A while ago, Sherry Turkle demonstrated her research findings on being closer to your online avatar than your physical self. Relationships are shifting into the digital space and that may not be very healthy.
There is one budding author in India who thinks on similar lines. Dhiraj Kumar, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur has recently published his first book
titled “The Asocial networking.” His inspiration for this concept stemmed from personal experiences of his colleagues and mates preferring to “talk” online rather than meet for networking.
So instead of doing this online, we met to gain a better perspective. Here are few thoughts from the discussion–
In your book you mentioned that to boost our GDP, we should ban Youtube, Facebook and chain mails. That is quite a strong statement. Do you really believe that.
The aim of that statement was to make one think. It was an exaggeration. But, the amount of time wasted on the social networking sites is quite alarming. We do need some time off from work to aid concentration but it becomes a distraction. I think a healthy balance of both is needed. A sense of co-existence is missing and maybe it comes down to an individual level.
Today many campaigns are purely digital. You can reach many more people for less than half the cost. What’s your take on traditional media?
Traditional media is here to stay. Social media as a tool may be a lot more convenient. But, ultimately you rely on the content generated by traditional media to go social.
You also mentioned family relationships are also hampered because of social media.
Even when you meet in a family set up, everybody is more concerned about how the pictures taken will appear on facebook. You cannot have one decent conversation with anybody without them checking their news feed. Definitely this leads to deterioration of family relationships.
A lot of importance has been given to Facebook in your book. What about twitter / Instagram / Pinterest.
I believe Facebook started this. You still don’t spend as much time on twitter or other networks as Facebook. To get my point across, I decided to employ Facebook as an example.
You mentioned in several places that Facebook will die down. Do you really think this is a fad? Isn’t that the primary difference between Orkut and Facebook? While people think the eventual death was because of lack on innovation on Orkut’s part, I think Facebook is blessed with the humongous support from brands. When brands have invested so much in Facebook, I don’t think they will let it die down.
As a business concept, I don’t think Facebook will die down. Tech companies always face the threat of others outgrowing them. My reference to it dying down is in terms of interest. A part of the time spent of Facebook now is already shifted to Pinterest. It’s just the beginning. Very soon, we will move on.
While this book has some very strong perspectives, I don’t agree with all of them. But, in a world that embraces social networking, this is a refreshing read.
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