Sunday, 9 May 2010

Facebook, wave, buzz and others

Every day I wake up to something new in my inbox, invitations from friends and colleagues to joint this on line community or that. I'm pretty used to managing my way around them especially with the help of the every increasing add-ons and plug-ins that help us juggle the different notices and alerts that we receive. However, how much of our life do we now live "online"?

The other day, while trying out Google Wave with a couple of friends talking about our best (and later a 2nd wave for worst) films I realised that me and my husband, who was occupying the other couch at the time, were updating the same wave at the same time, so in a way having a conversation where we were agreeing and disagreeing about which film is better via our key board. Now some might say that this is a sad example of our ever decreasing human communication which is giving way to the digital life that we all seem to get more and more into.

For me that is not actually the case, all these new online tools are ways to keep in touch with people who, by virtue of me living in the UK, I cannot have such discussions with on regular basis. When I'm actually in Syria, the time I have available is so treasured and limited that I barely manage to meet the less connected older generation in my family so chatting about films for hours seems a remote possibility.

The other interesting thing about all the communication technology is memory! While you can never remember a conversation word for word no matter how important the conversation is or how good your remember things but when you're "collaborating" online with a group of people discussing movies for example, you're every key stroke is recorded and remembered, reconstructing the whole conversation is as simple as hitting the play button on a DVD player!

Now, two things immediately come to mind: this is a bit too much information for one's comfort and, the fun of never getting the argument "I never said so!!"

What I find amusing is how quickly people forget these two facts, it's a daily recurrence that I see people who totally forget their guards online and act as it they're in the privacy of their front room. Not realising that they're being read by a fair few and that what they say will stay online in some sort of a record no matter how much they try to retract it later. It's such a common thing these days that it stopped making the news, not even the entertainment sections online!

So the bottom line is, great to have an online life but like in a real one, watch for who you allow through the front door and what get said in your "room" online! unlike your real room, there maybe far too many people reading what's being said and wondering who's the @$%%** that says such things!

Happy buzzing all

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