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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Blog Bubble


8 out of 10 holds an iphone in Singapore. The irony of the iPhone is while it made us more social (technically), it made us very anti-social as well.

I am guilty of checking my phone first thing in the morning, eyes fixated on it while travelling (even missing my stop sometimes), and even getting distracted on dates. For once, men get to tell me “My eyes are up here, and not down there!”

Social media undeniably has its benefits; it made us a lot more social globally connecting with friends from 10,000 miles away.

Ten years ago, planning a birthday party or even a wedding, we’ll spend hours making phone calls and sending out invites. Now, with a click of a mouse, you send an event invite via Facebook and you won’t risk forgetting anybody.
BUT …

Is that sincere? How do you feel knowing you are one of the 800 friends she has invited?  What if I rsvp as “Maybe Attending”, won’t that put the marrying couple in a limbo in reserving banquet tables?

To be fair, Facebook invites is a fantastic tool to initiate random gatherings, parties or beach outing s. But I ought to be getting a present or giving a red packet, I’ll expect some sincerity in the invitation.

The friend who sent out Facebook invites for her wedding? She was sorely disappointed with the turnout but had no clue why.
Parents now jump onto social media sites to keep in touch/ keep track of their children.  To children, that’s a private space and they may not necessary want to “friend” you.

My Western friends grew up climbing trees, and pressing olive oil. Here in Singapore, I see children four-eyed and DS-lite, PS-2 and the likes strapped around their wrists. Even the dead are getting Ipad 2 and Iphone 5! Funny, everything imaginable is available, but there’re no sanitary pads (they’ve servants, ointments and chicken rice), condoms and Penthouse (they have majong, beer and massage chair). 
The Internet is SO amazing that it has helped me with homework, work, knowledge, entertainment and even catch cheating partners or sniff out potential players. Because of that proven case study, any partners henceforth who is secretive or protective about his online persona hints to me that he has got something to hide and may not be entirely faithful.

Then again, wise users do know that the corporate world judges your online persona and colleagues gossip about what they find. It’s my conscious effort not to delve too deep over why a lover is secretive over his online actions but I am caught in a dilemma over which school of thought wins.

On the other side of the fence, the people who have 99 albums on Facebook or 20 self-shots in one blog post do want people to form impressions of their online reputation.  If you check Facebook more than once a day, you are likely to be more narcissistic and insecure with others. You may get defensive, because it’s not a label you want to be slapped with. 

It’s proven however, that as Snow White’s Queen constantly asks the mirror who is the fairest of them all, Facebook walls has a positive influence on your self esteem because it allows you to put your best face forward.

There are many chronic twitters out there. How many friend’s tweets or status updates have you seen that is self-promoting?

“I just ate at an expensive restaurant.”
“My darling just cooked more me, love love love.”
“Check me out here.”

I admit, with the increasing plastic surgery being performed on young girls, I did feel the pressure of becoming the new ugly.
I too admit, seeing all these self-promoting tweets, did pressure me into tweeting some “ It’s so romantic here! Love love love.”  But the fact is, that wasn't real.

Everyone has insecurities, but the WWW has made this side of everyone ever so prominent.

Fake Facebook Conversation Generator. That is an application that allows you to create fake girlfriend/boyfriend who will leave you facebook wall posts and @mentions.  So don’t fret if you feel you are losing in the coupledom race, just because that ugly friend finally got attached.

Is un-friending an ex-boyfriend/ girlfriend or friend whom you quarreled with childish? Like when in school we tell kids we dislike "Don't Friend You!" coupled with a push into the sandbox maybe.

It’s a grey area.

Before Facebook, you just stop talking isn’t it? With Facebook, we make friendships and relationships OFFICIAL.
Then there are the malicious comments. These haters find comfort and safety being anonymous, so they write freely called internet bashing. They are cowardly, and they haven't got a life.

2 prolific bloggers in Singapore are often the victims of internet bashing.

Why do they make people so angry that these anonymous haters feel a need to hurl verbal abuse and slander? Is it because they are young, pretty and successful? Is it because the haters sit around bored, mad at the world so they target someone to bash on the internet?

But there are the strangers who trust strangers (buying a product, going to a restaurant based on your reviews). An encouraging word, an uplifting fan email do wonders in this world where we badly need, just so to stop those suicides happening because of internet bashing.

We can't stop the haters from commenting, sometimes we just have to take the beating until these losers grow up, move on or find someone else to target.

Is social media degrading society?

I’m sure you’ve come across these Facebook trends where people change their profile pictures to cartoon characters just so to advocate anti-violence for children. Then, putting a colour on your Facebook status to spread Breast cancer awareness etc.

Someone altered the original and spread the rumour that “the group asking everyone to change their profile picture to their favourite cartoon is actually a group of pedophiles. They are doing it because kids will accept their friend requests faster if they see a cartoon picture.”

Both scenerios, in what way is both content motivating you to do anything after reading them? Did social media really make us care about a social cause? Those who are changing their profile pictures for the campaign do not realize that this is NOT a form of social activism. It’s slacktivism.

When will the social media bubble burst? What will come after blogs, Twitter and Facebook?

We should start focusing on the life we are in, rather than the one we are connected to via a machine.
Only the intelligent will understand this.

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