Lost in Cyberspace!
Cyberspaceship log, August 18, 2009.
Anyone with Internet access is given a virtual spaceship, that with a click can blast them to the Cyber-universe.
O yes, Cyberspace is made up of galaxies. I discovered that this afternoon. I’d anticipated a pleasure cruise through social media sites where I have “profiles” — Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Suddenly I was diverted. I ventured to seek the “social media” meaning, the “how” and “why” to tap in effectively – and I got lost.
Whether this happened by being drawn into a black hole, I cannot determine. Yet there I was, drifting. Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin were mere edges of their own galaxies. I veered into Twitter, because the “Tweets” were short, and therefore navigable, or so I thought.
I was bothered that I had more Twitter “Followings” than “Followers.” I went to the Twitter “Help” function, to ask how to cull non-Followers. There was no direct answer. I had to try “key words” that led to links to unrelated subjects, and to readjust the key words to find the link to the answer.
Twitter, like most big-galaxy sites, didn’t offer straightforward question-answer exchanges. I feared that we Cyberspace-travelers were being transformed into mutants, programmed to follow elusive “FAQs.”
How homogenizing, I thought. Yet I couldn’t get around it; the gravity controled me. The only way out was to log-off.
I didn’t want to. I wanted to increase my “Followers.” Now I was bombarded with giant meteors that offered “Tweet Spinner,” Tweet banners, this Twitter software, that Twitter software, this Twitter service, that Twitter service. Each for a modest price, and great promise.
I recalled my dad using the term “nickel-and-diming” when talking about car repair. Yet here I was in a Cyber spaceship, bumping into entities that promised to get the cyber-engine the best mileage of Followers, fastest. They all treated me like the homogenized spaceship; none addressed my personal navigation.
Well then, I thought, I’ll get Twitter Followers myself. Slow as the process was, ’twas organic. Those I opted to ”Follow” got an announcement, and could choose whether or not to ”Follow” back.
That’s what took most the afternoon, me without a map, navigating through potential “Followers” in the Twitter galaxy. If they interested me, I clicked a “Follow.” I culled through hundreds, distinctive in whom I chose per their brief bios and tiny “Tweets.” (One ‘Tweet,’ or update, is 140 characters max.)
Perhaps that’s where I was lost – ascribing personalization over numbers in Cyberspace. Yet what good were the numbers sans the personalization?