Social networks



Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan

Published — Wednesday 19 December 2012

Last update 18 December 2012 9:31 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

As far as I am concerned, computers have been a cause for awe as well as (at the beginning) uneasiness and even suspicion. After offering some strong resistance at first, I had to give in because I couldn’t help recognizing their utility, especially if one writes a lot. I also willingly accepted the existence of e-mailing, because it makes one exchange news very quickly. As most of my closest friends live overseas, it used to take ages to correspond on a regular basis. After the advent of e-mail, though, things started to run very quickly, for the joy of millions. I would now like to briefly examine some of these recent ways of communicating, and try to detect the possible reasons why they have become so popular. Many professional surveys have already successfully been carried out, but this, here, is a simple gathering of my own observations, as well as an invitation for you to make your personal ones, if you consider it worthwhile.
Let us start with the “grandfather”: E-mail. It is defined as a system for sending and receiving messages electronically between personal computers.
When you send an e-mail, then, you communicate with “one” friend (let’s not include here “forward” etc.). So, e-mailing concerns YOU and ANOTHER.
But things have progressed, giving birth to Facebook, a popular social networking website that allows users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family etc. Here the field has been greatly widened. You use it to tell your friends things about yourself and also read stuff that your friends post. It is a sort of exchange where you enjoy letting others “know” what you do and do not do, like and don’t like. So far so good. The situation changes a bit when you realize that your Facebook “friends” are not just your pals and family. Most of them are simple acquaintances. You meet someone and … you become buddies! They do not “really” care about you, as you do not care about them. You (and they, too) just like to have more people on your “list”. Why? Do you feel the need to be more popular? Do you believe that your true friends are not enough to make your life more complete? Thus, on Facebook, we have YOU and OTHERS.
Finally ... Twitter! This is an enormously popular instant messaging system that lets a person send brief text messages to a list of followers. It is designed as a social network to keep friends (and whomever else) informed about you, throughout the day. Here the range is getting wider. Not only “friends” are included in your list, also colleagues, acquaintances and … whoever else (mostly strangers), get to know about your daily activities. Twitter became then “viral” when users initiated “re-tweeting,” i.e. forwarding tweets to their followers. People re-tweet to pass on information, and the ease of doing it can quickly build large audiences. Now, here the interaction is minimal, from what I understand. Here there is ONLY YOU. Out of curiosity, I have had a short-lived twitter account just to find out what it is and how it works. The impression I got is that it fulfills the individual need to become a star who is “followed” by many admirers. From what I understand, some use Twitter to keep others informed about almost every action they perform in their lives, while some (flip side of the coin) use it to read about what happens in other people’s lives. A sort of a “read-only” reality show.
I enjoy modernity, I adore Word program, I love e-mail, I use Facebook … Therefore I am not here to criticize, judge or condemn. I am simply intrigued by seeing how times have changed and how people, who once were contented with communicating with one person (usually a dear one) at the time, exchanging not only news but also feelings, are now totally wired toward expressing themselves in front of “an audience.”
I hope that the following words by Einstein will not become reality: “I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of fools.”

E-mail: [email protected]
Blog: recreateyourlifetoday.blogspot.com

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ALKHOBAR: A power failure at the King Fahd Causeway on Wednesday night resulted in a massive traffic congestion, even as officials failed to explain the cause of the snag, local media reported.A power outage for 74 minutes on the link between the Kin...
JEDDAH: A female Saudi lawyer was able to get a stay order on a ruling by the general court in Jeddah that awarded custody of a two-year-old girl to her father. She successfully argued to get the court order reversed that gave custody back to the mot...
JEDDAH: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) said that combating harassment cases is part of its responsibility to promote Islamic values and morals in society.“Those harassing women will be brought to book,” s...
RIYADH: A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exerc...
JEDDAH: More than 26 million Umrah pilgrims and worshippers visited the Grand Mosque during the month of Ramadan and in the first few days after Eid Al-Fitr, thanks to a smooth transport arrangement under the guidance of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-...
AL-AHSA: An outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) has been discovered in cattle in Al-Ahsa which is an area with many cows. All necessary measures have been taken to protect the livestock, said Mahmoud Al-Shuaibi of the Agriculture Department in Al-Ah...
RIYADH: An architectural masterpiece — the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center (KAHC) — in Riyadh is a huge complex dedicated solely to collecting, preserving, promoting and showcasing the history and heritage of Saudi Arabia. The KAHC is a three milli...
RIYADH: The Saudi Blind Society (Kafif) has made all preparations for the three-day workshop for the blind to be held here next week and attended by delegates from various Asian countries.Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Shuwaiman, Kafif director general, th...
JEDDAH: The number of Saudis who took early retirement schemes last year stood at 38,647, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has said. The Eastern Provinces got the lion's share of disbursements for retirees, amounting to SR3.8 bill...
JEDDAH: Meat and poultry topped the list of food items seized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) at the border crossings for violating the health standards in the last two months.Approximately 267,137 kg of unfit meat and poultry were reject...
JEDDAH: Many sponsors and workers of small companies are struggling to get a comparatively cheaper health cover for renewal of iqama (residential permit) as the insurance companies have stopped issuing the same.The passport department has made it com...
RIYADH: Police have detained 11 Indonesian nationals, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah for Umrah a few days back.The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry is working closely with the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah to assist the group of citizen...
JEDDAH: The National Committee for Bakeries at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said this Haj season would see no shortage in supplies of bakery items.The committee said there was need to increase operational labor by about 20 percent.It confirmed...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal met with leaders of security forces in the region on Thursday to discuss future plans and mechanisms to limit infiltrators from entering the holy sites via land passageways during Haj.During the meeting, he...

Stay Connected

Facebook