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

JEDDAH: A small fire broke out on the roof of the Grand Mosque on Monday morning, causing minor injuries to five people, including members of the Civil Defense, one security officer and three workers. The fire broke out at about 2 a.m. and covered an...
JEDDAH: The director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, Saleh Rasheed, has said that Sadeer Industrial City, which is regarded as one of the largest industrial cities in the Kingdom, possesses great capabilities that sets it apart as...
DAMMAM: Cheap and out of date cosmetics are causing serious health problems in the Kingdom, including skin diseases, hair loss and cancer, local doctors say.These products are often manufactured incorrectly or contain harmful fats, the doctors were q...
JEDDAH: Several young Saudis have started filming Jeddah’s historic district using cameras mounted on drones to gather professional 3D footage that can be used to build models and create virtual tours.Bandar Al-Mutlaq, owner of the Arab Foundation, w...
RIYADH: The Saudi capital is fully geared for this year’s Eid Al-Fitr celebrations that include an exciting bouquet of entertainment, heritage, sports, artistic and theatrical events.The annual Muslim festivities being organized here by the Riyadh mu...
JEDDAH: As part of its growing supervisory and investigative status, Riyadh Health Department’s forensics center examined 632 cases over the past eight months involving suspected murder, rape and abuse of women and children.Khaled bin Muhammad Hassan...
RIYADH: The Syrian Expatriates Medical Association (SEMA) expressed its thanks on Monday to Saudi organizations and individuals for donating to the campaign to help Syrians affected by the ongoing conflict.SEMA has 1,300 members in Syria and other co...
RIYADH: Inclusion of the Hail rock art in the UNESCO World Heritage List is proof of the Kingdom’s status and cultural profoundness, said the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) on Monday.Reacting to the announcement of the fou...
JEDDAH: The Yemeni community has asked the Saudi government to extend the rectification process, which ends Tuesday, claiming that there are many thousands still seeking to get proper identification documents to qualify for work visas in the Kingdom....
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has set up 343 electoral constituencies for the Dec. 12 municipal council elections.This was done on the orders of Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the minister and head of the General Committee for the Munici...
JEDDAH: Efforts are under way to electronically handle all Haj-related works to achieve speed and accuracy, as well as reduce costs an bring in transparency, Haj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar has said.Speaking at a workshop in Jeddah on Sunday, Hajjar sa...
JEDDAH: The Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works on Sunday held its third meeting in Jeddah in the presence of Prince Khaled bin Abdullah, the board chairman, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has announced that six people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the period from June 28 to July 6.The ministry has now recorded 1,045 cases of MERS since June 2012, with 5...
ALKHOBAR: Patient visitations play an important role in the healing process, provided the well-wishers adopt the right approach by speaking and acting in a manner that the sick person’s morale is lifted. However, any wrong move by the visitor may aff...
MAKKAH: The price of residential land has registered a drastic 30 percent drop due to the slump in the market over the past six months, said an online newspaper.According to real estate dealers, the reason behind the decision was the imposition of 30...

Stay Connected

Facebook