As a species, humans have always been concerned about recogniton and approval – for work done, for achievements, and even for just who they are. Little wonder then that this need for status should continue in the virtual world as well. Whether it is someone boasting that he has 1477 Facebook friends (it is besides the fact that he has not met most of them – ever) or that she has n number of Twitter followers, we tend to seek validation of the fact that we are popular, liked and ‘followed’, that our blogs are creative, that we have the most interesting status updates, etc.
And there are companies smart enough to cash in on this. Twournal is a website that allows you to compile all your tweets into a book or journal which you can then sell: http://twournal.com/
Another company allows you to order a mug or keychain that has photos of all your Facebook friends: http://www.crowdedink.com/
And I am sure that such products that showcase one’s online persona will only increase in the near future.
With a blurring of lines between your real and virtual identity, don’t be surprised if you have more online friends – people you have never met but regularly talk to – than ‘physical’ friends you meet for a coffee! In such a situation, can concerns about your online social status be far behind?
We may even soon have a Bollywood movie, in which the father forbids his daughter to marry a young man, saying “Uski aukat kya hai – Facebook pe mere 755 dost hai, or woh- FB pe hai hi nahi! “