS: I wrote this when Geocities was still alive and now my first date with internet is dead… Sob sob.