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Social networking keeps them connected


‘Tweets are about to dislodge SMS

as the common medium of communication.'


“Got CIWS (Corporate IT Withdrawal Symptom) huh?!...” No, this is not about a young techie facing the prospects of some freak disease.

Rather it's the cryptic rebuke through Twitter of a colleague's perceived subservience to management. Like the gadgets they use, the communication of young techies is getting shorter by the day. To put it in another way, from ‘scrap' it has now shortened to ‘tweet.'

For a community largely deprived of social interaction owing to many factors including their odd working hours, virtual social space is the closest alternative. So, deny them access to social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and they are like fish out of water.

“There is a certain extent of addiction involved among the frequent users of these sites. I read in some blog that rumours about shutdown of Facebook created pandemonium,” Arun S. Kumar, working with ACS, says.

Vimal Raja C.A., working with Kochi-based MicroObjects Private Limited, says that there is more to these sites than addictive elements. “Young entrepreneurs are increasingly using Facebook as a marketing tool realising its potential for revenue generation,” he says.

Adarsh S., IT manager with the Universal Empire Group, active in all social networking sites and moderator of many communities, has no doubt that if used properly, these sites even help build up professional networks.

Antony Jijo, working for Millennium Infologic at Infopark, however, doubts such a prospect. “When in need of professional help, most are likely to fall back on internal mail and such other support systems which most companies provide. Yes, they definitely keep relations alive,” he says. Jinu Antony, waiting to be part of the TCS team this March, feels that if not anything, social networking sites will definitely keep one posted with the latest trends in IT and other fields.

“For, even if am not interested in any particular topic, I am automatically kept updated through my interactions with those genuinely interested,” she says.

Vimal, who religiously follows his childhood hero Salman Khan and the likes of Sashi Tharoor on Twitter through his smart phone, believes that at least among its users, tweets are about to dislodge SMS as the common medium of communication. “Its hearing straight from your hero without any intermediary,” he says.

Arun, who more or less depends on Google Talk for interaction with his friends, scoffs at the idea of celebrity following on Twitter.

“I hate the entire idea. With the kind of fake people roaming around in these sites who knows who's who,” he says. Adarsh agrees, saying that celebrities are using tweet just to market themselves. While Vimal counts meeting new people through numerous meet-ups organised by the social networking sites as memorable moments, Adarsh once had a completely unpleasant experience. He was the victim of one of the first cyber crimes registered in the city. “Someone created an account in the Orkut using my picture and profile data and started posting pornographic materials,” he says. The city police later nailed the victim.

That being the case, even he agrees it is hard to ignore social networking sites. “You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” the supporters simply repeat the tagline of the latest Hollywood movie ‘The Social Network.'

If any further proof was needed on the popularity of social networking sites, then the Fincher-directed movie based on the origins of Facebook bagged numerous awards at the just concluded Golden Globe Awards, besides being a runaway hit at the box office.

So, for the time-being, “scrappers” and “tweeters” are having the last laugh.

M.P. Praveen

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