Social networking – the next stage ..?

Really enjoyed this article in the Times today about aka-aki which takes the logic of Facebook and Twitter to a new level.  We had a chat here about whether people don’t have real friends any more, and this development provides fuel for the argument…

24 Responses to “Social networking – the next stage ..?”

  1. 1 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 12:21

    Oh great, another way to avoid human contact, as if people didn’t play around with their cell phones enough, or listen to their iPods.

  2. May 9, 2008 at 12:54

    Its finally launched?! I remember reading about this last year and thought it was pretty neat!
    While its kind of creepy if its ppl you don’t know, it may be kind of fun to try haha. Especially in a crowded city where you may be right next to a friend (a real one) and you don’t even know it!

    I’d be worried about this program compromising your phones security and information though. I don’t know how the program is written, but allowing any device to connect via bluetooth to your phone? hhhhmmmm….. I’d have to research it ALOT before installing it on mine.

    Again, social networking sites need to be used with care and used to keep in touch with real friends you have or have had. In that sense its a great tool… But these people with hundreds of ‘friends’ they have never known… Thats just wierd lol.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  3. 3 Katharina in Ghent
    May 9, 2008 at 12:54

    @ Steve:

    …or write to WHYS 😉

  4. 4 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 13:28

    @ Katharina

    There’s far worse than WHYS. There are message board addicts…

  5. 5 Xie_Ming
    May 9, 2008 at 13:49

    It seems there were once nightclubs with telephones on every table.

    Young working singles certainly can use every means possible to enlarge their range of contacts.

    A more intelligent approach would be seeking such contacts within common interest groups, especially those in which views are expressed and developed.

    The larger question is the use of electronic means and ideas to supplant flesh and blood contacts (with their pheremones). Our ladies could offer some ideas here.

  6. 6 Katharina in Ghent
    May 9, 2008 at 15:17

    I read the webpage of aki-aka, and it seems a little pathetic to me. You get a lot of information about other people who also use it, but would anyone actually really start talking to another user, just because of this? Years ago there was an article in Maclean’s about japanese teenagers sms’ing all the time, and the researcher there compared them to monkeys in the forest who make certain sounds all the time to tell each other that they are still here. This here reminds me a lot of this article. But then again, I’m one of those loners who don’t even switch their cell phones on…

  7. 7 Will Rhodes
    May 9, 2008 at 15:43

    I’ll stick with Facebook! 🙂

  8. 8 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 16:21

    I’ll stick to having real friends. Any of your facebook/myspace friends ever helped you move? Drove you to the airport? Did they ever invite you to their weddings? Have you over for a beer?

    When you think of this social networking stuff, it really sounds like a high school popularity contest, without being in person. Who has the most “friends”? TEE HEE! I’m popular!

    As they would say, “like gag me with a spoon”. I’ll take actual friends any day.

  9. May 9, 2008 at 16:28

    Friends are important in our lives as long as they help us to have a bearable life. Sometimes we feel regret for having got to know a person as other times we regret coming to know another person later rather than sooner.

    But friends are like life. They change. In the modern world there is only “contractual” friendship. Many friendships can’t stay permanent because of continuous changes. Friends change addresses, cities and places of jobs. It becomes difficult to keep at pace with those changes. Sometimes, friends become just a memory as there is no way to get into contact with them.

    Thanks to the new communication technology, it’s possible to have contact with them through emails and chatting. New social working has made it possible to know people from different places without ever meeting them.

    But there is nothing like direct friendship, through face to face contact. After all we are humans. Through facebook and the like, we can have just impressions of the persons we claim to have as friends. Getting to know them can best be done through direct contact and not through live chats.

    For those who like to meet people just to pass time and to have their fantasies displayed through fake names and pictures, they can have their satisfactions as they are just making use of one another. But those seeking deep friendship, there is nothing like classical friendship based on sincerity and great sharing of everything from a joke to notions.

  10. 10 Peter Gizzi UK
    May 9, 2008 at 16:32

    Hi All,
    I do not have a mobile phone! I do not have a car! Am I missing anything?

  11. May 9, 2008 at 16:48

    Hello to all of you my Precious friends… To Precious Peter : If you ever wanna move to Baghdad, then you’d better get a cell phone quickly and get used to using it intensively on daily bases ! With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  12. 12 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 16:58

    @ Will

    Sorry if it seems like I was directed that at you. I wasn’t..

  13. 13 Scott Millar
    May 9, 2008 at 17:13

    + Perhaps we should be talking about all of US—here, now, on the World Have Your Say blog and what we are engaged in. (This was alluded to above.)

    + Sometimes I ask myself why do I post anything on these blogs isn’t a pathetic, addictive and pointless waste of time. Am I really learning something? Or do I just want my opinions out there? A lot of the motivation has to be narcissistic and egoistic rather then an attempt at dialogue. I am a blog hater, or at least the personal kind—the kind where you get an email from a friend telling you to look at their blog to see what they were up to on their vacation, because they can’t spare the time to tell you.

