Light Cycles

Written on November 25, 2008 by

Since the early days of the internet, its primary purpose has been to pass information from one person to another. That took many forms. E-mail, chat rooms, instant messangers, online games: all of these provided a way to communicate instantaneously with someone on the other side of the world. It’s incredible!

And I’ve got to tell you, it’s amazing how it’s evolved. My first experiences “online” involved dialing directly into someone’s computer and posting messages and playing door games. And there weren’t any fancy pictures or videos either! And I walked to school uphill both ways, bare foot in the snow and I liked it!

And that was pretty spiffy for a while. Then something else came along: America On-Line. AOL. The big time. Sure it took ages to dial in, but that was because so many people were using it, right? And once you were in you had instant access to e-mail, games, personal websites, chat rooms and instant messangers. It was unquestionably the most advanced sort of computing that humans would ever see. In fact I’ve been harboring this theory that all our mobile devices are really just running on a slightly modified version of AOL 2.0. Yes, even iPhones.

At any rate, I’m sure you can see where this is going. Nowadays there are more ways to communicate with your friends online than you can shake a stick at (or waggle a wiimote if you’re into that kinda thing). The catch all term that’s being used is “social networking” and I’m going to take a few moments to tell you what’s out there.

Classmates has been around longer than I can remember. They were one of the first sites in the social networking game and they could have had it all. Except they want all your money. We’ve all gotten the e-mails. “Someone on is looking for you!” Spoiler alert: if you’ve left high school, no one is looking for you. And if they are it sure isn’t through classmates. They’re probably trying that number you left in their yearbook. “Tommy, We shure had a krazy year huh?!? Well keep in touch! Luv, ‘J’ 867-5309”

Who hasn’t heard of myspace? It’s a one stop shop for viruses, adware, spyware, phishing scams, e-mail scams, chain letter scams, urban myths and general tomfoolery. No wonder it’s one of the most visited websites on the entire internet! But seriously, myspace has become somewhat of a cultral phenomenon. It’s amazing to me how many people have been on this thing. However, it’s worth noting that if you want any of your information to be secure, it probably shouldn’t be on myspace.

Facebook is another of those huge websites that it seems like everyone has been on. Facebook has all of the networking capabilities of myspace and then some. And with a more mature interface and unified website it’s hard not to like it. Note: I have a hard time using the word “mature” when staring at an inbox full of invites to be werewolves, vampires, zombies and unibears. Seriously, stop it.

The other piece of facebook that I would be negligant to ignore is facebook stalking. It works like this: you sign up for facebook and find a few friends. Within a couple weeks you’ve got a lot of friends and some pictures up. Soon after that your friends put up pictures of you and tag and date them. And before you know it everyone’s all up in your bid’ness!

Twitter is kind of the new kid on the block. But it’s got the right stuff (too soon?). It’s sort of a mini blogging site. I really like it because I can pick and choose who I want to hear more from. When my close friends update I get it on my phone. And everyone else I see when I’m logged into the website. It’s a nice little blend and if you haven’t checked it out, you should. Fair warning: I can’t stop checking for updates. It’s an easy little mini-obsession.

So there you go! Social networking made easy! Now I came nowhere close to listing them all, so you should comment and tell the world what your favorite social website is, whether it’s listed above or not!


Shaw replied on November 27, 2008 at 10:25 am

No love for Xanga and Livejournal? C’mon man! Where do you think social networking and blogging started?!


1 Comment

One Response

  1. Brandon  •  November 25, 2008 @1:17 am

    live journal!!!!! VIRB?