‘See you on the Other Side’ Part II

THE EXPERIMENT CONTINUES. Although I am getting few results, I am at least getting more familiar with the controls. There are many good things about G+. Like … um, when you want to reset all your privacy settings. Complex options, well explained (Except one: “People whose tags of you are automatically approved to be added to the ‘Photos of you’ section of your profile:” Yeah, go figure.)

And tagging someone is easy – ONCE YOU KNOW HOW!!! And I found out how to block someone (not that I’m necessarily gonna use it, but you have to carry a gun because it’s a jungle out there). And so on and so forth.

Now here’s something I absolutely love: The email notifications look exactly like G+! I don’t have to reload the entire thing just to go look at one thing, or respond. Gmail does it all for me. Sweet!

<Sighs> But it’s kind of echo-y and bare. Seems everyone’s posting links, but no-one’s posting their life. Their thoughts and feelings. Where is the soul?  Oh the photos are gorgeous! Big, hi-res. Possibly even ‘enhanced’ (colour-boosted) by G+. Yup – everything looks good, but I want some action! Some banter. Some daily grit, or at least the chance to bounce back at a friend with a quick joke. Lighten up the mood, a little people!.

It’s like that perfect tatami room in the expensive Japanese hotel I mentioned last time. it’s too perfect, and if you toss around a few socks and food wrappers – WHAM! Some sort of hyper-speed robot maid cleans up instantly. Uncanny. Unnerving.

It’s an Alternative Earth, that’s what it is .It’s as if 99.99% of the world’s population has died (or been removed by a sinister alien force), and the remnants are scattered all over the world, the only thing they have in common with each other is a computer terminal. Otherwise – strangers. Cautious strangers. Edgy. Like: who’s next? Who’s gonna make it 99.999%? Hmmmm, so this new guy ‘Ged Maybury’? He could be one of ‘Them’. don’t post anything personal yet. … Oh look at that: banter! He’s trying to *banter* me. Yup, he’s one of ‘Them’ for sure. But don’t let him know you’re onto him. Just … post another picture of Japan in springtime! Yeah. (<phew> Safe.)

Or maybe they’re not really people. They might just be cleverly constructed Internet Acquaintance Simulators, digital replicants sensing my every move and recording my every [ +1 ].Actually, I’m sure of it! There has been a huge rash of Japan-in-springtime photos, Even in the last hour! And what did I do on my first day’s forays? Click [ +1 ] on the photos.

HELL! I just flicked back to close the ‘Settings’ tab and BANG! Another pic of fucking blossoms in Japan! Uh-oh; they’re onto me .. or I’m onto them!  Or SOMETHING. This is getting scary. Stay calm, stay calm … Ummm…. <Ged cautiously [ +1 ]s the blossoms, nothing happens, breaths sigh of relief, reloads, another picture of blossoms in Japan!>

Seriously tho’ THIS REALLY IS HAPPENING! DOZENS OF PIX OF JAPAN. TRAVEL PROMOTIONS! THEY’RE WATCHING ME, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!! GOOGLE+ ISN’T HERE FOR ME ANY MORE THAN FACEBOOK IS. I’M JUST A SHEEP IN A TRUCK GOING TO THE WORKS! EASY MEAT! ANOTHER SANDWICH IN BIG CORP’S CAFETERIA! <now shouting at his screen> *ALL I WANT IS A BIT OF BANTER!  IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR?!*

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One thought on “‘See you on the Other Side’ Part II

  1. Yes, I think it is too much to ask for. In this current iteration, anyway. It’s a mystery to me what the few actual users of G+ are actually doing with it, but it seems pretty clear that they’re not there for chit-chat. Combining that with Google’s tendency to try and read your mind (“He likes pictures of Japan in springtime, eh? Better give him more!”), and it seems to me very much like a reconstruction from old records of a social network. But one curated by robots who don’t really understand humans, so you end up with a technically perfect experience that is nonetheless sterile and lifeless. Which is a pretty fair description of Google in general, actually…

    http://tinyurl.com/kytwbg9

    Seems appropriate.

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