Social Media’s Clumsy Client Engineering

29 08 2011

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO US?

[Skype screenshot] . . . THE “NEW” SKYPE INTERFACE ON MY MACHINE!

Note: First of all, the statement at the bottom: “Your contacts have not been very active recently…” Really? What business is it of Skype? Maybe they haven’t been active just with me? Maybe they’re calling me on the phone, we’re meeting for lunch? This isn’t funny – it’s a hideous invasion of privacy.

It’s also telling me: MY CONTACTS SHOULD BE ACTIVE AND SHOULD BE ACTIVE WITH ME. It’s social engineering at it’s worst. Look at the chummy slot above: “Tell your friends what you’ve been up to” – again, what business is it of theirs? And so many of us use these applications as if they’re neutral or helpful, whatever.

Skype started off like a lot of these things as bare-bones (think of Fb, MySpace, etc.), and slowly began to take over our lives. And all of us good little theorists (included) just use these things as if we’re REALLY saying something. (Don’t worry, I’m not theorizing here, I’m fucking RANTING!)

On a personal level, I can’t stand this presumed chumminess; I’m using the phone or IM outside of Skype when I can. But this stuff goes on and on. We can’t communicate without consulting our goddamn Iphones, we can’t listen to music without ITunes maximum-prophet interface, we buy into Fb’s “friends” or +’s “circles” – and since when in the past million years have we quantified or classified our friends (well maybe in grade school).

Go back and read Sartre on seriality and authenticity – my complaint is nothing new here, but what surprises me is how we accept all of this along with Wired mag’s hyperbole, etc. etc.

PEOPLE ARE STARVING IN THE HORN OF AFRICA: MAYBE WE SHOULD FRIEND THEM!!!

http://cryptome.org/0005/sup.htm

NOTE: WordPress has begun the same overatures on their start page. Chatty copy with witless ‘statistics’ about your use or non-use of their software with idiotic ‘suggestions’ for topics churned out by an array.

It’s manipulative . -F.C.