Is technology all over us?
A couple of days ago, while I was having a drink with a friend, he brought the subject of how the fan pages of “my Facebook” were flooding “his Facebook,” even though he doesn’t speak Spanish, and made us wonder if there was such thing as a Master mind behind the friendly Facebook that could tell if I have a new friend or just a new acquaintance.
From the technology perspective, I could see this happening some how easily, of course, I am nothing close to a programmer, but could be something like reading patterns such as this person writes on X person’s wall plus more than 1 email in Y period of time equals a new best friend.
Is our social life as simple as that? This made remember a anecdote of when I was a teenager. When I was probably about 13 years old, I used to have a really good friend in school. We were best buddies since primary school and we continued like that through Secondary school even though we had different classrooms. We used to wait for each other for lunch and sat outside the school at the end of the school day.
Time passed by and towards the end of secondary school, one afternoon after classes, sitting outside as normal, we start fighting and even throw a few punches to the air. The next day we ignored each other and our friends in common asked what happen, but we never really knew what happen. We just never hang out again and by the end of the year we never spoke or saw again. With this story, I want to say that friendships were straight forward, simple and visible to you and your friends.
Those were the days without Facebook that can label us as singles or not, nevertheless predict our relationships. I can’t say I have the certainty that such intelligence system exists, and that there's an evilness behind the social network, monitoring our lives to better target advertisement but it does make me think, if this information is not being used for those purposes, what for then?
An even more annoying function is the suggested friends. I read in the FB official blog, back when they launched the function that this functionality, that it would eventually learn from your patterns, meaning every time you say no to someone, it would learn and not show that person again. But in real life, that just doesn't work. I still get added by random (and I guess purpose-less) people who doesn't know me and doesn't even send messages. The worst is when I delete someone, it keeps suggesting me to re-add this person unless I block him or her.
You can call me paranoiac, but I’ve been thinking about it lately, and I don’t think there is a big difference between the times that I write in my older friends and my new friends. The interestingly part is that I don’t get as many invitations to join my other friends groups as I get to this new friend. Is Facebook suggesting me to move forward or just taking a lucky guess. I will see.