A context of interaction

Do you remember how many websites have you registered to? Tens of usernames, passwords, profile information, avatar images, many duplicates of the same data. Do we really need a 99th site to put our photo, add contacts and send messages? What is wrong with e-mail anyway? Some sites keep photographs, some keep documents, but the contents are technically similar. Every website applies a different combination of the same ingredients. So, it’s not the technology. There is something else on these websites that keeps us coming. We don’t know about the server machines, farms of computers devoted to serve us. We just see the software interface and forget about the hardware behind it. It’s similar to our relation to our biological body. We tend to ignore the mechanism, as long as it works properly. While talking face-to-face to a person, we don’t care about the complex biological systems that allow us do it, but focus on something else, on a different level, such as mimics and gestures. As talking is not about making sounds with vocal cords, social networking is not about databases and computer networks. The websites do not serve contents themselves. They act like some kind of container or space to be filled. Each website defines and offers a certain framework. Thus, the users don’t use the site, rather, they relate to other users through it. A social website is not mainly a facility or a service that is consumed by the users. Rather, it is the context of their interaction.

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