Why I am bored of facebook and twitter

Facebook has become too formal a platform for my liking. People on it are increasingly conscious of what they write and how they are perceived, and thus most of the posts have started to become bland, more like slice-of-life boring stuff. I guess everyone holds themselves back on FB since everyone knows who the other person is. Everyones friend-list is populated by friends, relatives, parents, employers, prospective employers, reportees, bosses, boyfriends, girl friends, ex-lovers, strangers etc – now think of creating a common update that will appeal to all of them? Well, there is no way that you would want to sound too radical with all of those people probably secretly stalking you online, or thats what you would want to think anyway. Thus the surfeit of “safe” updates like pictures of their little kids – and always less than 5 years of age…  or their party pictures (mostly the kind that only look good when you are high)… or pictures of a vacation (with everyone standing in them like there was a gun pointing at them and not a camera lens). Also it is a pretty safe environment; you can be pretty sure that there will be no one who will ever come back with a comment like –   ‘I am just so happy that I don’t have to live your life if that is the best that you can think of sharing’. So everyone behaves themselves, are all nice and courteous to each other – afterall there is no thumbs down built in. As a result FB is now no better than my address book utility in my phone – I have your number, and I have you in my FB friend list, so I can keep a tab on your life if I want to, but mostly I am too caught up by my own to care much about you.

Twitter has never really caught my fancy much. It feels like a chorus of people shouting to be heard, but everyone seems to be  ignoring everyone else. Everyone is following some star twitterati, and their mindless ramblings which just make you wonder… dfaq? The only interesting thing with twitter is that I can now watch live events (sports, news, concerts Live TV broadcasts etc) and follow a stream of thoughts that the world is having about it at the same time, which I admit sometimes is more interesting than the actual event. Other than that, it just does not work for me.

Reddit is my new obsession. This is the wild untamed internet in all its glory. You don’t know who the other person is, there is no premium on transparency, but somehow it works to its advantage. People engage around stories from the net, they fight with each other like dogs on their view points,  they support the underdogs, they rip the real world attention-whores to shreds, they dig deeper into the stories to give counterviews, they evaluate arguments on merit, they are brutally honest, they are ridiculously funny, and most are just plain gross. But this is a place that will engage you like nothing else online. Check it out, but if you get offended easily or you are Mr Kapil Sibal, please don’t go there. Also, if you plan to post something on it, just try to get a hang of it first or you will be ripped to shreds by the anonymous wolfs looking for easy prey. Once you get a sense its unwritten rules, it will get a lot easier. Here is the legendary story about reddit that will give a sense of its power.

Quora is another platform that is pulling me in more and more. It has some really smart people, asking and answering really interesting questions and no question is offlimits. You can even choose to just passively follow threads and gain perspectives from a serious crowd. This is a sample of a thread of a conversation around the question – Why are people from the future not time traveling to our period? There are 43 amazing viewpoints on it that you would never think of, and more are getting added everyday. And I have a few of my own questions that people are attempting to answer with full gusto, and that is just pulling me into Qura even more.

Pinterest is fun. Anything posted on it starts looking like art somehow. It has nice visuals of great food, pretty girls, jaw dropping pictures, and gadets that you want to own etc– what is there not to like about it. There is a lot more serendipity in pintrest than facebook since you run into unfamiliar people on it who are focused on interests, while FB is cantered on your familiar people with predictable lives.

The great thing about Reddit, Quora (and to some extant Pinterest) is that these platforms suck you into a global conversation,  there are unexpected things that you step on all the time, mediocre ideas sink into oblivion really  fast, and the best rise to the top by wisdom of the crowds. People engage on these platforms for no particular personal gains, they share freely, and that gives credibility to these platforms like nothing else. These platforms are the wild untamed organisms that Internet needs to remain.

I would hate for the internet to become dominated by Facebook or  Twitter. May a million more Reddits bloom that celebrate our untamed side…

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  1. Is it just me, or are you also getting bored of Twitter? My thoughts – http://t.co/28iyQF0E

  2. Would you agree that facebook users have become more reserved and therefore more boring? http://t.co/nSSeCrih

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