Month: June 2011

Social media, man!

Social media sites have become ubiquitous. So much so that the
words “Facebook” and “Twitter” have become synonymous with the hordes of their fervid
users. (And I am by no means an exception; I’m as guilty of over-using social
media sites as the next guy!) Some even go as far as attribute the success of
the recent Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions to them and their popularity.
(Something I don’t agree with) In all likelihood, you found
this blog post through some social media site.
Suffice it to say, social
media sites are here to stay.

Why are they so popular? What makes us gravitate to them in
large numbers?

The explanation is very simple. We are
social beings; hard-wired to stay connected. 

Aeons ago, we gathered together by default. We lived and
hunted in groups; always together; always connected. It was in our every
interest to be, our survival depended on it. Boog the caveman, for example, thought
nothing of staying connected with his mates Ta and Gog. They were always a
stone’s throw away. In terms of social circles, we lived in tiny communities.

Fast forward a few thousand years and you’ll find that while
our modus operandi has changed, our need to stay connected remains intact. It’s
that visceral need to stay connected to our fellow man that has made these
networks so popular. The internet has given us the means to, once again, fulfill
that need. (Even if it’s just to post pictures of our cats)

The Borg (the alien race from Star Trek) comes to mind.
Plainly put, they are a race of cybernetic organisms that are all connected
together through a central network called the “Unicomplex”. The similarity is
uncanny. Come to think of it, the idea of the Borg was probably a metaphor for
us as a race and the way we’re taking to technology.

With all the technology we’ve attained, we are still staying
true to the primal human we once were. I find the fact that we retain this
instinctual need very interesting.

There’s also the fact that it’s free, a good way to kill boredom and, well, fun!

Now, please excuse me. I want to go tweet something…