Now that I’ve amassed a healthy retinue of friends, and friends networks, I feel I can take full advantage of the feature of Twitter I’ve been lacking.
Stalking random people.
I kid (mostly), but what it comes down to is we all have these complex and (slightly) convoluted friend networks that stretch a small distance, either geographically or through connections. Once we put that network out there for others to see, people from the far reaches of our network can intermingle, or possibly reach out to shared networks and build new relationships and networks.
I find this a fascinating practice, and based on my recent additions and inclusions of people that I find somewhat interesting, it’s actually constructive. I’m allowed to take my time analyzing a person, judging them on what they say and believe, and then add them if my opinion of their statements or their presentation fits with the kind of people I want to know. Automatically, I’ve just increased the potential for interaction with this person many times higher than a random social event, even if we have a single thing in common.
Now that I find myself with these new people to converse with, to share notes with, and chuckle about how closely we’re linked even without knowing each other, I wonder where this all is going to take us. Not too many years ago, Facebook was an unknown. The links we had to school friends from a few or dozens of years ago were forever broken, except maybe for some unique websites like Classmates.com that would advertise their unique capability of connecting you with the students from your class that actually cared to get connected. Even more recently than that, Twitter was a nebulous concept in someone’s mind, and the 140 character limit of psychology and belief was something we just couldn’t imagine. Now that we’re here… what’s next?
One of the things I ponder is many of the attempts to unify communication methods. Whether online profiles to contain all your contact info or interaction of several different social networking sites to provide a consolidated record of contact information, I believe that somewhere along the line, we’re going to end up with a personal record of everything us. I know many people use many different systems to do exactly that, myself included. For the moment, at least, most of my contact information is in my head, but one of these days I’m going to finally break off all the old accounts, all the old emails, and reduce myself to a few primary ones, based upon my interests. All of a sudden, my multifaceted personality is subject to a limited number of access points, linked to the social networks that are best suited to them.
Are you ready for what might happen next? Are you prepared to see social networking take another step in the connectivity realm, bringing everyone even closer together? Is privacy something you still cherish and wish to keep a morsel of it to yourself? It’s a digital age, and the clothes we wear have become less important than the guises we adopt on the Internet. Business, personal life, and privacy are all bundled up in a complicated and technologically changing network of people, places, and businesses. It’s a scary world out there, but we’re learning more and more about it in the process.