Friday, 27 November 2009

Twoja stara też jest na fejsbuku... And some thoughts on life, opportunities, psychology and blogging

Masz już fejsa? I’ve got one. Jesteś już na fejsie? I’ve been there, for more than two years, but I’ve never received so many e-mails with requests to accept someone’s invitation, mostly from my friends from primary and middle school, most of whom I haven’t seen for months.

It seems that Poles have conquered facebook, relished on it and have become a part of international community. In terms of popularity the website, traced back to one of US universities, outran first Polish social networking portal (currently ailing) and is about to beat off nasza-klasa.

Looking at the inflow of new people into facebook I came up with a comparison to a park. Once there was a nice nook in the middle of the life-bustling city. Few people, including me used to walk there, breathe the fresh air, contemplate the beauty of the nature. Some time later the news that such place existed were spread far and wide. The park was flooded with more and more visitors, handset-ridden mothers with shrieking children in prams began to stroll there, middle- and high-school teenagers would hang around there in the afternoon, sipping beer and then tossing empty cans between flowers, shrubs became a hang-out for the local riff-raff. The place, once a shelter from the city groan, became a noisy cluster of outlandish, self-styled trendsetters, who could boast about being there and mingling.

I don’t consider my friends from teenage years a riff-raff, but what has happened seems out of place for me, as I remember the English origins of the site. One similarity is strikingly true – facebook has been all the rage in the recent months, but I can’t understand where’s the reason to show off – two years ago some of us could swank about a profile there, cause few people had heard about it. Now what’s the point if everyone has it?

Another, indirect analogy is a stock exchange. Usually the small and inexperienced investors discern the opportunity to gain high profits, on the basis of past figures, when the upward trend is about to reverse. The same happens now and is even backed by such “gurus” like Warren Buffett. Investment funds advertise themselves and encourage people to put their money into the most aggressive equity funds. Now, when the growth potential reached its limits and the most reasonable market observers are insecure about the future. What I’ve written above is one of the most common mistakes, in finance and in life. Opportunities should be seized when they’re scarce. What few people have is rare and thus more valuable. This applies also to professional qualifications. And buy stocks when the blood spills on the trading floor! It’s all about psychology, about choices, which are often flawed.

A Polish gullet weekly “Wprost” issued a “Technology insert” a few weeks ago. One of the articles was titled “Czy można się zakochać na facebooku?” My answer is short – no, one cannot fall in love on facebook, it is impossible like in case of skype, gadu-gadu, e-mail, IRC, webcam or any other contraption. All those inventions are designed to facilitate communication between people who know each other, but for some reasons can’t meet face to face. Dear reader, be mindful of my view on it – I don’t believe you can fall in love with someone’s profile on social networking service, you can’t have cybersex via webcam.

After all maybe I should be happy, cause my friend count on facebook increased. But my elation has been so big that I removed the link to the blog from my profile – I don’t care how many visitors a day my blog has. I back the quality of the readers, not the quantity. I’d love to know that people think over what I write here and I’d appreciate more comments, mostly from the shy Poles, daunted by the foreign language I suppose. A comment left by you is a piece of your mind given to me. It may be a disagreement, a challenge or a commendation, may be nasty and stingy, but if you post those few words or sentences it means you have your own opinions, considerations and are ready to share them and so you’re open-minded.

Meanwhile I thought about a Christmas gift for myself and one of the proposals is “removing myself” from and nasza-klasa on Christmas Eve. How about that?

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