Author: Dhiraj Kumar
Publisher: Wordizen Books
The Asocial Networking by Dhiraj Kumar is nothing but a BIG over-reaction on the impact of social networking (specifically Facebook) on our lives. It does make some pertinent points about the facade people put by showing an alternate 'online' life to others but goes overboard in the analysis and infuses a spirit of outlandishness that in the end harms the book far more you can think off.
It is interesting and ironical to see ourselves socializing with the help of gadgets when we could actually step forward and socialize with the person standing next to us. For the benefit of those who exhibit their social lives online, this book offers little tricks of the trade to master the art of networking and garner tangible gains in the real world. On the other hand, the author discusses our vulnerabilities and weaknesses, which are often reflected in the way we socialize on the web.
However, the extreme or negative side of the social networking is written with heavy-hand and does not presents a balanced approach to counter the positives. For instance, the author constantly harps about the fact that putting a status message of 'DND' on Gtalk reeks of hypocrisy and double standards. Because if you are so busy, why would you be online? But at the same time, author does not take into account that being online have also to do with professional work or an emergency issue.
I was particularly offended at various points in the book where the author judges people around him with disdain and contempt. At one point in the narrative, he even classify bisexuals as extreme perverts and voyeurs who venture out in night on social networking and prey on people. Such kind of factually incorrect, close-thinking and morally reprehensible thoughts should have been censored in the first place if there was a good editor working on this book.
Even the extremely implausible clause of Facebook getting extinct or less exciting in few years in nothing but a statement made without any solid evidence. Anyone who follows these social networking websites knows that these companies earn revenues through advertising and marketing of various companies, brands and products. To view them mere as dating or sex-mating sites is doing a grave injustice to their whole existence and as a tool of usefulness in our daily lives.
Having said that, the author does make some key observations about Facebook in our existence - people wasting time playing Zynga games, low productivity and less concentration at workplaces, too many diversions in the name of updating status and answering wall posts and my personal favourite - sexual discrimination against men on these websites. These are well thought off points which shows depth with which things are researched. I particularly liked the concept about FIPRA - Facebook International People Rating Agency, something which you may think in the future coming into action to compare people. The clause of displaying your Facebook profile at the time of an interview for a psychoanalysis assessment is a possibility which may not be far off.
In the end, the book is articulated with some well-researched points and keenly observed thoughts. I just wished it was more balanced to enjoy it even further. If you can deal or be comfortable reading ONLY negative impact of Facebook, this book may be a treat for you.