    + All these social networking tools change nothing. People aren’t getting smarter! They are not more engaged! They are just more outlets or tools for average people to be average. I guess I must include myself in this… .

    – Portland, Oregon

  14. May 9, 2008 at 17:34

    I guess it’s kind of like caller ID. I could see the advantage of knowing a little about a someone before saying hello in person, but what saddens me is that there is no going back. Could you believe that there was a time when one needed to wind a phone manually to generate enough electricity to make a call…those were the good ol’ days.

  15. 15 Peter Gizzi UK
    May 9, 2008 at 17:54

    Hello again Lovely Lubna, peace be with you,
    I think it most unliklely that I will ever visit Iraq as I’m getting too old and do not have much money.

    Perhaps though one day your country will know peace once more and then Westeners can visit and see the wonderful historic sites you have. Only of course if that is what The Iraqi People want.

    My fond regards to you. Peter.

  16. 16 Kalypso
    May 9, 2008 at 18:14

    Yes, of course we should all respect each other: atheists should respect my faith, and I respect atheists (or other faiths for that matter). It’s OK – people are entitled to their own beliefs.
    However, as far as belief is concerned, I do not see what I could “learn” from atheists. But, I can learn other things that have nothing to do with my belief from them – surely.
    Vienna, Austria

  17. 17 Laura in Minneapolis
    May 9, 2008 at 18:16

    Ha, this is hilarious to me. We just talked about this in one of my classes. This aka-aki thing is a little… much.

    Speaking as someone IN the “tech generation” I have mixed feelings on it.

    On one hand, websites like Facebook (I am addicted, I’ll admit it… most college students are…) have made it a million times easier to maintain contact. When i first headed off to college, a lot of my mom’s friends told me I would probably lose contact with most of my high school friends.

    Quite the opposite, with technology like Facebook and Cell Phones, i’m still extremely close to my old friends, and it helps facilitate new friendships. Met a fun group of people at a party last night, but didn’t get their numbers? Look ’em up on facebook. Instant connections, instant communications. My campus has 50,000 students… facebook is almost a necessity.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, and this is a big one: All these new forms of technology ARE taking away from our face to face interactions to a degree. For example, because we list a lot about ourselves on our personal pages (likes and dislikes, favorite movies and music, where you go to school, work, etc) the need for “get to know you conversations” go out the window. There is no more need to ask, “What are your hobbies?” If you can just read it on their page.

    So in short, in a way- Facebook and whatnot have just added to our repertoire of communication. I think i’m still very capable of having a real conversation, and if i’m short on time i have the option to text or message a friend. On the other hand though, many people take it too far and their social skills are lacking for it.

  18. 18 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 18:45

    I will be sticking with my FACEBOOK page!!!!

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

  19. 19 Jens
    May 9, 2008 at 19:15

    it is bad enough i waste my time here on WHYS 😉

  20. 20 Will Rhodes
    May 9, 2008 at 20:16

    No problem, Steve but:

    Any of your facebook/myspace friends ever helped you move? Drove you to the airport? Did they ever invite you to their weddings? Have you over for a beer?

    The answer to that is yes.

    I have my family on Facebook, and friends I went to school with whom I have known for about 30 years. Friends in Canada whom we did take the photographs (My wife is a professional photographer) of their wedding, graduation and babies/children. Also my wife’s family who helped us hump all the boxes etc into our house we live in now. 🙂

  21. 21 thelegendali
    May 10, 2008 at 13:30

    I like friends but not the ones may never see.

  22. 22 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 11, 2008 at 09:17


    I also have a MYSPACE page and i spent my
    time on the WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY

    Dennis 🙂 🙂

  23. 23 Bob in Queensland
    May 12, 2008 at 13:20

    Replacing no, augmenting definitely!

    I may as well tell my story here. Back in 1997 (when I still worked in London) I briefly met a woman from one of our Australian offices. I was delegated to give her a tour of the building then take her to lunch. We got on well but, as she was heading back to Aus the next morning that was all.

    Four years later I joined a chatroom connected with a particular author I enjoy. In that chatroom I started to meet fairly regularly with a woman who shared my rather warped sense of humour. After a few weeks I found out she was in Australia. After about 3 months, we both realised that we’d met that day I gave her a tour of the office!

    A couple of years more and we were married…and celebrated our 4th anniversary in March.

    ….so, far be it from me to criticise the web as a form of social networking!

  24. 24 Dennis Jr
    May 25, 2008 at 00:43

    Bob in Queensland :::

    Dispatch May 12, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I hope you and your wife a happy life together…

    Dennis-Madrid, U.S.A.

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