By this time almost everyone has heard of social networking, we all know what is MySpace and Facebook and in case you don't, you can crawl back into the rock you live in. It has taken off at a great pace. But, one thing still bothers me, why has it taken off in the first place?
Think about it, no matter how much we like it to be, the internet is not a safe place by any means. At almost every corner, danger lurks. If its not stuff like viruses, trojans and worms, there are the creative few who learn to fraud by phishing and scamming. With the advent of broadband there's also the concept of launching DOS attacks to start extortion. Then why would anyone be willing to talk to someone they barely know.
In todays world, everything, from getting help to getting married, is done through the internet. Usually, I am not a hyper paranoid person but even I have paranoia sometimes. After reading articles about how hackers learn faster than the defenders, it can scare anyone. Just think about it, while you are reading this blog, thousands, even millions of people could be potentially trying to steal your social security number, credit card number etc., essentially, your identity.
To the novice, all this may seem a bit far fetched but to us veterans, its almost a daily battle. With our anti virus, firewalls, anti phishing programs, we try to protect ourselves from the very thing that social networking could potentially become, the hackers paradise.
Then again, people love to interact. The society is just as important as drinking water or eating. Many mental disorders are a direct consequence of loneliness. In spite of this how can we trust a person hidden by the montior. It could be anyone even a garbage man pretending to be Bill Gates (a slight exaggeration). What I point is that, under the mask of the internet, we could become anyone we want.
Personally, I believe social networking has a lot of potential but unfortunately, as always, all it requires to destroy it, is a couple of idiots who like to scam. For me, the concept of social networking works only in practice. Eventough I have a MySpace, I use it only rarely. You may call me backward, but if keeping myself safe is backwardness, then so be it. I am Master Cheif (see the paranoia again) and I am backward.