There used to be a time when there was a clear demarcation between professional and personal life. Friends at work were different from friends in the after life. Without a cellphone, people would rarely share/call on other
colleagues/business associates home numbers. First came the MNCs, bringing with them the culture of working hard, partying
harder encouraging the employee to shake a leg and gulp a beer with that person who used to sit across the room and not even pass a smile.
Mobiles and cellphones were a matter of pride when they came into existence and people invariably liked to flaunt it by giving away numbers and talking on the pencil box sized handsets in the early days. The culture continued and soon everybody had one becoming the common source of staying in touch with all your contacts – personal and professional.
During all this time,the Internet was strengthening its roots, preparing itself for the grand launch
into everybody’s life. While the shrubs could be seen everywhere in the form of emails and websites, nobody quite understood the power of the medium till one of these roots grew into a full-grown tree which simply didn’t seem to stop. This tree/These trees are known by multiple names in the world today – orkut, facebook, twitter, myspace, youtube, linkedin and more. They are branching out and people are latching on.
Just like the one mobile, people invariably have one e-mail id that they give out to people. Even if they have multiple, the online world ensures that they have just one profile(or profiles on multiple portals in sync with each other). When we talk of one identity, it gets difficult to not allow people you know(at work/from the college/old school friend) to know each other since you have added them all to the same profile. While we have different portals for catering to personal(likes of facebook) and professional(linked in etc) needs, we end up in a situation where the two overlap each other. This could be in want of ‘more friends’ , ‘better networking’ , ‘inability to say no’ or simply by choice, but we see how ‘we the individual’ behaves as one at all places.
As time passes, you realise how the vendor you deal with knows about your recent holiday to the backwaters at Kerala or the neighbour whom you hardly get time to talk to knows of your promotion at work.
Social Media - Connecting People
The lines are blurring, the times are changing, adapt fast, or you’ll be left dangling