Social networking is the new White Pages of the phone book, combined with the cataloging aspects of the Yellow Pages. Yet they deliver this in a more productive and dynamic way.
While previously we had our high school year books and / or college year books, it is often difficult to keep up with changes because our record is a static one. Sure we could try to stay up with alumni affairs offices, but that is laborious, time consuming, often in a different physical location. Social networking sites allow us to access records easily at our computer, whenever we need and where ever we are. Ease equals lower cost – much lower cost.
In addition, the data stored at different alumni affairs offices are in different formats. So, it is very difficult to view high school colleagues with the same level of detail as college ones for example. Social networking sites make it easier for us to keep up with the dynamism of our world because the data can be morphed and mapped to each other quickly, and data can be modified. I don’t think my 20 yr old high school records could accommodate video clips (they just did not exist in the current form at that time), but a social networking site can.
In addition, with these static old world records, we’re limited to the immediate circle that we had at that time. Take for example high school records or yearbooks. Our colleagues have moved on to other circles, which are in reality connected to yet other sets of circles (not just one but many). This multiplicative effect is capture in social networking sites, but our static records are unable to easily keep up with this dynamic world.
Finally, we can leverage social networking sites to expand our circles and reach out to people that we would not have contact with previously. This may be in the social sense by inviting a group to an event, or the business sense by sending your resume or product information to targeted people who may be interested, and may give you that big break. Just getting this list of interested people would have been impossible with our old static social records.
In summary, social networking sites permit us to access our networks at much lower cost and much more easily. Through online social network sites, we can change the data according to changes in technology and available features, and the data can work much more easily with each other. Social networksites enable a multiplicative effect which our old static network records were unable to do. Finally, social network sites permit us to expand our circles for our social and monetary benefit.