[bad news] Social networks are competing for the best stalking tool.

Social networks are competing for the best stalking tool. Teenagers must have seen the viral video in which Obama points them to the fact that employers can pull up their [social networking] history during the hiring process. Employers could literally print out your drunk pictures, bring them to the interview and ask you to explain your thought process during that time. That’s a valid interview question isn’t it? This was scary enough.

Then bloomed Twitter. A tool that enables users to convert immediate sporadic feelings into 140 characters and communicate to a web machine. It’s like talking to a dumber Eliza, one that neither replies your questions nor intelligently questions your statements. This fail whale, when she doesn’t fail, only relays your thoughts to a vast ever-watching audience. One of my favorite quotes on Twitter reads, “Twitter has made me fall in love with complete strangers, but hate people I’ve known for years – ForeverOnline“. Revolutionary! Oblivious to our consciousness, we give away our lives on a platter of software. Just like Jerome J. T. puts it in his bio at the time of writing, “Here I am. Tweeting my stream of consciousness into the frontiers of cyberspace”. Hiring managers could totally use this to break you or break you…if they still pulled up your social life after reading through you resumé 😦

Geotagging. We can now tell where you have been, and where you are alongside what you are doing. Thanks to Gowalla, Twitter and Facebook. How much more till we are able to figure out where people are going? I claim, not too long. Why? The other day, out of boredom, I popped open the Twitter app on my iPhone and searched nearby tweets constantly for 5 minutes. My intention was to interract with my immedite environment. While doing that, I discovered a man travelling from his place to his girlfriend’s. How do I know this? His tweets were constantly communicating with this pretty and his position started from way up north (somewhere around Yonge and Eglington) and continued travelling south rather fast.

Facebook has made this even easier with the new “See Friendship” function. The next couple sentences are my own personal emotional rant. Who on earth will I want to know the friendship between two random people? Put differently, who on earth will a random person want to know the relationship between me and a friend? With this feature, I could know if this couple was Married, Engaged, Dating or in an It’s Complicated relationship. Muahahahaha! Hmm…what…?

Stalker? No. The world and everything in it is like a foetus: slowly becoming a living being. We are all interconnected in some form but for this foetus to grow, it needs more nutrients (more data). And you see, the new semantic web provides a favorable environment to grow this need. Original idea: The web needs a way to “correlate all these data [1]”. The law of diffusion of innovation hypothesizes early adopters will carry the responsibility of the innovators to populate their invention with content. But does this content put the late majority and the laggards risk? Very soon, we all will know everyone’s business as they struggle to catch on to the ever changing technology. Working idea: “The web needs as much data as possible to correlate”.

Sigh. Facebook was originally to log your college life – a perfect diary for the ladies and memory bank for gentlemen – now it’s a way of discerning someone’s life through profile data and connections. Gowalla – the famous virtual trip planner – she now leaves enough footprints so her user can be found. Twitter – with an unknown motive – successfully publicized lifestyles. MySpace – meant to be your space is now everyone’s territory. And so on, so on, on. A young kid’s prayer to Jesus: “Forgive me for I know you see me through Facebook and MySpace and I’m truely sorry”. That kid was right!

Wanna stay in the loop? Stalk or be stalked. The tools are available and free. Choose your pick or pick your choose; and do it quick or else you lose.


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