The ability that we can communicate with virtually anyone in the world because of various social networking tools is what makes Facebook among other popular techy tools is almost impossible to resist. As a user myself, I find myself more often then not in the role of the casual observer stopping by. Facebook has been instrumental in allowing me to communicate with friends and relatives despite the distance, time zones and other geographic barriers that weigh in. The interactions I receive from those that are within my inner circle allow me to continuously engage with them even after they have logged off. A digital profile in this way is also like a personal stamp; in that we can leave messages, memos, photos, comments and other little digital keynotes that they can retrieve or view at any given moment. As someone who likes to view what other members of my family are doing, or experiencing at a given moment in their lives, I find myself perusing through their photos in order to see what they have been up to, and in some cases, what I have missed due to my absence. The irony is that even though, I’m unable to share the real experience with them, I’m still able to share some experience with them through another virtual outlet. The way I would describe this, is akin to what UX guru Adrian Chan described as the “window effect”. I have willingly participated in this type of interaction. The enjoyment for me, at least one part of it is to see to how my family, and close friends are living life, viewing the little nuances and intimate details of what is fulfilling them at that given point in time.
My little cousin Chepito