By TANYA BALARAJU, junior
AS PEOPLE get increasingly engrossed in the online world, the Internet becomes more intertwined with reality. But what would happen if websites actually became reality — if websites were people? Whether snobbish and arrogant or pensive and nostalgic, every website seems to have a complex personality — just like everyone living in the real world.
FACEBOOK: “Yes, I know everyone — your friends, the friends you call friends but have never met before, the friends of all of those ‘friends’, and the ‘friends’ of those friends as well.” He has access to everything from pictures to hobbies to a timeline tailored to document each user’s life. “Practically everyone needs me — I have access to top-secret study guides, your crush’s everyday whereabouts, people you’d never be able to talk to in real life, and a plethora of other precious information that could be very useful.” He pulls out his smartphone and holds it above his head, pouting pretentiously at the camera lens. “New profile picture,” he explains briefly, “I’ve been needing one for a while.”
YOUTUBE: “Forget status updates! A video speaks more than a box of words ever will,” YouTube declares as Gangnam Style begins to blare in the background — for over the billionth time. “Where would people like Psy or Bieber be without me?” She sifts through a fat, red-and-white backpack labeled “Recommended for You” and pulls out a cat. “Careful,” she warns, “they’re entertaining, but viral.”
TWITTER: As the ultimate trendsetter, she knows everyone from Katy Perry, to your next-door neighbor, to the Pope, and covers everything as concisely as possible. Who needs to say anything in over 140 characters, anyway? “If you can’t keep it short, the world of hashtags doesn’t need it!”
GOOGLE: “Did you mean: the future owner of everything on the Internet?” he suggests with a grin, pushing up the rim of his glasses. Indeed, the ever-popular Google has left quite a mark on the virtual world, which he happens to know like the back of his hand. Judging by his habit for attempting to find answers before people have finished asking questions. (“Did you mean: Google Instant?”), he clearly knows his way around people’s minds as well: “I know what you want to find before you do! Nothing beats that.”
WIKIPEDIA: If there’s one thing Wikipedia hates, it’s underestimation. “Never misjudge the power of the people,” he warns over his steaming mug of coffee. After all, he explains, less is never more — the same philosophy behind his policy of letting people edit his information at will. “It’s been controversial over the years, but I think I’m quite trustworthy — oh…and while you’re at it, would you mind donating to support my existence?” He pushes a yellow coffee can forward. “I can’t accept cash, but credit is fine — I get less of it than I deserve.”
We all know that the real world is full of many kinds of people and personalities, but the cyber world has characters of its own as well. From search engines to social networks and everything in between, each site has its own place in the online community, and perhaps even a personality to match.