Twitter, flicker, Tagged, facebook... these, and other ‘social networking’ sites are all driven by a common force - the need for human interaction.
Some feel that this addictive 21st century digital-age remote interaction is somehow twisted because it isolates a person from the very thing he or she is seeking- human contact.
But to others, it serves to foster relationships by making friendly interaction public within a group of friends and relatives simply at the click of a button.
Today, even businesses use them to network with clients and potential partners.
On a less professional level, individuals use them to showcase their photos, videos, blogs and random ramblings.
Busybodies use such sites to trawl pages of ‘friends’ and to acquire the latest gossip. Celebrities use them to keep up with their fans and their personal acquaintances.
Regular folks use them to share a laugh with buddies.
For the average person, one’s popularity is somehow gauged by how many ‘friends’ are on your page.
Yet, in reality some of those people hardly know you and may not be particularly interested in you.
I find it amusing what some folks put on their pages. One well known fiasco is that of a guy in Uganda who got fired because he wrote on his page that he was nursing a hangover, while he had called in sick at work that morning.
One young man’s online lament amused me a few days ago “Why does Mr. Brown bottle have to kick me so hard in the head!” Another interesting application I found on facebook is ‘super deli delicious’.
Some guy takes vivid photos of tantalizing dishes and uploads them, and then viewers share the photos by sending virtual lunches to each other alongside some comment. I must admit they make one hungry.
And for the Rwandans in the Diaspora, they may make you slightly homesick. One acquaintance recently uploaded an entire blog based on memories of Rwanda, where he talked about the traditional foods like imyumbati (cassava), ibijumba (sweet potatoes) and ubugali and sombe. It seems most Rwandans living abroad particularly miss the food.
I have really enjoyed ‘snooping’ on facebook and keeping up with friends’ lives.
These sites especially facebook have proved to be so addictive especially amongst the youth, that there are many cases of people losing their jobs and even relationships getting destroyed.
Young people who are employed are easily tempted to go social networking in facebook whenever a computer with access to internet is placed on their desks. Relationships have also not been spared where lovers constantly quarrel due to suspicious of the lover’s activities on facebook, though there are also so many relationships that come as a result of this social networking on facebook.
Facebook and other popular social network sites are a good forum for people to express their views and thoughts on issues regarding society and also make new friends and at the same time keep in touch with your virtual friends regardless of the location.
However if used without being controlled and principled then it becomes a hazard.