Thoughts on G+
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 | Author: Ozzik

So Google+ is nearly 3 months old now. And I have an account for almost 3 months. But since this happened - I’m not so sure I wanna keep it.

Schmidt said that Google+ was built primarily as an identity service and that those worried about using their real names shouldn’t use the service

You see, I think that people are divided into 2 categories Internet-wise:
those that started to use the net before the year 2k and those that started after.
The age doesn’t matter. The Internet was different, and people’s attitude towards it was different. We can argue whether it was better or worse and enter the never-ending loop, but if there’s one thing I would need to point out - it would be anonymity.

Yes, each and everyone those days (which by the way, was only 10-15 years ago) knew for a fact that Internet is a virtual place, where you can be anonymous, you can be whoever you want to be and you can actually say whatever you want to say. That’s why IRC was so huge, that’s why forums were huge, that’s why ICQ was huge and so on.

Yep, back in those days it was all about communicating. Well, not all. We loved surfing the web too. And exploring the new software… and what not.
But communicating was the key aspect. And the key aspect of communicating was… that’s right - anonymity.

It was the only chance for us to actually not start judging the person by his looks, but to get to know him. Back in those days you would only own a digital pic on your PC if you or your friend had a scanner, which wasn’t true in most cases, so we actually talked. Do you remember the meaning of this word? Talking? Oh, you think you do. Well, in any case, I just want to state that IM/facebook/tweet/and what not - is not actually talking. That’s just plain garbage.

Anyway, I don’t wanna get too nostalgic here. So what happened in the year 2k? Well, the broadband. And that brought us millions, tens and hundreds of millions of new users. And when this kinda numbers enters something, the money follows. Suddenly it was all about the money. Ads, flash banners, enormous amounts of porn, pointless games, etc.

But that wasn’t enough. Enter Google. Oh, how we love this company! No sarcasm here, by the way. But while we do love it, we often forget (probably because it wants us to) that it’s all about the money. Shocking? An American corporation doing anything in its powers to earn more money? No way!
So they brought the Adsense and we loved it. We were so tired of the flashing crap on our screens that Firefox with Adblock turned an overnight success. And there we had it: just small targeted text ads. It was beautiful.

But then everyone started doing it and before we knew it - it was all about the information for those ads. Yep, they needed the info for a better target. Understandable. Gmail was not enough. So it came in a form of social networking. The idea was brilliant! Mask it as a social service to share crap with your friends while revealing everything about yourself voluntarily. And the governments jumped on board, since they couldn’t even dream about this kinda big brother utopia. And here you have it: almost a billion people are voluntarily sharing their most private info with anyone interested.

Advertisers are having the times of their lives, governments are happier than ever and people… they don’t even understand the consequences of their actions.

Anyway, I don’t feel like getting into all the downsides of a public profile, but I will say this: Google is a company that can do whatever it feels like and it’s not obligated to anyone. But each and everyone of us has a choice - just like Schmidt said. Meanwhile I’m using a fake name. There is no way I’m gonna give them my real one. I started using G+ much less because of their policy. If I get a notice to change my name - I’m out for good.

Identity service my ass, Schmidt. Internet is just that - Internet. Maybe people should start thinking about that. We live offline. Online leisure, which is G+, is nothing but a virtual reality. Treat it like one.

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Category: Misc