So I tried this foray on Orkut a few months ago. I am not a great user of Orkut or anything, primarily because I am very slothful and don’t feel up to updating my profile with photos or witty comments.

However, Orkut has grown leaps and bounds in the recent past – at least based on the rather unscientific metric of the proportion of my friends who are members there.

So, all the hoopla around this new phenomenon of social networking got me thinking. Is it really a new phenomenon. I remember when I was really young, we used to have this “pen-friends” club in our school. Each of us would have a pen friend in a far away land and the idea was that over time – we would introduce our pen friends to other members of our club – as they would introduce theirs to us. And then, all of us would have many pen friends. Sounds familiar?

All that has changed are the tools and platforms. You no longer have to write letters and wait for weeks. You can actually view a person, read about their interests and passions. You can send a “nudge” or a “poke”. And get an instant response. And connect. Or not.

The only problem is, we humans crave human contact. Its very nice to make “friends” over the Internet. Its a novelty. And its fun. But over time, it loses its shine, it becomes boring and a majority of users stop being as involved. Because, there is no reason to continue. Without the human contact.

So my two cents is that over time, Internet based social networking will just keep evolving to increasingly mimic real life experience of meeting another person. Well, guess its time to jump the bandwagon. Finally.

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