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Social Networking Sites: The new age elixir?

January 16, 2009

Before 1792: It used to take as fast as a bird could fly, or a horse/messenger could run

1792-1844: Birds, Horses and men were replaced by Morse Code!

1844-1970’s: Morse Code lost the race against time to electric signals.

1970’s-late 90’s: Cell sites increasingly became popular in connecting people.

2002-present date: The era of Social Networking sites…

Although the earliest networking sites like classmates.com made its entry in mid 90’s, social networking became more famous in 2002 when Freindster.com was launched in the US. And the rest they say is history…here’s a list of the networking sites I can think of…

1. Myspace 2. Facebook 3. Orkut 4. Linked In 5. Hi5  6. WAYN  7.Bigadda  8. Multiply…

These are just some of the sites of which either I am a member or have got an invite to join the network. But a simple search on wikipedia and google about popular networking sites shows that the list is endless and more and more sites continue to emerge from various corners of the world. Here are some popular sites across the world (Source: Wikipedia)

MySpace and Facebook being the most widely used in North America;Nexopia (mostly in Canada); Bebo, Facebook, Hi5, MySpace, Tagged, Xing; and Skyrock in parts of Europe; Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America; and Friendster, Orkut, Xiaonei and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Frankly, I haven’t heard atleast 50% of these sites! Maybe that’s because, in my part of the world, Orkut and now Facebook/Linked In are way ahead of the competition. I was surprised to see the amount of interest which the networking sites garner right from their inception till they hit their crescendo…this is a result on Google Zeitgeist 2008

Fastest Rising (Global)

  1. sarah palin
  2. beijing 2008
  3. facebook login
  4. tuenti
  5. heath ledger
  6. obama
  7. nasza klasa
  8. wer kennt wen
  9. euro 2008
  10. jonas brothers
4 out of the top 10 searches across the world are about networking sites! It doesn’t stop here…incidentally, Facebook features in over 70% of the countries listed on Google Zeitgeist…(and we still think, Orkut is the most popular site in the world!!!)
I wouldn’t think twice, before saying that, these networking sites have brought people closer and made communication easier than ever. But also, they have become an overwhelming phenomena in our lives. Much like, everytime your cellphone rings, you crave for those good old wired telephones…(atleast I do)…Loss of Privacy I suppose…
As I delve further into the whole issue of social networking sites on our lives, I sense a void growing around me! Maybe a fear that too many people know too many things about you…maybe you won’t have anything to say, when you meet someone special, because he/she already knows a lot about you! I am just talking about the good things of course.
Whatever maybe the case, the argument that Social Networks have brought people closer than ever before still holds strong. Now, it’s possible to do a million things just at the click of a button. I wouldn’t call it a miracle, but surely, it might be on its way to become the new age elixir…curing the loneliness in our lives…
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