Socio-political social networking. Ukraine.

Having lived in Russia, I simply can’t ignore Ukraine and the whole scandal revolving around it. Keeping away from the political discussion and predictions, I’d love to squeeze a few words in many that have been said before. Not about Kiev, not about Russians in Ukraine, I’d even leave an (ex-)president aside. All I care about is how media turned people against each other… Just in a couple of days.

There two kinds of people in the world (or at least there were): people who prefer the harsh truth (imagine a wistful of nuts), and people who take everything for granted — banana-mango smoothie. So far so good; nuts are nuts everywhere and smoothies… Hmm, they are smoothies, nothing more, nothing less. In the past years, however, the media has changed the world so much that one of the kinds — the first one — simply vanished and a new one was formed. The new kind of people could be called a new-age-old-tv-watcher, or simply a muesli yogurt. You chew it all right, occasionally crunching a nut or biting a raisin, but it is still a yogurt, one step away from a smoothie.

The main problem that in the past years this new kind of people have not only prevailed the post-Soviet Russia but dominated the minds of the younger generation, partly encouraging them to think and explore, yet pitting a stop sign right where periphery of the accepted and common began. At the moment there are numerous youngsters who can easily tell black from white, and at the same time fail to define the essential idea behind the b&w scheme. That’s what happened with Ukraine, when with a little help of the media people decided to challenge their critical thinking and take up the new hobby — political analysis.

Don’t mind the education, just tweet, criticize and make your statement clear. I am not sure, though, if the media should be blamed or accused of something more than its regular hassle we all got used to; but the truth is: media has become an incentive this time. And the funny thing happened: the skirmish has started and stayed primarily in Russia, rarely crossing the border, hence every detail about the Ukraine or Russia or the United States ever to appear in the news made numerous appearances on the Web later; more or less exaggerated, yet never undermined.

That skirmish, unfortunately, has become epidemic, but the enemy was still unclear. Thus people turned against each other. Having had their routine Internet life for years, they suddenly got exposed to the revolutionary air of burned tires, and that was quite a shock. What is more, various social networks slowly turned into battlefields, where everybody could have his minute — or rather a second — of glory.

On one hand we have a brand new Ukraine with a different mindset and goals, on the other we do, and I repeat WE DO have a bunch of idiots that are neither succeeding in criticizing (failing, to be frank) the new beginning nor in understanding the motives they have to do so. Sigh.

As for me, I am indifferent. Everybody (every country as well!) should have a right to identify themselves. I would chose to be a stone, a shiny pebble on the beach. Thus I could have avoided quarrels with my raged friends, taken their agression for mere ignorance and kept myself more or less tranquil.

Sadly, being a pebble is a great luck and a forbidden fruit nowadays. It gives you no ultimate knowledge, yet elevates you a few feet above the everlasting Ukraine-oriented discussions and gives you the supernatural hence supreme power — keeping silent as everybody else speaks out loud.


What happens to your facebook after you die?

Every time I go to the bathroom I meet people tweeting, updating their facebooks and even chatting with their loved ones while doing their business. Even though few years ago I would have been (at least) confused if I had seen anything like that, nowadays it’s typical. Sometime in the future, I guess, you’d be considered lunatic if you don’t Instagram your Starbucks coffee every morning.

But have you ever wondered what’s going to happen to your facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. when you die? I mean, they claim that there are about 30 million dead people on facebook and someday you might as well join the army. Of course, after your friends would find out, your wall would be filled with cute and tear-squeezing posts, memorable pictures and Bible quotes. But soon, after singling you out, life will go on… and your facebook page with 1000+ party pictures and some dirty posts would still be there. Maybe even forever?


But no panic, few years ago facebook instituted a policy regarding how to deal with deceased individuals. After your family proves your death – a requirement to make any changes in your profile – your facebook account could be deleted or converted into memorable account. Basically, you’d be a dead friend, always on the bottom of somebody’s friend list. As for me, it sounds funny, especially if your younger brother (or sister) decides to go “online” from your account. Online zombie? Hm, why not!

Luckily, after you die only your facebook friends would be able to access your account; you (or, realistically, your online grave) would be excluded from the global search and prevented from trolls and ex-girlfriends.

Believe me or not, there are some ways to prepare your online life for death! Of course, you can write down an old-fashioned letter with log-ins and passwords, but it’s way too sentimental. Instead, try Legacy Letters, a service providing online messages delivered to designated recipients after your death. It will cost you 25$ annually or one-time fee of 300$. You can store all your private data on Legacy Letters server and leave all wishes regarding your online after-life. There are other companies that will store your personal information and release it after you die only.


Thinking about death is hard, but thinking about your online death is even harder. You never know when you time comes. So, maybe you should take some time to rethink your last-minute speech, include some passwords and log-ins, accept last friendship requests and – as an option – post a last selfie on your Instagram.


Couchsurfing downfall

Many of you know may already know about, it was started as a website helping travellers fing a place to stay over night, but now, few years later, it became a huge social network of more than 5,000.000 users worldwide. From the very beginning, Couchsurfing differed from other social networks because of the people using it: students, happy couples and old professors, anybody who was willing to meet new people and make friends. Therefore there was almost no negative feedback whatsoever. Some even claimed  that Couchserfing community is one of the few benefits of globalization…but times have changed.


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