Social Networking & Me …

Following is my take on it.

Every tool or product has to be evaluated/tested/analyzed to see if it fits the person, with respect to:

– Is it something the person enjoys doing?

– Is it in line with the person’s personality?

– Is it cumbersome to use?

– Is it safe to use?

The first point is very important. As with most things in life, do not pursue something which you do not enjoy doing, especially when something is in the realms of Social Networking (i.e. a hobby or personal action). The second point is critical because if a person is very private and feels uncomfortable sharing details (even harmless details), Social Networking is probably not for that person. The third point is what drove me away from Google’s Orkut. I personally felt that it was just not User-Friendly. Facebook is much more User-Friendly, as proven by its sheer number of users. The fourth point, safety, is very important to make sure you are safe from scammers, spammers and other dangerous elements. Facebook has been having a lot of challenges in this area. One should review the Privacy/Security settings regularly and make sure no critical information is revealed to anyone. For e.g. you can set the profile such that only people who you accept as “friends” can see your whole data. Of course, the primary requirement is that you post only items that dont create trouble even if it is hacked into by some dangerous elements.

In this day and age, when we all are juggling hundreds (if not thousands) of personal and professional action items, it is impossible to physically meet and be in touch with all your friends on a regular basis. To me, Facebook is a quick way to keep in touch with my personal network. I share pictures, share videos, share jokes, wish friends on their Birthdays, and even find long-lost friends (e.g. friends from way back, say Grade6).

I have trained myself to be quite disciplined about the time I spent on Social Networking. Every day, I spent a maximum of 20 minutes (on average) on Social Networking. I log in, review the posts from my friends over the past 1 day, make comments as required, do my post for the day and get out! There are only 2 exceptions to this: (a) Times when I am stuck somewhere. E.g. Waiting in line at some place, Coffee break etc. I might use my Smart-Phone at these times to do a quick review of my Facebook account (b) When I post pictures from my various travels, which I typically do during weekends. I like to put comments on my photos, rather than just do blind postings. Though it might take more time, I spread the task over several weeks, to keep this activity to within 30-40 minutes per week.

So, my advice is:

– Make sure Social Networking is for you

– Set time limits and make sure you do not spend too much time on it, which would penalize you on your other personal/professional fronts

– Review and set security/privacy settings appropriately

Go with the trend. Internet is the present and it is definitely going to be the future!

2010 Summer Vacation – Experiments with various cuisines …

Norway

Norway (Oslo): Various cured meats with vegetables ... Blood sausage was also included, along with reindeer ...

Norway (Bergen): The Fish Market was something ... Just walking around was a lot of fun. There were all kinds of seafood abound ...

Norway (Bergen): Coffee with Chocolate/Strawberry cake ... It was a relaxing way to take an afternoon break ...

Sweden

Sweden (Stockholm): Grand Hotel Smorgasbord. Round1. Various kinds of picked fish (Herring), Meat Loaf, Smoked Salmon, Caviar etc ...

Sweden (Stockholm): Grand Hotel Smorgasbord. Round2. Swedish Meatballs ...

Sweden (Stockholm): Grand Hotel Smorgasbord. Round3. Desserts & Cheese ... Overall, it was a unique experience. Something I wanted to try ...

Sweden (Stockholm): Grand Hotel Smorgasbord. Round3. Desserts & Cheese ... Overall, it was a unique experience. Something I wanted to try ...

Sweden (Stockholm): Swedish Cinnamon Buns with Coffee ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: The Appetizer spread at the Smorgasbord ... Seemed liked picked fish is very popular there ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: The Appetizer spread at the Smorgasbord ... Seemed liked picked fish is very popular there ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: Round1. Appetizers ... Focussed mainly on seafood ... Oysters, picked fish, Sturgeon Caviar ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: Round1. Appetizers ... Focussed mainly on seafood ... Oysters, picked fish, Sturgeon Caviar ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: Round2. Swedish Meatballs and Lingonberry Sauce ... Also tried some Cloudberry Jam ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: Round2. Swedish Meatballs and Lingonberry Sauce ... Also tried some Cloudberry Jam ...

Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki: Breakfast. Sausages and Meatballs ... As you can see I love meat ... 🙂

Finland

Finland (Helsinki): I must say these Finnish pastries were just awesome! It came with a sauce that really took it to another level ...

Finland (Helsinki): Coffee and Tuna Roll for breakfast ...

Russia (St.Petersburg)

Russia (St.Petersburg): Shchi/Borsch (Cabbage Soup) was great ...

Russia (St.Petersburg): Coffee & Local pastries ...

Russia (St.Petersburg): Karcho (spicy tomato soup with pork) with Lavash (Georgian Bread) ... I also tried Vasileostrovskoe Draft Beer ...

Russia (St.Petersburg): Georgian style Beef Stroganoff, with potatoes ...

Russia (St.Petersburg): Solyanka (stewed beef with tomato and spicy herbs) ...Klaster Light Beer ...

Russia (St.Petersburg): Bliny, with chocolate sauce, along with a chocolate/fudge pastry ...

England

England (London): A heavy breakfast of eggs, sausages and baked beans ...

England (London): Pastries at London Tower. Scones, Pastries and Tea!

England (London): Cottage Pie. Seasoned beef mixed with veggies and spices topped with authentic bisto gravy, colcannon potatoes and cheddar cheese served with peas ...

England (London): Bangers and Mash. I am a big fan of sausages ...

UAE

UAE (Dubai): Paragon Restaurant. The condiments have arrived. Waiting for the main dish ...

UAE (Dubai): Paragon Restaurant. The condiments have arrived. Waiting for the main dish ...

UAE (Dubai): Here it is. The famous Paragon Biryani! Man, was it something ... After eating a lot of tasteless "so-called-biryani" in US, it was a treat to eat the real thing ...

India

India (Sulthan Bathery): I am a big fan of Gooseberry (Nellika). I like to eat it with some salt and chilli powder ...

India (Sulthan Bathery): The pastry aisle of a local bakery ... You can see why I put on weight after the vacation, though I walked a lot (I mean, A LOT!) ...

India (Bangalore): The pastry aisle of a coffee shop in Richard's Town ...

India (Thrissur): Coconut Pudding ... Yum!

India (Thrissur): Vegitarian takeout from a local Caterer. There were some 15 different dishes, along with a couple of payasams ... It was just great ...

India (Kozhikode): The original Paragon Restaurant. It was really crowded, but the Biryani, as usual, was just spectacular ...

India (Kochi): Grand Hotel on M.G.Road. How can I visit Kerala and not go to my favorite restaurant? The Karimeen Pollichathu was the highlight ...

Scotland

Scotland (Edingburgh): Shamola Restaurant, on the Royal Mile. The Roti here was the best I have ever eaten. It went very well with the Dal Fry ...

Scotland (Fort Williams): Haggis and Chips ... Man, Haggis is heavy. I could notice the fat in it ...

Ireland

Ireland (Dublin): Guinness at a local Pub ... A bit on the bitter side and not as bubble as Beer ... I liked it though.

Ireland (Dublin): Steak and Mushrooms, along with some Chips ...