Not all altruistic

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A Click away For the greater good?
A Click away For the greater good?

A recent study claims that those who constantly upload information are attention seekers. NEETI SARKAR does a reality check

The easiest way to find information for a college assignment is to visit sites like Wikipedia that is flooded with information about just anything you would want to know.

If you don’t know how a software works or when you want easy guitar lessons, you immediately look up YouTube. And thanks to people who keep uploading material to the internet, our work is so much simpler. But have you ever wondered why people constantly feed information to various websites?

You on the tube

According to a report in The New Scientist, a recent study by a team of researchers at Hewlett Packard’s laboratory in Palo Alto, California, claim to have found the exact reason. It has been confirmed that people do this for personal glory, and not for the common good. The researchers have based their findings on an analysis of the habits of 5, 80,000 YouTube contributors who were surveyed for the study.

The team found that the more hits their videos got, the more likely the contributors were to continue uploading material. MetroPlus checks out if the same is true amongst internet enthusiasts here.

Ananth K.B., a content writer says, “I upload material onto a website not only as a part of my job but also because I believe exchange of information is vital to acquiring more knowledge.”

Manju Joshi, an 18-year-old who uploads videos often insists, “I do this only to help others. Also, it has become such a habit for me to upload stuff that I haven’t realized that people perceive us as attention seekers.” Businessman Prakash Sinha says: “The whole point of websites like Wikipedia and YouTube is for people to upload content. The reasons for doing it should not be the issue!”

Computer Science teacher Sneha Raul begs to differ. “It is understandable to upload if it is a part of your job or if you have nothing else to do. People could claim to be service-minded, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. I personally feel people who do it are addicted to uploading information or aim at getting attention.”

Now that the blogging mania has taken off big time, regular bloggers, especially those whose blogs are only about their personal lives, from love-sick poems to what they want engraved on their epitaph, are also looked at as attention seekers. Psychologist Shruthi Ahluwalia explains, “Maintaining a personal diary or journal is one thing and blogging is another! It is good to be able to ‘help society by uploading content on the net,’ but writing about one’s personal life is of no ‘help’ to society.

“And if one blogs to make his personal life public, it obviously shows that he is trying to garner attention. And looking for recognition is one of the innate natures of man!”

Another aspect of concern is whether the lack of a sense of society is driving us to create an alternate society online.

Sociologist Sushil Chandranath says, “There couldn’t be a better explanation than this for why people constantly upload content on the internet. With social networking gaining popularity far and wide, it is true that belonging to an online society has become vital for many and if one aims at getting recognized by uploading information on the net in this alternate society, he would only claim to be helping his society in the true spirit of netizenship!”

Reasons galore

  • Information should be freely available to all

  • It is a way of being part of an online community

  • There are those addicted to uploading information

  • A way of helping society


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