04-02-08 - 2

Dating & social networking is really weird. I've met people through web sites recently, and it's generally been a really good thing, I've met some great people, so as a way of making real world connections I find it totally succesful. The weird thing is when you actually start dating someone from a social network site and you're still both active online. You see each other online, and the whole nature of the social networking sites almost forces you to be an online stalker, because you get notifications when they write something new, you see each other's friend network, etc. I guess the kids these days growing up with Facebook and whatnot probably find this all totally normally, but I find it really creepy. Not only do you see the other person's blog posts on their page, but you see their friends' comments. There's a whole lot of very private communication between people that is posted publicly these days. You can tell who they're hanging out with, what they did that night, you can see when they post up new pictures, etc. I really don't like it. I'm not super jealous or intrusive in peoples' lives normally, but seeing all these bits of things online leads me to those thoughts.

I've always had a pretty active online life, but unlike the new generation of web 2.0 kiddies, I like to keep it separate from my real world life. I think that's pretty common among the older generation like me, we don't merge our physical and digital worlds so much. I'm okay with taking people from the online life and promoting them to real-world friends, but after that I can no longer be as free around them online, and any intimate communication has to be real world. Once I make too many real-world friends on a certain site, I can no longer be free there and have to leave and go to a new site where I don't know anyone in the real world.

BTW I think we should call web 2.0 sites "BBS's" since they're really not much more or less than an old BBS. They are similarly isolated from each other. They're a similar mashup of forums and other content. The BBS's generally had much better moderation and community management and screening. It's kind of funny that we went from these little islands of BBS's that had many great advantages, and we blew them up and went to the totally spread Web model which threw away the greatness of community forums, and now we're back to basically a BBS model and we haven't really improved on it much at all, except for the trivial UI improvements that you would expect from the huge increase in network speeds and computer power.

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old rants